Orbs: They Are Among Us


In 2008 I began writing “The Orbs,” which would become “Orbs: They Are Among Us.” I was ready to make another feature length film. I had learned from many years of making mistakes and was ready to prove to the world that I have learned from them.


I worked on the screenplay on and off for about three years. I wanted to really keep the film within my absolute limitations. I felt that keeping the cast down to just four people and having minimal locations was key. I also had a strong desire to make what I called “an actor’s movie,” meaning a piece strong in dialog and character development. I was highly influenced by “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” I often describe the finished movie as Virginia Woolf meets The Twilight Zone.


Casting took me no time at all, and quite soon I had Christy Johnson, Patrick G. Keenan, and David Joy. Warren Ray joined the cast later and quite frankly helped me make the film a much better piece. I knew that the bulk of the production would be Christy and Patrick as a bickering couple living in a small home in the middle of nowhere. David, I knew that I would be shooting at one small location for the debriefing scene.


Production went smoothly. I shot the debriefing scene first with David Joy in the basement of a club I knew in Greensboro over about 4 hours. The following five days were spent deep in the mountains of Western North Carolina shooting the scenes with Christy and Patrick. Crew consisted of me directing and running sound on occasion, Jason Ledford doing all of the cinematography and lighting, and Mitchell Metz running sound. We shot on the Canon 5D, which served us very well. All of the shooting went smoothly with the exception of a weed eater that kept interrupting a key scene near the end of the movie. It was a wonderful, easy production.


At first the pilots in flight were just going to be voices, but after speaking with Warren Ray (an actor friend of mine) I decided to shoot coverage of the astronauts in front of a green screen and I cast him as the second astronaut. Warren directed his part of the scene himself and sent me some impressive footage. I, in turn, shot Dave in front of a green screen. The space flight footage went from just a porthole view and voices to great composite shots of the men themselves. It worked really well.


It was the first film that I was able to get some 3D CGI effects for the orbs, the launch of the rocket and the capsule’s flight to the moon. 8 Bit Hero did a wonderful job with this work. I had some help from Joh Harp Effects as well with the alien costume.


I spent a few years editing the movie and had my first screening at ConCarolinas out of Charlotte, NC which went over very well. It has since gone on to win seven awards in the festival circuit. I owe my Producer Jaysen Buterin many thanks for showing me the ways of the festival circuit.


“Orbs: They Are Among Us,” is the second feature film that I have finished. Along with”F-3” it found distribution through Worldwide Multimedia and now is available on DVD and VOD. Thanks to my other Producer Matt Cloude for landing this distribution deal!




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About filmmakerjk

JK :: Films is a full service video production company specializing in commercials, music videos, documentaries, events, short/feature length films and more. Jesse Knight has been an active filmmaker since 1995 when he made his first film at the North Carolina School of the Arts during its Filmmaking Summer Immersion Program. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Broadcasting and Cinema Masters Program he continued to make films while teaching at the College level. In 2009 he began Jesse Knight Films and has been servicing production needs of Western North Carolina and the surrounding area. Through the journey of life I have been creating worlds within my imagination. My outlets have been painting, drawing, writing, sculpture, photography, etc... Filmmaking is the culmination of many crafts, which intrigued me and has convinced me that it is the ultimate art-form and the best vehicle for bringing visions to life. I picked up a camera a long time ago and haven't put it down since.
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