Interview: Our “Encounter” With Robert Conway

the encounter - poster

the encounter - poster

We’re still a year away from discovering the extra-terrestrial threat of Independence Day 2, which gives director Robert Conway’s The Encounter plenty of time to hog most of that alien-movie-loving audience. The film, about a camping trip that goes horribly wrong (cue the visitors from outer space!), hits DVD and VOD June 2nd.

How long has the release of The Encounter been coming? Did you film it a while back?
We finished up post in January, so not that long of a wait.

And how much was The X-Files an influence on the flick?
Well I did like X Files, but really the bigger influences were Fire in the Sky, Predator, and The Thing.

the encounter actress

Tell us about the alien in the film. Is it something we haven’t seen before?
There are two kinds of aliens we see. The first is the often seen alien gray, which I chose because he is the most commonly reported alien from encounter stories, but the second is a bit more original. Basically a small insect-like creature that hatches from a pod then attacks warm-blooded mammals such as humans and large wildlife. The creature then consumes the host and transforms it into a very fast and powerful predator. The creature is very aggressive because in order to procreate and survive it must constantly find new hosts to infect as a single host is only alive for a matter of hours before it devolves into a dried out husk or pile of bones.

the encounter - aliens

And the movie’s hero is…
Well it’s kind of hard to define who the hero is. I guess I would say Collin, as most of the story is told from his point of view. But there is also a distinction between aliens who don’t intend to harm and the ultra aggressive parasitic predators. As Collin explains in the film, what happens is an accident caused when an alien gray ship crashes in the forest. The ship is infected with pods that escape, which leads to a disaster similar to an oil spill of the cosmos. The grays are depicted not as evil but more as the clean-up crew, so in a way they are kind of good guys as well.

The internet comes complete with a huge horror fanbase, is that part of the reason The Encounter is getting such good traction?
I think so. I also think the sci-fi fans online are helping to spread the word. Often it’s people like myself who are big fans of both genres.

How handy have the social networks — Facebook, Twitter, and so on — been in the promotion of the film?
Facebook and Twitter are a great recourse for indie film and are a huge help when it comes to generating a buzz. It’s really great that we live in an era where indie filmmakers can inform and communicate with movie fans all over the world for basically no hard cost.

the encounter scene

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
Patrick Stewart. Yes, I’m a huge Star Trek fan.

Are there any particular horror sites you like to visit?
Yell! Magazine, of course – though you guys cover a lot in addition to good movies, and Fango and Dread Central as well are a few of my faves.

Is The Encounter a one-off for you or do you envision a sequel?
There is a lot more of the story to tell, so a sequel is something I want to do at some point. Right now I’m making my first ghost/demonic possession story and having a lot of fun with that but yes, I want to continue The Encounter where we left off in the first one. The second film would feature everything told from the POV of the soldiers brought in to kill the parasitic aliens. We see flashes of this in the first one but I’d like to follow the military while at the same time revealing a bit more of the how, when, and why.

the encounter alien

If you could work with one actor on an upcoming horror film, who would it be?
That’s hard… there are so many, but I’ve been a fan of Kevin Gage ever since I saw him in Heat playing the psychotic Waingro. I think he makes a great villain and can bring on the fear factor at a level not often matched.

Rock Hard \m/

More Articles Like This

Have Your Say Leave A Comment