1. Who wrote the script?
    • There was no script! The whole movie is “scripted improv”, which means that we gave the actors a rough idea of who their character was, some basic talking points, and the rest was just improvised on-the-fly! Occasionally (as you can see from Gene’s outtakes at the end) we’d give them something more specific to say, and then the actor would say it in their character’s voice. The original concept was Marcus’, he and Dan collaborated with the actors to create the basic story-line. And as you saw, the actors’ improvisational skills were just amazing!
  2. Who are the actors?
    • Most of them are scientists, engineers or teachers! They were the people who would be best equipped to come up with wild theories on how things could have been faked (and to also realize the improbability of their own theories). Some had never acted before, but because everything was improvised, you can’t tell (because they didn’t have to memorize any lines, they just made it up along the way). And we had a couple of professional actor/improvisors, too (check out the credits on IMDB for details).
  3. How long did it take to make?
    • The majority of shooting was accomplished in only two days across seven Pittsburgh locations in 2011 (and the additional narrator footage was shot in a couple of hours in 2019). Altogether, there is about 3 hours of raw footage that we cut down to 35 minutes. Almost all of the scenes were done in a single quick take (look at the clock in Peter’s shots: it only moves about 15 minutes), but editing the audio and video took over 60 hours.
  4. What was your budget?
    • Pretty close to nothing. Marcus spent $30 on gas, Dan spent $300 on Final Cut Pro and bought a WordPress site, and the actors were all friends of Dan’s and worked for the fun of it. You can make a decent movie for next to nothing.
  5. Why did you make it?
    • Well, the easy answer is “because it was fun”. But another big reason was to get people to keep talking about the moon landing. And by creating this mockumentary, we also wanted to honor the incredibly brave astronauts who flew to and walked on the moon).

      So if you believe we have been to the moon already, it’s time to go back. And if you believe that we faked it in 1969, well, it’s high time to do it for real! Either way, we need to go to the moon, and then to Mars, and then… who knows? Because we only have one planet right now, and whether or not you believe in man-made climate change, the climate on Earth is undeniably changing, and humanity really ought to have some options! NASA recently announced that we’ll be back on the moon by 2024, and we completely support this!
  6. Aren’t you worried that conspiracy theorists will use this film as “proof” that we faked the landing?
    • People are going to believe what they believe, and you can’t change anyone’s mind for them – they need to change their own minds.  We know that we landed on the moon (because at the very least, it would have been harder to fake it than to actually do it). By getting people to think about the space program (by using humor as a universal language), we hope that they’ll start thinking about how audacious JFK was in proposing a moon landing before the decade was out, and how amazing the engineers, scientists, and astronauts were in actually accomplishing that goal!
  7. What’s next? Do you have any new films in progress?
    • We don’t have anything in progress (although there is this real-life documentary on Erdös Bacon Sabbath numbers that I did in March 2020), but if you have any ideas you’d like to work on with us, let me know at daniel.v.klein@gmail.com, and put “IDEA” in the subject line.
  8. I’m with NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS, etc., how do we get you on one of our shows?

The Untold Story of Operation Paper Moon

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