Trailer released for sci-fi movie filmed in Orange

  • A spaceship landing scene is filmed in July for the sci-fi movie “First Signal” at Orange Municipal Airport. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Actors, from left, Conor Timmis, Chris Goodwin and Patience McStravick — playing characters Cedric Yonah, James Griffin and Maj. Ellen Sampson, respectively — stand stoically during a shot for the sci-fi movie “First Signal” during filming in Orange in July. Staff Photo/David McLellan

Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2020 9:12:41 PM

ORANGE — That shadow creeping over Orange Municipal Airport might just be an alien spaceship.

The official trailer for the upcoming science fiction movie “First Signal” has been released, giving potential audiences a glimpse at the sci-fi conspiracy thriller filmed in Orange and New Hampshire last year.

There is no set release date for “First Signal” yet, but writer and director Mark Lund said the film will be out this year, likely in the spring.

In Orange, “First Signal” was filmed at Orange Municipal Airport in July. The airport was the movie’s secondary filming location, and was the set of a field outside Brussels, Belgium.

According to Lund, the Orange location was chosen due to its “scope,” and the set was used for a dramatic spaceship landing.

In the trailer, a bird’s-eye view of the airport shows a massive shadow looming over its fields. Something is casting that shadow, lurking unseen and high above the airport, as ominous music plays.

In another shot in Orange, the alien character Cedric Yonah (played by Conor Timmis) hands a black suitcase to U.S. Air Force Maj. Ellen Sampson (played by Patience McStravick), which she begins to open.

“Ever since I was a kid and saw the later Apollo missions on TV, I’ve always been fascinated by space exploration and the science fiction shows of the era,” Lund said. “My goal with the ‘First Signal universe’ is to create a unique fictional story that merges science fiction with major historical events, the government and military against the backdrop of the space program.”

“First Signal” takes place in Brussels in 2014. When U.S. Air Force Space Command receives a signal from an alien satellite orbiting Earth, an emergency meeting with the U.S. president is called. It is later revealed that the government already knows about the aliens, and has been hiding that information from the military.

According to Lund, the film should appeal to both regular science fiction lovers and fans of other film genres.

“In as much as ‘First Signal’ is a character-driven science fiction story, it’s also a contemporary political thriller that takes place at the G-7 summit in Brussels in 2014,” Lund said.

Principal photography for “First Signal” took place at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, N.H., where crews began filming a variety of scenes last May, including government meetings, a scene in a bunker and another at a space observatory.

Lund plans for the film to be the beginning of a science fiction franchise, and he has written a novella, “First World: Covenant” connecting the events of “First Signal” with the second planned film, “First Launch.”

“First Signal” is Lund’s second feature film, having previously written and directed the science fiction film “Justice is Mind,” which is about MRIs in the future that can read patients’ long-term memories. That film had a limited theatrical release in Massachusetts in 2013. Lund said he has had interest from independent film distributors at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif., in November.

Lund has worked in entertainment for several decades, as a screenwriter, producer and actor, and played a Nazi officer in 2018’s “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot,” which was filmed in Montague.

The “First Signal” trailer is viewable at firstsignalmovie.com.

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.


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