Movie Interviews

Published on January 30th, 2015 | by gareth


We Talk Alien Outpost With Joe Reegan

Recently I got the chance to speak with Joe Reegan about his new film Alien Outpost. I want to thank him for taking the time to answer our questions and make sure you check out this film.
(Photo Credit: Marc Cartwright)

What is the background and setting for the film:
The movie is set in a post-acpolyctic world, roughly 15 or so years into the future, after what the film calls, the 1ST Invasion.
A mass genocide of the human race has occurred… after an unidentified species begins to inhabit the earth

The world of the film puts you in a much more primitive place than you would come to expect.

What we once had, in regards to technology and civilization, have been stripped away…is a gladiatorial environment at this point, trying to survive by whatever means possible.

A ONE WORLD sort of army has been formed, and these bases, what the film calls, “OUTPOSTS” around the world have been formed to protect what’s left of the human race against another invasion.

And that’s basically where the film begins…at OUTPOST 37.

What attracted you to the part?
The script did, actually. I read this script and I immediately thought, this is cool.

There are of course, aliens in the movie, but I think when everyone watches this film, you will be incredibly surprised at HOW the story is told and the FORMAT of the film and HOW character driven the story is.

Any special prep for the film:
I did put on about 15 pounds of extra muscle for the role. I had 3 months before we started shooting, and it was appropriate for the character, so I figured why not.

When we got to Africa, we all went through boot camp and tactical training…

You here this a lot, but honestly nothing I could have done prior, could have prepared any of the actors for what (they) put use through before we started shooting. Wearing 50-75 pds of gear and guns and constantly being on the run and diving and shooting, changing mags, familiarizing yourself with the real weaponry…it was intense and awesome.

How would you describe your character?
I play a highly educated soldier who has been through all the simulations and training one could have, but I have spent little to no time in or on the “battlefield.”

The audience, I hope, and it was our intention, for my character to serve as the “eyes” into this world.

My character is the WATCHER, the OBSERVER, in the film.

He is the moral compass in this story, or trying to be…

And grappling with bigger ideas, can morality exist during war, in this environment and this world, and if it can, what is the point?
What is the “right” thing to do?

There was a scarcity to Omohundro, in the character’s backstory and dialogue– that I really only communicate out of necessity.

You have been in a few horror/supernatural films. Is this by design and would you say you were a fan of the genre prior to working in it?
As a working actor, at this stage of the game, nothing has been particularly “intentional” or by design.

I am a huge fan of sci-fi and have been since I was a kid.

All the films I’ve worked on, I been excited to be a part of, and a part of that world.

For me, the labels on genre or sci-fi go away fairly quickly, and the process becomes simply about telling this particular story with all the truth and authenticity you can.

My Favorite Films I’ve worked on…
Working on Alien Outpost has been so far my favorite experience. The ensemble cast, the director, and cinematographer, everyone was great, and there was this collective energy on set, that everyone was trying and giving their absolutely best, so even on the hard shoot days, we still went home at night excited to do it all over again the next day.

I also very much liked working on the remake of George Romero’s, THE CRAZIES. I love his films, and to be in a remake of it with Tim Olyphant and Radha Mitchell was great.

What was filming like and are there any moments you want to share that stood out?
Filming this movie was the most challenging and at the same time most fun I’ve ever had on a set.

First, filming in Africa, particularly South Africa, and in such rural rural areas, was incredible.

The shoot, there was such a huge amount of pressure, on everyone, to get the shots needed, make them as great as possible, and execute all of this on a very tight timeline. But it was great; because these were the same pressures everyone in the world of the film was dealing with.

So you just kind of said yes to the pressure, lean into it, and in the end, it enhanced everyone’s performance in front of and behind the camera.

Every gunshot, explosion, the dirt, the debris, the chaos, nothing is fake, its 100% the real deal.

On an indie budget, you get a few takes at most. So very quickly you realize how “on point” you have to be, when you are dealing with dialogue, gunfire, explosions, and a camera.

Many of the scenes had to be highly choreographed, because of the explosions and gunfire. We were firing live rounds, on the run, and had to hit marks, while explosions and debris.

Moments from the shoot…
2 scenes in particular, we got 1 take and 1 take only.
The explosions in 2 of the scenes took 3 days to rig, and there was no budget or time for a “take 2” if you messed up. So at times it was nerve wracking but again, it serviced the story we were telling.

And luckily I didn’t mess up.

Coolest moment:
One morning Reiley McClendon and myself had to be to set at 4:00am, so we checked into this huge helicopter and airplane hanger.

By 6am we were 1000’s of feet in the air, inside an army “Huey” Helicopter, and we started rolling and shooting 4 or 5 scenes inside the helicopter.

We were soaring through the air over South Africa, the sun was rising, and the landscape was surreal, and here we were improving and shooting scenes inside an army helicopter…those are the moments where you think to yourself, “wow, my job is incredible.”

And then we landed the helicopter on-location for that day’s shoot. So, it was pretty cool mode of transportation to work that morning.

Craziest moment:
We were doing this massive battle sequence with explosions and gunfire and the whole bit, and the take was incredibly long, and an explosion went off behind us, as we were pinned on the ground, and I felt this huge wave of heat and debris bury me. And your ears are ringing and you’re disoriented. And normally it would then stop, but this time, the sensations didn’t and I literally said, “I’m on fire!” And my pack/gear wear actually on fire, and my cast mate just stomped the flames out, and then we continued on with the scene, like it was normal.

What attracted you to acting and what would you say your big break was?
Since as early I can remember I wanted to be on stage. I think I did my first play when I was about 10 years old. I think it is honestly a gene you are born with.

As far as a big break goes, every job you get feels like a break.

As an actor, once you finish a job, you are on to the next, or auditioning to find the next.

The hunt for jobs and roles that push you to new places, challenge you in new ways, exploring new types of characters, different genres, it never ends. So with that mindset, it’s hard to pin down a defining “big break.”
9. What do you do in your free time?
I really have a love for dogs, movies, and architecture.

So in my free time I hang with my 2 dogs a lot. I work with a few animal rescue groups when time permits. I go to the movies non-stop.

And I think if I had another career it would involve re-designing and remodeling buildings and homes. Something to do with modern architecture.

What do you have coming up?
I have been working in TV a decent amount the past 6 months, on several shows…I think they will start airing in the next few months.

On the film side, I have a feature I’m getting ready to shoot in the spring, a huge passion project for myself, as well as many people close to me.

Biggest Differences between TV and Film
I think the assumption is that TV moves more quickly and film allows you more of an artistic process.

Now days, and even with Alien Outpost, film moves quickly as well. Budgets are tight and time is money. So in my experience, you have to come to set ready to shoot. You rehearse with yourself and prep everything you possibly can before day 1 of shooting starts.

I enjoy working equally in both mediums. What I enjoy most is any job that allows you to be with that particular storyline and character for as long as possible.

When you are looking for a new project, what type of things do you look for?
1st, and most importantly, a great script and character.
2nd, a great director.
And 3rd, is this new territory for me as an artist?
If you are lucky enough to check off 2 out of the 3, you’re in great shape.

What do I look for in a director?
If there is a playbook for “what makes a great director”, please send it to me.

I think with each project, a different “type” of director can be incredibly helpful.

Obviously you have to “get along” is some capacity. Or at least have a mutual respect for one another and the job at hand.

I’d think I have a fairly decent ability to read someone’s work style… and so as longs everyone is on the same page, its usually smooth sailing.

Strong personalities, especially people that are passionate about the work, are not always going to agree. Sometimes there is conflict and chaos, but the end result usually produces something great.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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