The Story Behind The Movie
Director Matty Beckerman and Writer Rob Lewis on location scout to "the road to nowhere" in Bryson City, NC 6/13/11
Rob Lewis and I grew up in the same neighborhood down the street from each other, best friends, building tree forts, watching Star Wars, writing our
own science fiction, building universes and creating stories. I never would have guessed that when we were teenagers, I was getting ready for college
while Rob was being put in New Jersey’s roughest correctional institutions. He went in at 18 and came out at 28. As kids we were brothers, at my
house everyday, me at his house, we would build forts in the woods and get in fights with other kids who would wreck our forts. We watched Braveheart
a few too many times and thought we were warriors. We were both always in trouble - tested off the charts but we were both so bored in school it was
like torture. Our mothers met each other at a support group for kids with disciplinary problems. We were little animals. They called it ADD -
attention deficit disorder. Wrong, we were just little assholes who liked causing problems.
From the moment Rob was sentenced our lives took divergent paths. Arguably, Rob was a genius, he will tell you that all day long. More accurate would
be to call him an evil genius, a brilliant writer, artist, and had he not been locked up would have gone to a great college and I might not be telling
you this story, but when he went into the correctional system it changed him.
To survive a white kid in some of New Jersey’s toughest prisons, he grew into an animal. I would visit him and he would be covered black and blue
having been in a prison fight, meanwhile I was in my freshman year of college at Tulane in New Orleans in classes like Probability and Statistics and
History of Pre-Communist Russia. He was learning about prison tattoos and fighting gang members. On the inside he gained a reputation for fighting and
he loved it. He was thriving in it and it was sick.
My life was just starting and his was heading down hill. After serving several years Rob’s original sentence allowed him to get out on parole, but
the system had changed him. He was still the same kid I grew up with and he still had dreams of writing but it was tainted by a darkness that consumed
him. His prison journals were delusional and his mind was broken. He didn’t last long on the outside and was arrested again. It became a pattern,
he would get out and get in a fight and go right back to prison. His mind had broken and he ended up in the psyche ward surrounded by the criminally
insane, and he was their leader.
Rob (left) and another friend (Scott) visiting me in New Orleans while I was at Tulane, out on Parole in 1997.
Robs Prison Journal January 25, 2005.
I moved to Florida with my future wife, Cathy. Cathy and I had an amazing relationship. I found my soul mate. Yeah, people use that term a little
loosely, but in our case we are two flames on the same candle.
All that time Rob was still in prison and 10 years had passed. Then one day I get a phone call from Rob’s mom. They were letting him out. I was
thrilled and nervous at the same time. He was still my best friend, but his anger was so overwhelming to be around. His energy sucked the life out of
every room he walked into. He was a time bomb waiting to explode.
He came down to Miami to visit me and stayed with Cathy and I in our tiny 1 bedroom apartment. Rob and I hadn’t been together in so long it was
amazing. He seemed to be on a different path, he wanted to change. He didn’t want to go back. We discussed how to turn his life around, how to
remove the demons that were plaguing him. We would get black out drunk together and those little kid dreams would come back. Writing stories, comic
books, making movies. It seemed like dreams that were so far away, like we would never be able to achieve it. We got so drunk on the beach and cried
hugging each other we were so happy. Poor Cathy would have to pick our drunk asses up when we would eventually pass out.
Rob started putting his life back together. He got a job, he stopped drinking, and eventually was able to save up enough money to buy a small house.
He was doing better than I was at the time. He was calm, serene, peaceful, and happy. He had truly turned his life around. Cathy and I moved to
California to start pursuing the dream of making movies. Years passed and Rob was doing amazing.
Then one day I hadn’t heard from Rob for a week, which wasn’t too strange, another week went by and I was getting concerned. Then his cell phone
was cut off. I called his mother and sure enough Rob was back in jail.
He spent 3 months in prison. I flew down to Florida and hired the best criminal defense attorney I could afford and they released him.
He got out and we made a plan. I asked him to move to California with me so we could pursue the dream together. Over the next year we worked our
asses off, we fought like brothers disagreed on everything but came out the other end with a script.
We wrote ALIEN ABDCUTION!!!!!!!!
We made the movie!!!!!!!!
Rob is not back in jail… yet. Although now that I think about it, it’s been a couple weeks and I have not heard from him, hopefully he was just
ABDUCTED this time.