Alien abduction has been the source of wild speculation, ridicule, and disbelief since Betty and Barney Hill first claimed to have encountered extraterrestrials in the 1950’s. With the abduction of Travis Walton (Fire in the Sky) and other notable instances of aliens taking human beings against their will to study, it’s not hard to believe that this has become an underappreciated source of material in the horror community. Whether you’re watching a movie based on actual reports of these close encounters or watching a work of fiction inspired by the concept, it’s safe to say that the idea of something beyond human understanding kidnapping and experimenting on a living person is terrifying to say the least. Beyond the Sky explores the concept of alien abduction and the culture that has grown up around the phenomena in ways that will make almost anyone stop and take notice.
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Jordan Hinson (Eureka, Living Among Us) about her role in Beyond the Sky and her thoughts on alien abduction.
Dan - You play Emily Reed in Beyond the Sky. What can you tell us about the character?
Jordan - She’s a very strong female who unfortunately has been experiencing something traumatic since she was younger. Something people don’t readily believe or understand. She was going through something traumatic that you can’t explain to the everyday person. It’s a quiet strength that I loved about her.
Dan - How did you prepare yourself for the role of an alien abductee?
Jordan - Tried to be as open minded as possible. It’s easy to be closed off and think that people are crazy. We went to an actual alien abduction convention in New Mexico and got to speak with people who have been abducted and have experienced this.
Dan - So was it a real convention you filmed or one that was staged?
Jordan - Oh yeah. It was legit.
Dan - And Travis Walton (Fire in the Sky) makes an appearance in the end of the film as a clip from the documentary at the UFO Convention. Did he provide any insights into the UFO and alien abduction phenomena?
Jordan - He was in direct contact with the filmmakers and our director. He’s a very nice guy. I met him briefly. I think they tried to take as many aspects as they could from his experiences.
Dan - Survivors of abduction often have issues paralleling survivors of abuse. How does Beyond the Sky expound upon that connection?
Jordan - Do you feel beyond the sky explores this and has a meaningful connection to this?
It has a lot to do with people ignoring the series things happening to other people. It deals with the empathy and listening to these people about the things they have gone through. A lot of people’s stories when they come out of it have issues with that false memory syndrome. It can be so hard to sift through what’s real and what’s not coming out of abuse or trauma.
Dan - So tell me about the special effects and green screen experience.
Jordan - It was crazy how small the shooting space was compared to what came out on film. The special effects are pretty damn good, especially for an indie film. It was such a small space and I’m impressed by the big world they created around that.
Dan - And you also worked with Dee Wallace in Beyond the Sky as well?
Jordan - Yes. She is such a sweet woman. She’s been in this sci-fi world for a while.
Dan - You’re no stranger to sci-fi either. Do you find genre work like Beyond the Sky or Eureka to be more challenging that say roles in comedies or dramas?
Jordan - I always love doing comedy, I feel like I really hit my stride, but sci-fi is so fun and so challenging. Putting yourself outside the realm of this everyday world. It goes from doing green screen work and interacting with things that aren’t there to dealing with things that are otherworldly and outside of the normal experience.
Dan - What’s next for you?
Jordan - I just wrote and produced by first film that’s getting distributed. I’m staying with writing more and I’d love to do some directing and behind the camera stuff. I just want to experience every aspect of it.
Dan - So, finally, the big question for the star of an alien abduction film like Beyond the Sky: do you believe in aliens and alien abduction?
Jordan - Yes. I’m a believer.
Beyond the Sky is available on video on demand and streaming services now. It’s an incredible film; suspenseful, thought provoking, and intense with elements of humor, intrigue and more than a little terror. It’s an amazingly well shot, well written, and wonderfully portrayed story and whether you’re a true believer or a skeptic, you’ll enjoy what you see.