Imagine heading on a remote holiday with your buddy and intentionally enjoying a break from electronics, only to discover that harmless-looking yet violent aliens are attacking the world.
That is what happens in Save Yourself! The latest sitcom will be streamed on Friday until next week, which comes to select theaters. The film coincidentally, eerily overlaps with elements of the socially distant days in which we exist. However, director Eleanor Wilson came up with the idea three years earlier in upstate New York with inadequate mobile phone coverage.
"I was just thinking about how paranoid I get when I'm disconnected from my phone, and this idea came [to me]-what if something bad actually did happen?" she told Fortune.
Film's sneak peek
The film was filmed in 2019 and finished earlier this year, just before it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. "And then they scrapped every other party," says Alex Huston Fischer, who co-wrote and co-directed Save Yourself! with Wilson.
The film focuses on Jack (John Reynolds, Quest Party) and Su (Sunita Mani, GLOW), a Brooklyn couple. With Mani in mind, the filmmakers had written the screenplay (Wilson points out that Fischer went to college with her and already collaborated with her) and were fans of the work of Reynolds in Search Group. For their part, from the New York comedy scene, the actors were already buddies, Reynolds says. And playing this peculiar pair came naturally to them, too.
"Knowing each other and having this shared sensibility even though it's in this goofier bombastic comedy capacity, we just brought a shared language to Jack and Su," says Mani.
Fischer and Wilson intended the film to sound somewhat vintage. Hence, the producers combined the aspects of cherished rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally and Steven Spielberg's "curiosity" and "mystery" in previous sci-fi and adventure films.
The aliens look like round shaggy balls or "puffes," as the characters name them in the film. "When you go into the history of furry aliens in pop culture, we're in good company with Tribbles [from Star Trek] and Critters," she adds.
What makes the film different from others?
For the most part, the design team used physical effects to bring the so-called pods to life on film, controlling them in ways influenced by Aliens' face-huggers.
"It was fun to see which practical and old-school movie effects they were going to bring on which day," Reynolds says.
As far as the timing of the release of their film is concerned, Fischer says that they initially "felt that the film was important, albeit a few decades away."
"One positive we learned is that everybody understands what a starter for sourdough is now, so we don't have to think about people not having that," he says.
Without delving into spoilers, Save Yourself! ends on more of an open-ended level. The filmmakers realize that the ending will be absorbed differently by multiple individuals.
The film will hit select theaters on October 2 before being launched online on October 6.