Dirs: Josh Koury, Myles Kane. US. 2012. 77mins


A delightfully warm-hearted and generous account of two science-fiction enthusiasts who make low-low-low budget fantasy films of the quality only a true fan could love, Journey To Planet X is a real charmer and destined to be an audience favourite at any festival it plays.

Documentarians Josh Koury and Myles Kane does a great job in observing these well-meaning amateurs.

As a documentary it s pretty straight-forward, but though amateur sci-fi filmmakers Eric Swain and Troy Bernier would be easy targets for smug mockery the film treats them and their filmic efforts with respect. Which helps give the film a good deal of honest charm and the pair set about making their biggest film ever – an epic short known as Planet X.

By day Swain and Bernier are genial if slightly nerdy Florida scientists, but after work their real love is making short sci-fi films. Swain has been making DIY movies for years, casting himself as fantasy hero or astronaut, but his meeting with Bernier challenges him…Bernier is keen on the detail and wants to make the short films to the highest quality as possible.

They end up borrowing a refrigerated warehouse to shoot scenes supposedly deep in outer space; paint a garage space green to create their own green screen set and set about casting a series of wannabe actors (on $20 a day) to take on the lead roles in their short film.

Their finished film – running an epic 30mins – is replete with wobbly sets, so-so digital effects and clunky performances, but it is all put together with care, compassion and a staggering amount of enthusiasm and dedication. When a film festival organiser says she’ll play the film at her festival it is as if their dreams have come true.

Documentarians Josh Koury and Myles Kane does a great job in observing these well-meaning amateurs as they use initiative and imagination (and goodly amounts of their own money) to make their movies. These sort of amateur films have a life on YouTube and while they will never be Hollywood blockbusters they are made with honest pleasure. Which oddly enough makes they rather special.

Production company: Brooklyn Underground Films

Producer: Trisha Barkman

Sales contact: Cinetic Rights Management/Film Buff, steve@crm.cineticmedia.com

Cinematography: Editors: Josh Koury, Myles Kane

Music: Jonah Rapino

With: Troy Bernier, Eric Swain