Lauren Oliver is making a 30 minute film with a story about a fictional seventh Mercury mission. He has assembled a first rate crew and cast for it and has a Kickstarter campaign is underway to complete the funding of the film.

Project Mercury Reborn

Like space? T-minus is a space movie set during NASA’s golden age. It’s 1963 at the culmination of Project Mercury. One (fictional) astronaut has to make an extraordinary choice. Life, nature, and NASA itself will align against him: but in the end, he will succeed.

The era is to be painstakingly recreated through practical special effects and physical sets. Most of this will take place in an 8,000 sq. ft. “garage” not far from where director L.M. Oliver grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“The movie is my entire life,” he says. “The sum of my passions—storytelling, space, traditional special effects. And the struggle to accomplish something despite distractions and intrusions of reality. To turn the corner sometimes you have to make decisions that endanger your immediate survival. So it’s a film about courage and making your own reality and the perils of trying to join the very small club of dreamers who also do. And we have a ’63 Sting Ray,” he grins. “It’s insane.”

To make the movie feel like an artifact of its time, it will be shot on 35mm film with absolutely no CGI or green screen. Veterans of practical, in-camera techniques–Bob Keen (Return of the Jedi) and Jim Belohovek (Buckaroo Banzai)–are overseeing the special effects. One key sequence will utilize a rare “Oxberry” animation stand, specially restored for this film.

Production designer Kiel Bryant:

“I’m privileged to help bring this world to life. It’s a thrilling challenge and I hope people leave the theater full of inspiration, wanting to be an astronaut.”

T-minus will star Cameron Anderson (The Bank Job) as astronaut Benjamin Fletcher, Stella Stocker (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) as his wife Victoria, and Tom Virtue (Iron Man 3) as Flight.

Set to shoot this September, T-minus is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to complete its funding. For more information, visit kickstarter.com/projects/46676601/t-minus or find T-minus on Facebook at facebook.com/tminusthemovie.

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See also this detailed account of the design and 3D printing of a high fidelity model of the Mercury capsule and escape tower for the movie: Bits to Atoms: Building a Mercury Capsule Miniature – Tested.

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