A trio of talented filmmakers are taking fans back to the early 80’s in 1982: Greatest Geek Year Ever! as the documentary from Mark A. Altman (Pandora, Agent X), Roger Lay Jr. (Star Trek: The Roddenberry Vault), and Thomas P. Vitale (Slasher, Pandora) has started production. The movie has its sights set on a 2022 release—four decades after this groundbreaking year in cinemas — and there is currently a Kickstarter campaign for fans to help get it to the screen.
1982 brought audiences over a dozen titles that became either commercial, critical or cult hits, including Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Sir Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, the Academy Award-winning Tron, and the second Star Trek motion picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
But it’s not just genre films being celebrated in the documentary; the project also discusses the teen movie (represented by Fast Times at Ridgemont High), the action flick (like Rocky III), and the emergence of pictures with gay and transgender themes (such as The World According to Garp).
Viewers will get a complete idea of how this one year transformed movie-making in numerous ways, whether it’s creating hits or influencing creatives for decades to come. Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), who serves as commentator on the film as well as a producer, describes the project as “a time machine that takes viewers back to one of the greatest years of movies ever, as we examine the biggest blockbusters as well as the cult classics that made it so unforgettable.”
While many films and TV series have given loving retrospectives to important periods in entertainment history, this one is special because of its pedigree. Lay has plenty of experience in documenting iconic franchises; other credits include multiple Star Trek documentaries and the Twilight Zone anniversary special Twilight Zone 60th: Remembering Rod Serling. He is also a Saturn Award winner.
In addition to all the content he’s created in film, television and even comics, Altman has carved out a niche as the co-author of some of entertainment’s best behind-the-scenes books. With Edward Gross, he has written oral histories for Star Trek, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica and the James Bond franchise that have changed the way fans look at those iconic properties. Their latest, the Star Wars oral history Secrets of the Force, will be published in July and can be pre-ordered here.
Vitale is currently in charge of Vital Signs Entertainment, and a former Executive Vice President at SyFy and Chiller. While at the sci-fi and horror brands, he was involved in some of their biggest accomplishments, such as the arrival of the Stargate franchise on SyFy, the beloved show Farscape, and the network launching its cult hit Sharknado film series.
And Mantz is one of the most well-known faces in the film world as a critic, host and moderator, earning an Emmy nomination for his on-camera and producing work on Access Hollywood. A member of the Producers Guild of America and the Critics Choice Association, he has his finger on the pulse of the film world and is one of its biggest voices during awards season.
These four people know movies inside and out, from hands-on experience in a variety of different roles, and so they have an incredible amount of knowledge to bring to the table, on top of the commentary included by some of the folks who actually made the movies they’re revisiting. Most importantly, this creative team has a clear passion for the industry, and that’s what will most set this project apart. While geek and nerd culture has risen in prominence over the ensuing decades, sometimes it’s still treated like a niche or isn’t embraced enough, and this group of people is embracing it completely in this celebration of a year that made movies great.
Check out the art for 1982: Greatest Geek Year Ever! below and click the poster to contribute to the documentary now. The film’s Kickstarter is active until the end of June.
Fans can support 1982: Greatest Geek Year Ever! now on Kickstarter; the campaign runs through June 30. The movie is tentatively planned to release in 2022.
Article content is (c)2020-2022 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr, on Instagram at @BFTVGram.