Fire in the Sky (1993)

PG-13 | 111 mins | Drama, Science fiction | 12 March 1993

Director:

Robert Lieberman

Writer:

Tracy Tormé

Producers:

Joe Wizan, Todd Black

Cinematographer:

Bill Pope

Editor:

Steve Mirkovich

Production Designer:

Laurence Bennett
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HISTORY

According to the 23 Mar 1992 DV, Tracy Tormé and Robert Strauss had purchased film rights to Travis Walton’s 1978 novel, The Walton Experience, which Tormé adapted into a screenplay and later sold to Paramount Pictures. Production notes in AMPAS library files report that Joe Wizan of Wizan-Black Films had signed on to produce the picture before Paramount became attached to the project.
       Principal photography began in Aug 1992, in Douglas County, OR, according to production notes. A mountain clearing atop Boomer Hill was used for night shooting, and also as a training ground where professional loggers trained cast members to cut trees as tall as 200 feet with chainsaws. Oakland, OR, was also listed as a location in the film. The 3 Sep 1992 DV announced that Roseburg, OR, would serve as the principal location.
       The 11 Sep 1992 DV reported a $15 million budget, and noted that the project was in development for six years before it began.
       The film begins with the following quotation: “’Chance makes a plaything of a man’s life.’ – Seneca (First Century A.D.),” as well as the statement: "Based on a True Story." The film ends with the epilogue: "Mike and Katie Rogers divorced in 1976. Mike worked in carpentry, construction and house painting before accepting a job in 1992 to once again cut trees on the Mogollon Rim. Travis and Dana Walton live with their four children in Snowflake, Arizona where Travis is a foreman at a local mill." Also, "In February of 1993, Cyrus Gilson re-administered a polygraph examination to Travis Walton, ... More Less

According to the 23 Mar 1992 DV, Tracy Tormé and Robert Strauss had purchased film rights to Travis Walton’s 1978 novel, The Walton Experience, which Tormé adapted into a screenplay and later sold to Paramount Pictures. Production notes in AMPAS library files report that Joe Wizan of Wizan-Black Films had signed on to produce the picture before Paramount became attached to the project.
       Principal photography began in Aug 1992, in Douglas County, OR, according to production notes. A mountain clearing atop Boomer Hill was used for night shooting, and also as a training ground where professional loggers trained cast members to cut trees as tall as 200 feet with chainsaws. Oakland, OR, was also listed as a location in the film. The 3 Sep 1992 DV announced that Roseburg, OR, would serve as the principal location.
       The 11 Sep 1992 DV reported a $15 million budget, and noted that the project was in development for six years before it began.
       The film begins with the following quotation: “’Chance makes a plaything of a man’s life.’ – Seneca (First Century A.D.),” as well as the statement: "Based on a True Story." The film ends with the epilogue: "Mike and Katie Rogers divorced in 1976. Mike worked in carpentry, construction and house painting before accepting a job in 1992 to once again cut trees on the Mogollon Rim. Travis and Dana Walton live with their four children in Snowflake, Arizona where Travis is a foreman at a local mill." Also, "In February of 1993, Cyrus Gilson re-administered a polygraph examination to Travis Walton, Mike Rogers, and Allan Dallis, whose earlier test proved inconclusive…This time, they all passed." End credits acknowledge: “The Producers Wish to Thank: The U.S. Forest Service - Umpqua National Forest, Southern Pacific Lines, V.A. Medical Center – Roseburg, Ore., Bureau of Land Management – Roseburg District, Douglas County Public Works, Oregon Department of Transportation, Douglas Forest Protective Association, Oakland Historical Preservation Commission, Roseburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Oregon Film and Video Office, and The Cities of Roseburg and Oakland, Ore.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
23 Mar 1992.
---
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1993
p. 4, 51.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1993
p. 10, 23.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Mar 1993
p. 4.
New York Times
13 Mar 1993
p. 16.
Variety
15 Mar 1993
p. 63.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures Presents
A Joe Wizan/Todd Black Production
A Robert Lieberman Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst photog
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
2d asst photog
1st company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging lighting tech
Elec
Elec
Elec
Video asst
Video playback
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Addl film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead person
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Prop person
Prop person
Prop person
Const coord
Const foreperson
Popmaker foreperson
Propmaker
Propmaker
Propmaker
Paint foreperson
Prod painter
Painter
Greensperson
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus orch and conducted by
Addl orch by
Addl orch by
Orch contractor
Mus preparation
Mus rec and mixed by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable person
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Supv ADR ed
Supv Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR mixer
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Puppeteer
Puppeteer
Puppeteer
Puppeteer
Puppeteer
Puppeteer
Spec eff coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
Alien seq des/Visual eff supv
Alien seq and spec visual eff by
a division of LucasArts Entertainment Company, Marin County, California
Prod, ILM
Art dir, ILM
Puppeteering/Creature supv, ILM
Stage mgr, ILM
Key spec eff, ILM
Cam op, ILM
Set dec supv, ILM
Const supv, ILM
Visual eff art dir, ILM
Chief lighting tech, ILM
1st company grip, ILM
Opt/Digital supv, ILM
Computer graphics supv, ILM
Visual eff ed, ILM
Scanning supv, ILM
Exec in charge of prod, ILM
Gen mgr, ILM
Cam asst, ILM
Cam asst, ILM
Puppeteer/Creature tech, ILM
Puppeteer/Creature tech, ILM
Puppeteer/Creature tech, ILM
Spec eff foreperson, ILM
Spec eff foreperson, ILM
Asst chief lighting tech, ILM
2d company grip, ILM
Chief set dec, ILM
Chief set dec, ILM
Creature tech, ILM
Creature tech, ILM
Creature tech, ILM
Creature tech, ILM
Digital artist, ILM
Visual eff coord, ILM
Talent coord, ILM
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Addl makeup
Mr. Garner's makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Voice casting
Asst prod coord
Prod secy
Accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Post prod accountant
Unit pub
Local casting
Extras casting
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Picture car capt
Asst to Mr. Wizan
Asst to Mr. Lieberman
Asst to Mr. Garner
Asst to Mr. Sweeney
Asst to Mr. Tormé
Loc consultant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Craft services
Caterer
First aid
Projectionist
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based upon the book The Walton Experience by Travis Walton (New York, 1978).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Wasted Days And Wasted Nights," by Huey D. Meaux, performed by Freddy Fender, courtesy of MCA Records
"Blinded By Love," by Allen Toussaint, performed by Johnny Winter, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Black Water," by Patrick Simmons, performed by The Doobie Brothers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Wasted Days And Wasted Nights," by Huey D. Meaux, performed by Freddy Fender, courtesy of MCA Records
"Blinded By Love," by Allen Toussaint, performed by Johnny Winter, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Black Water," by Patrick Simmons, performed by The Doobie Brothers, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"A Message Of Murder," by Franz Waxman
"Guest Of Honor," by Lane Caudell & Roger Brown, performed by Danea Mitchell
"Sons And Daughters (Reprise)," by Art Neville, Malcolm Burn, Lorraine Neville, Arthel Neville & Ian Neville, performed by The Neville Brothers, courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 March 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 March 1993
Production Date:
began in August 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
21 April 1993
Copyright Number:
PA610721
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® Cameras & Lenses
Duration(in mins):
111
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32261
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1975, in the White Mountains of Snowflake, Arizona, logger Mike Rogers speeds through the night in his pickup truck. With him are crew members Allan Dallis, Greg Hayes, David Whitlock, and Bobby Cogdill. The men arrive at their regular bar looking dazed, and Mike orders the others to stick to their story. The men extend their support as Mike telephones police to report that fellow crew member, Travis Walton, has gone missing. Longtime neighbor, Sheriff Blake Davis, arrives to investigate, and is joined by out-of-towner, Lieutenant Frank Watters. Before Watters interviews the men, Sheriff Davis attests that local crew leader Mike Rogers is a “stand-up guy.” Mike tells Watters the events of the day, starting that morning when his best friend, Travis Walton, came to his house before work. Travis tells Mike his dream of their opening a motorcycle shop together called “MT Motors.” Travis then climbs the roof of Mike’s house to wake up his girl friend, Mike’s younger sister, Dana Rogers, who lives with Mike, his wife, Katie, and their children. Before leaving, Travis tells Dana they should get married. Afterward, Mike drives Travis and the four other crew members to their national forest worksite, and advises Travis that he is not ready for marriage. Frank Watters interrupts Mike’s story to ask about the night’s events, and Allan Dalis says he was the first to spot what looked like a fire in the distance. As they drive toward the red sky, the radio fails. They come upon a large glowing orb in the sky, and Mike stops the truck. Wanting a ... +


In 1975, in the White Mountains of Snowflake, Arizona, logger Mike Rogers speeds through the night in his pickup truck. With him are crew members Allan Dallis, Greg Hayes, David Whitlock, and Bobby Cogdill. The men arrive at their regular bar looking dazed, and Mike orders the others to stick to their story. The men extend their support as Mike telephones police to report that fellow crew member, Travis Walton, has gone missing. Longtime neighbor, Sheriff Blake Davis, arrives to investigate, and is joined by out-of-towner, Lieutenant Frank Watters. Before Watters interviews the men, Sheriff Davis attests that local crew leader Mike Rogers is a “stand-up guy.” Mike tells Watters the events of the day, starting that morning when his best friend, Travis Walton, came to his house before work. Travis tells Mike his dream of their opening a motorcycle shop together called “MT Motors.” Travis then climbs the roof of Mike’s house to wake up his girl friend, Mike’s younger sister, Dana Rogers, who lives with Mike, his wife, Katie, and their children. Before leaving, Travis tells Dana they should get married. Afterward, Mike drives Travis and the four other crew members to their national forest worksite, and advises Travis that he is not ready for marriage. Frank Watters interrupts Mike’s story to ask about the night’s events, and Allan Dalis says he was the first to spot what looked like a fire in the distance. As they drive toward the red sky, the radio fails. They come upon a large glowing orb in the sky, and Mike stops the truck. Wanting a closer look, Travis Walton gets out, ignoring his friends’ shouts to return to the truck. Suddenly, a light shines down on Travis and he is lifted into the air, then dropped violently to the ground. The men believe Travis is dead, and fearing they will be attacked next, drive away, leaving Travis behind. Shortly down the road, Mike regrets his decision and leaves the others by the side of the road while he returns for Travis. Mike tells the officers that he searched for Travis’s body, but believes aliens took him, and Lt. Watters does not believe him. Later, Mike returns home, where his wife and sister wait up for him and tell him the radio has been airing the alien abduction story. Dana asks her brother how he could leave Travis behind, and Mike tells her a search party will look for him the next day. During the search, Travis’s brother, Dan Walton, threatens Mike, believing Travis was the victim of foul-play. That night, Katie tells Mike that he and his crew members have been released from their logging contract following Travis‘s disappearance. The couple argue about money, and when Katie implies Mike is lying about Travis, he leaves and checks into a motel. In the morning, news reporters descend on the mountain town, and badger the men. Mike and David Whitlock are approached by a man named Jarvis Powell, representing a group called A.F.A.R. (American Foundation for Ariel Research), who tells them he believes their story. The townsfolk treat the men like criminals, and Greg Hayes and Bobby Cogdill tell Mike and David that Watters offered them a deal if they confess. Watters’s suspicions are aroused when he learns that Travis Walton and Allan Dallis had a fistfight earlier in the day, and that Allan, a newcomer to town, has a criminal record. The loggers continue to assert their innocence, and Lt. Watters and Sheriff Davis suggest they submit to a polygraph test. Allan is reluctant, believing he will become the scapegoat because of his criminal past. At a town meeting, Sheriff Davis explains that there is no evidence of foul play. Mike’s reputation is attacked by a neighbor and he agrees to take the lie-detector test. When one of the men’s tests was inconclusive, Lt. Watters insists they all be retested. However, Mike and the others refuse. Later, test-administrator Cyrus Gilson reports that Allan Dallis’s test was questionable, but the others were telling the truth. Sometime later, Mike Rogers receives a collect telephone call from someone claiming to be Travis Walton. He accepts the charges and is stunned when he hears Travis’s voice on the other end of the line. In a barely audible voice, Travis asks for help, saying he is at an unknown gas station, and Mike sets out into the rainy night to find him, with Dana, David Whitlock, and Dan Walters in tow. After searching for hours, they find Travis huddled naked and afraid. He screams like an animal when his friends try to touch him. Mike tells Travis he has been missing for five days. Jarvis Powell from AMFAR, arrives at the gas station to interview Travis, after Mike notifies him of their whereabouts. Dana and Dan insist they need take Travis to the hospital, but Mike wants Jarvis to speak with him first. As Jarvis inquires about the abduction, Travis suffers disturbing flashbacks of his alien encounter. Travis is taken to the hospital where his terrifying visions continue. Later, Mike apologizes for leaving him, but Travis holds him responsible and will not forgive him. In time, Travis leaves the hospital with Dana, and is hounded by reporters and local residents requesting his autograph. Lt. Watters asks Travis where he was for five days, but the young man claims to have no memory. Travis is welcomed home with a party, but he barely speaks to anyone. Dana finds him hiding under a table as he remembers explicit details of being held captive and probed by aliens. Travis awakens sometime later in a doctor’s office, after being taken there by Dana and his brother, Dan. Dr. Carlyle tells Sheriff Davis she believes Travis is telling the truth about his experiences. However, Lt. Watters thinks Travis made up the story to get attention, and leaves town vowing to return when the men “slip up” and incriminate themselves. Two-and-a-half years later, Travis has recovered, married Dana, and has a son with her, with another on the way. Travis visits Mike Rogers, who lives like a hermit in a cabin in the woods, after divorcing his wife, Katie. Travis is finally ready to talk, and drives Mike to the clearing in the woods where he was abducted. Both men admit to being forever changed by the events. Travis tells Mike that he is an uncle, and that he named his son after him. Travis takes the blame for getting out of the truck that night, and acquits Mike of any wrongdoing. When Travis tells him not to worry about the aliens returning because the creatures did not seem to like him, Mike laughs. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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