To help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ‘Alien’ franchise, 20th Century Fox recently teamed up with a company called Tongal and invited filmmakers to contribute their own short films to the ‘Alien’ franchise. Tongal is an online company known for connecting studios and networks with new crowd-sourced talent online, and during the course of this project, they received over 550 submissions from talented new filmmakers, though sadly they ending up choosing only the best 6 short films to actually be a part of the ‘Alien’ mythology.
According to Tongal co-founder and CEO, James DeJulio:
“This partnership with Fox is really reflective of Tongal’s mission to bring creative opportunities to the next generation of talent. Being able to give filmmakers everywhere the chance to make their mark on an iconic franchise and extend the Alien narrative was really special for us and everyone involved. And the superfans delivered in a big way. We can’t wait for the fans to see what they’ve created — because at the end of the day, it was made for them.”
A selection of the shorts themselves premiered this past weekend at Emerald City Comic-Con in Seattle, which will be followed by another screening at C2E2 in Chicago this coming weekend, and then another at WonderCon in Anaheim at the end of the month. Later, they can be found online, being distributed weekly through IGN starting on March 29th, before ultimately ending up on AlienUniverse.com and the @AlienAnthology social media channels starting on May 5th, where they will be alongside exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the series. It all seems very exciting both for fans of the ‘Alien’ franchise and for the new filmmakers, who got to play in Ridley Scott’s world thanks to the contest and bring some new ideas to the table. Who knows? Maybe one of those filmmakers, or a story or character they used, might even find its way into a future ‘Alien’ movie?
Based on the official descriptions of the shorts which Fox provided (which you can read below), there’s a lot of new characters and concepts they are playing around with:
- Alien: Alone — Hope, an abandoned crewmember aboard the derelict chemical hauler Otranto, has spent a year trying to keep her ship and herself alive as both slowly fall apart. After discovering hidden cargo, she risks it all to power up the broken ship in search of human life. Written and directed by Noah Miller.
- Alien: Containment — Four survivors find themselves stranded aboard a small escape pod in deep space. Trying to piece together the details around the outbreak that led to their ship’s destruction, they find themselves unsure to trust whether or not one of them might be infected. Written and directed by Chris Reading.
- Alien: Harvest — The surviving crew of a damaged deep-space harvester have minutes to reach the emergency evacuation shuttle. A motion sensor is their only navigation tool leading them to safety while a creature in the shadows terrorizes the crew. However, the greatest threat might have been hiding in plain sight all along. Directed by Benjamin Howdeshell.
- Alien: Night Shift — When a missing space trucker is discovered hungover and disoriented, his co-worker suggests a nightcap as a remedy. Near closing time, they are reluctantly allowed inside the colony supply depot where the trucker’s condition worsens, leaving a young supply worker alone to take matters into her own hands. Written and directed by Aidan Breznick.
- Alien: Ore — As a hard-working miner of a planet mining colony, Lorraine longs to make a better life for her daughter and grandchildren. When her shift uncovers the death of a fellow miner under mysterious circumstances, Lorraine is forced to choose between escape or defying management orders and facing her fears to fight for the safety of her family. Written and directed by the Spear Sisters.
- Alien: Specimen — It’s the night shift in a colony greenhouse, and Julie, a botanist, does her best to contain suspicious soil samples that have triggered her sensitive lab dog. Despite her best efforts, the lab unexpectedly goes into full shutdown and she is trapped inside. Little does she know, an Alien specimen has escaped the mysterious cargo, and a game of cat and mouse ensues as the creature searches for a host. Written and directed by Kelsey Taylor.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter