Local Filmmaker and former South King Media Intern Bryan Shickley’s new animated television pilot, “Fred Crisman: Cave of the Space Nazis!” has been awarded Best Comedy at the 2022 Gen Con Film Festival.
As we previously reported, Shickley’s film debuted last week at the Gen Con Film Festival, in conjunction with Gen Con Indy, North America’s largest and longest-running gaming convention.
“You always hope you’ll premiere your work and, well, the audience will embrace it. Or at least they won’t hate it,” said Shickley. “I love the utter outrageousness that is Fred Lee Crisman, and no matter how you feel about his claims, you just can’t come away from spending time with Crisman without forming strong feelings about him. Winning Best Comedy – it just makes me smile. I’ve been able to meet and work with Crisman’s son and grandson, and I know they are cheering about this!”
Shickley’s big learning from Gen Con?
“I’m from Normandy Park,” Shickley said. “I was confident that local paranormal and history buffs would have know something about Fred Crisman’s unbelievable adventures – but I didn’t really know how our local history would translate to the world. But Gen Con – in Indianapolis – was just as enthusiastic!”
Shickley’s innovative, animated acceptance speech may become legend on the festival circuit:
Shickley’s Crisman film is an animated, science-fiction and comedy odyssey, inspired by the true and epic stories of iconic Tacoma resident Fred Lee Crisman. In the course of seeking to protect our freedoms, Fred Crisman became a frequent flyer in the science fiction pulp magazine industry during the 1940s and 1950s. He claimed involvement in UFO sightings (including The Maury Island Incident), alien encounters and combat during WW II, and conspiracy theories reaching across decades, to and beyond the grassy knoll where he was rumored to be when JFK was assassinated(!). “Fred Crisman: Cave of the Space Nazis!” features the incredible voice talents of Northwest legend Pat Cashman (Almost Live!) in the title role. Local filmmakers Scott Schaefer and Steve Edmiston, collaborators on The Maury Island Incident, serve on the project as producers.
“I can confidently say it’s the second best story ever told,” Cashman said in his distinctive voice. “A man as interesting – and as complex – as Fred Crisman is a real privilege to portray.”
Here’s a trailer:
“I thought for sure local paranormal buffs would have heard about Fred Crisman’s unbelievable adventures, but to my surprise Gen Con was just as enthusiastic,” Shickley added. “In fact, the notorious ’Deros’ that Crisman encountered in his letters ended up as an actual species within Dungeons and Dragons! Isn’t that just bizarre, and a testament to the creativity (or accuracy) of Fred L. Crisman?”
“While Bryan’s film is crafted as a television pilot for an amazing historically-based, comedic science fiction series, it certainly stands alone as a short,” Schaefer said. “With the film’s homage to historical intrigue, conspiracy, and cover-ups, it’s all part of the fun. We plan to have more fun on the festival circuit, but then it’s down to work – Bryan is already underway with a full season of episodes.”
Here are some scenes from upcoming episodes:
For more info on Shickley and this project: