Hold onto your shoulder pads and laser blasters, folks! We’re about to take a trip into arguably the greatest pop-culture decade of all time! (And I should know since I’ll be doing the arguing!) Yes, it’s time to get groovy in the 1980s, a decade that has seen a gigantic resurgence in popularity thanks to modern throwbacks like Netflix’s hit sci-fi series Stranger Things. But what is it about the 80s, and specifically that decade’s science-fiction offerings, that we love so much? Well, a new documentary is going to try and find out!
From the same folks who gave us the brilliant horror-focused doc In Search of Darkness back in 2018, In Search of Tomorrow is an upcoming documentary currently being funded on Kickstarter. Billed as “the most comprehensive retrospective of the ’80s sci-fi movie genre ever made”, it will offer viewers a “chance to immerse yourself in the world and mythos of ’80s science fiction”. Planned at four-hours-plus, this doc will feature insights, anecdotes, and interviews with the actors, directors, writers, SFX experts, and composers of some of the era’s greatest productions.
Here are the creators describing just why they’re making this documentary:
We still remember the magic of seeing these films for the first time, and we’ve been trying to recapture that feeling ever since. Vader’s redemption, Ripley’s duel with the Alien Queen, Roy Batty’s “Tears in Rain”, and many more. Moments that surprised us. Moments that moved us. Moments that left a lasting impact on our subconscious. Years later, we’re still trying to recapture these transformative experiences.
We are making this documentary to celebrate, explore, and recontextualise these films and the influence they’ve had both on ourselves and our culture. We want to go beyond the movies, to the science, technology, and art they’ve inspired. This documentary will be a time capsule, capturing unheard stories and perspectives not just for us, but for future generations.
As somebody who grew up with many of these films, I can’t wait to watch this documentary. And we’ve got our first glimpse now as the debut trailer and artwork for In Search of Tomorrow have been released – so get ready for a blast of nostalgic awesomeness and hit play below.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of what the doc will be comprised of:
- Heroes and Heroines: Hear from the actors, writers, directors, and producers who brought Sci-Fi icons such as Rick Deckard, Ellen Ripley, and the Terminator to your movie screen.
- SFX Breakdowns: Learn how your favorite robot, creature, and spaceship effects were created. We’ll be interviewing the artists who designed and operated the models, puppets, and animatronics that brought some of your favorite creatures and characters to life.
- Production Design & Worldbuilding: Learn about the creation of the costumes, weapons, and post-apocalyptic landscapes that set the scene for our favorite stories.
- Socio/Political Context: How ‘80s Sci-Fi reflected the socio-political context in which it was made: Tech advances, Reaganomics, Live AID, big business, and the AIDS crisis.
- Genre Mixing: Exploring how other genres – fantasy, action, horror, and comedy – are very much intertwined with the Sci-Fi genre. Where does one begin and the other end?
- Legacy: Discuss the importance of ‘80s Sci-Fi genre in a modern-day context. Why is ‘80s Sci-Fi still so relevant today?
The production has already been going for a year now, with the likes of Paul Verhoeven (director of Robocop), Joe Dante (director of Gremlins, Innerspace), John Carpenter (director of The Thing), Nicholas Meyer (director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Sean Young (Rachael in Blade Runner, Chani in Dune), Henry Thomas (Elliott in E.T.), Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon in Flash Gordon), Lance Guest (Alex in The Last Starfighter), Clancy Brown (Kurgan in Highlander), Alex Winter (Bill in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and up to 50 more already attached!
You can check out all those details, how to get involved as a backer for the production, the amazing rewards for backers, and also the various community-driven events being planned for when it releases, on the official Kickstarter page. I’m definitely signing up for this one!
Last Updated: May 13, 2020