Centauri: A sci-fi movie needs help to accomplish its mission

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Clondalkin Man Wesley Grogan

Two astronauts are sent into the cosmos to retrieve data after their satellites crash-land on a planet called Centauri where they encounter a tribal community of aliens, in a new sci-fi movie directed by a local filmmaker.

Clondalkin man Wesley Grogan, who is an alumnus of Deansrath Community College, is the filmmaker behind ‘Centauri’, for which 70% of the principal photography was done.

However, he is now appealing to corporations to sponsor the film so that it is complete – and Wesley will see his dream of creating a feature film come true.

Wesley, who previously directed the award-winning short ‘The Expanding Mind’, spoke to The Echo about the idea behind ‘Centauri’, what it was like to see his vision for the set come to life in a studio of Tallaght, and the difference the sponsorship will make to the cast and crew of the film.

What is the plot of ‘Centauri’?

“Centauri” follows the story of two European Space Agency astronauts sent on a daring mission to retrieve important information from their crashed satellite on Alpha Centauri, only to be encountered by a tribal race of time-strapped aliens.

Why did you decide to make a film set in space, and was making a film with this kind of setting something you always wanted to do?

I’ve always loved the science fiction genre. After the success of my short film ‘The Expanding Mind’, I really wanted to challenge myself because I had been considering making a film with this kind of setting for a while. Science fiction is not a very popular genre for cinema here in Ireland, so it was always going to be difficult, but even more so due to the pandemic. Luckily, my cast and crew are so talented and hardworking that my “Centauri” dream is coming true.

What was it like, in essence, to develop your own cosmo in the form of “Centauri”?

‘Centauri’ is unique – it is fact and fiction. Alpha Centauri’s planet is real. It’s a planet that today’s scientists, astrologers and engineers have wondered if Centauri could be another habitable Earth, a home away from home.

It was the seed that was planted in my head, the thought of “what if” watered that seed that it sprouted and the question of “well what if” became what it is now.

For me, the cosmos is synonymous with imagination and endless possibilities and to create the world we created for ‘Alpha Centauri’, we had to use our imaginations and think of several different paths that we could take with the project.

The film’s space scenes are shot in a purpose-built set at Black Abyss Studios in Tallaght. What did this set look like and what was your reaction?

It’s an interesting question. For months, my team and I worked on every track and every angle we could think of to make the scenes not only visually pleasing but also realistic.

However, that goes to my two cinematographers Aiden McCluskey and Andrew Browne.

They understood my vision and we found the right way to tell the story, so it’s visually pleasing but also educational for the audience.

Working within a budget proved difficult time and time again throughout this project, but my team and I overcame the hurdles.

We will have a fully functional cockpit for our shuttle scenes with controls and lighting systems.

You were in constant communication with the European Space Agency about the film, how did that help in the development of “Centauri”?

The European Space Agency has a public awareness program for satellite debris, which is part of the “Centauri” story.

The fact that the ESA shares its knowledge with me allowed me to give a more realistic tone to the film.

My main objective, once the project is finished, is to present it directly to the Agency.

Although they were a great help, they are in no way a direct affiliation with the project and my enthusiasm to show them the completed project is not a requirement but a personal goal for me.

You are currently appealing to companies to sponsor the film. What benefits does sponsoring ‘Centauri’ bring to you, as a filmmaker, and also to businesses?

The benefits for myself, my actors and my crew are simple: the bigger the budget, the bigger and bolder our imaginations can be.

What we offer companies that donate are full credits in the credits section of the film as well as any form of sponsorship that we can do for them as well, such as product placement.

Any donations a company would like to make would go through the film’s GoFundMe public campaign which is currently active.

Not only will they receive credits – if a company donates, we’ll also display the company logo next to promotional marketing materials with the film, depending on their donation level.

The GoFundMe for ‘Centauri’ is available at www.gofundme.com/f/2agprfaceo, and the film’s IMDb page is available at www.tinyurl.com/centaurifilm.

For more information on corporate sponsorship contact Wesley Grogan via email at wesleygrogran12@gmail.com

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