Exclusive Interview with “Beyond the Trek” Director Ian Truitner

Beam up one of the most exciting science-fiction adventures of the month, Beyond the Trek available September 5 from Screen Media.

Winner of at least nine major film awards including Best Feature Films at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and Best Sci-Fi Feature at the New York Science Fiction Film Festival, Beyond the Trek is “Visually stunning and thematically engrossing…” (Indie Horror) and is “Reminiscent of an episode of Star Trek or 2001: A Space Odyssey…you feel completely immersed in this futuristic world” (Tai Freligh, Flickering Myth).

Five genetically engineered “perfect” humans are sent on a rescue mission to Titan, where only one man has survived a ruined expedition to retrieve a vital cargo. Under the stress of isolation in outer space, the five perfect humans begin to exhibit formerly-concealed character flaws that threaten to tear the mission (and their chances for survival) apart.

Sunny Mabrey (Snakes on a Plane, Species 3), Michael Nouri (The Hidden, TV’s “Damages”), and Lance Broadway (Olympus Has Fallen) star in an Ian Truitner film, available on VOD and DVD (exclusively from Walmart) September 5.

Says director Ian Truitner, “Beyond the Trek reflects back to classic Sci-Fi in its aim to challenge how we see the world and ourselves. It’s not the frantic spectacle of special effects extravaganzas made by huge studios, rather we aimed to draw audiences in with suspense, multidimensional characters and thought-provoking themes. After a successful a festival run that saw the film screen for Sci-Fi fans around the world, Beyond the Trek is now available to everyone!”

-PH: Now, first things first, I see the movie has undergone a title change in the U.S. Whose idea was that and what was the reasoning behind it?

-Ian: The original title was Teleios, which is the title it was under for the duration of its festival run around the world. Teleios in Greek means ‘perfect’, a description for the genetically modified ‘perfect humans’ in the film. It’s also been called Deep Space and Teleios: Endlose Angst, and now Beyond the Trek. Each territory changes it based on what they think will speak best to their audience.

-PH: Do you remember where you were when you came upon the project?

-Ian: The plot of Beyond the Trek is based on the first screenplay I ever wrote back in college, but the unique twists came from separate articles I read in 2013 about space travel and human genetic modification. One article was about the primary problem with long-term space travel is the psychological and physiological effects on the human body. The second article was about how scientists are conducting tests to alter humans en vitro, with the expected result of the first crop of elevated IQ ‘superbrain’ babies being born in or around 2020. If they can make babies smarter, they could also make them better fit for long term space travel. I mean, messing with human DNA, what could possibly go wrong?

-PH: What was the initial appeal for you?

-Ian: Sci-Fi has limitless possibilities. As filmmakers we try to come up with ways to tell or reveal something in a manner that hasn’t been done before.

-PH: Did the project change, if even slightly, due to budget or other creative decisions, as the shooting date approached?

-Ian: Yes, some changes were made due to budget constraints, and it improved draft after draft creatively as we sought a lot of input from scientists and accomplished writers, but on the whole the plot stayed true to the original concept.

-PH: What was the hardest part of making the movie?

-Ian: Finding those cool sets- that couldn’t have been easy, I imagine? We couldn’t find the sets that we wanted, so we had to build them! Kudos to Chuck Parker for his ability to pull of miracles on a small budget.

-PH: How different a project do you think this would have been if it were filmed 20 years ago?

-Ian: Given the key elements are based on recent scientific developments I’m not sure if I could have come up with some of the ideas present in Beyond the Trek 20 years ago. And likely we wouldn’t have had some of the on set and post VFX we had as they weren’t available back then on our budget.

-PH: It would undoubtedly have been marketed a lot differently then, too. Tell us about some of the marketing activities conducted to promote it.

-Ian: Yes, every territory has come up with their own titles and way of marketing it. It’s been a kick to see how each place markets it to their audience.

-PH: How long was it completed? How did you snag distribution?

-Ian: It took about 3 years from shooting to completion. I have our sales rep, Galen Christy at High Octane to thank for getting us distribution around the world and at Screen Media in North America.

-PH: What was the initial goal of the project, for you. Has it succeeded, in terms of that goal, or is it too early to tell?

-Ian: I feel numerous festivals and over a dozen awards worldwide, plus distribution in North America, Asia and Europe means we succeeded in making a piece of cinema people want to watch.

-PH: What’s the future hold for you?

-Ian: I founded a tech company called RANDIAN. So I’m currently focused on making science less about fiction and more about making it into reality.

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