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Liv Tyler, Matt Bomer, Patrick Wilson and Marisa Coughlan have just wrapped production on Space Station 76, a sci-fi dramatic comedy. Jack Plotnick wrote and directed the movie, which shot in Los Angeles under the radar.
Described as being set in a 1970s version of the future, the film centers on the goings-on in a space station. Tyler plays a new assistant captain whose arrival causes tension amongst the crew while Wilson is the bitter and suicidal captain. Bomer is a technician with a robotic hand who is married to a manipulative woman (Coughlan).
Also in the cast are Jerry O’Connell, Kali Rocha and newcomer Kylie Rogers.
Plotnick is an actor who has quietly made a name for himself as a playwright and as an acting coach. The script originated as a play he and some other actors co-wrote. He was trying to use the space station as a metaphor for his life growing up in 1970s suburbia.
“People think that the 1970s were about the discos and the free love, but in the suburbs you were left feeling, ‘Where’s the party?’ ” he tells THR. “So the emotional story is what I felt in the ’70s. My parents weren’t happy together and they stuck it out for the kids. It’s an homage to them. And in one way, I think we’re like these solitary ships in space trying to connect.”
To make his debut, Plotnick leaned on his acting relationships. He sent the script to Wilson via a mutual friend; Wilson’s subsequent boarding gave the project legitimacy. Tyler came into the picture via Plotnick’s acting website; he knew the actress had downloaded his tutorial videos and purchased books and was keen to work with him.
Now with a 20-day shoot behind him, Plotnick is staring at a daunting post-production process to add visual and sound effects.
He laughs at the thought that making a space-set story was perhaps a little crazy and overly ambitious for a directorial debut that is more emotional than plot-driven.
“I asked myself several times, ‘Why didn’t I make a movie that took place in an apartment?’ But then I pinch myself that we got the cast that we got,” he says.
Rival Pictures’ Ed Parks and Rachel Ward produced the indie along with Dan Burks from Om Films in addition to Joel Michaely and Katherine Ann McGregor.
Executive producers are Niraj Bhatia, Frank Mele and Plotnick.
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