Directed by: #ScottSimerlyJr.
Written by: #PatrickMcElroy
Emerging amongst the Storm Area 51 Facebook event, Scott Simerly Jr.'s short film Alien Guy Tim feels peculiarly well-timed. Discussions about the existence of other life forms in the universe flare up every now again and storytellers are often equally as concerned with the people having those discussions than the aliens themselves. After all, what kind of nut job would believe in aliens?
Alien Guy Tim (Patrick McElroy - who also wrote the film) is being followed around by a documentary crew, who are interested in his stories of U.F.Os and abductions by large-eyed beings from outer space. We see Tim in numerous environments, such as a meeting of fellow believers, or with his unsupportive family (Huntington Daly and Lauren Bair), and his dedication to his truth rarely wavers. Deciding to prove once and for all that he's not a crackpot, he takes the filmmaking crew to the desert in the hope of getting beamed up again.
Adopting a #mockumentary approach, at first Alien Guy Tim feels like a bullying comedy ready to tear the central character apart for sport and laughs. However, it becomes clearer that this is not as insensitive as audiences might expect. Yes, we laugh at some of Tim's anecdotes (in particular the pleasure centres his alien bae exploits) but the mood of the piece feels warm and when we see his siblings attempting to run an intervention on his behaviour, it feels like a barbaric attack. By the final stretch of the short movie we wholeheartedly hope he does not lose his truth, real or not.
McElroy is flawless with his portrayal of Tim, beautifully capturing the unhinged and the innocence without the turn becoming too cartoonish. It's easier to play a character as silly or to use Tim's word "insane" than to attempt a character that deserves our empathy through unusual behaviour. McElroy strikes that balance perfectly and cements the film in the process.
The level of filmmaking here is glorious, with high production values and sophisticated techniques used to capture the various locations. Overhead shots of the desert were a particular highlight, allowing the breathtaking #cinematography to offer breathing space to the exhausting conspiracy theory claustrophobia so intrinsic with this type of storyline.
Full of charm, guffaws, and playful characters, Alien Guy Tim is a little bit of the kooky good stuff. It is a reminder that no matter the validity of what a person believes they deserve to be treated as just as right or wrong as the rest of us...until a higher being lays a smackdown on the population and renders us all obsolete.
Watch the official short film trailer.