Trent Harris - author and producer of Plan 10 From Outer Space

May 2000

Trent Harris creator of Plan 10 From Outer Space Trent proudly received his first Salamander Award for "Plan 10" in 2000 at his production office in Salt Lake City. Mr. Harris won "NUMBER ONE SCI-FI FILM OF THE YEAR, New York Review of science fiction..." for his hit movie, "Plan 10 From Outer Space" a show about all that's wierd and wild about the Mormons in Utah.

Trent Harris with Salamander Award Trent just completed filming his next movie, a documentary about the woman who kidnapped a returned missionary from Provo, held him captive and was later convicted of raping him.(true story)

The "Beaver Trilogy" starring Sean Penn was released in summer of 2000 as well. Mr. Harris has written two books as well as produced several other hit cult movies including "Rueben and Ed."

"Brother Harris" grew up LDS in Utah and had the "unusual" common sense to NOT go on an LDS mission. His office furnishings are a cross between Ripley's Believe It Or Not and The Lion House.

Trent's Response to Questions

What would you say your ultimate project would be if you had Big Hollywood type resources? - 03/26/2000 - Sarah

Trent: . I would like to make a political thriller about Big Foot. But since I don't have the big bucks I'm doing it anyway on a shoestring. Going to start filming this summer.

Were you gazing into a hat and using a "peep stone" when you felt the inspiration to write, "Just because he made it up doesn't mean it isn't true." ? - 03/25/2000 - cricket

Trent: No peep stones...just a lot of Coors Lite beer. Seems to work about as well.

So why didn't you go on an LDS mission? Conscientous objector? - 03/25/2000 - cricket

Trent: When I was 18 I left the country...spent nearly two years wandering around the world, picking up odd jobs etc. The best part was bus riding across Afganistan. You'd be amazed how many folks out there have never even heard of Joseph Smith. I did my best to explain, but as you might guess, not many believed me.

Was the house that the characters went into directly from Gilgal the actual house on the site? And did the residence play an actual part in Mormon history? - 03/25/2000 - Kelly from Utah

Trent: No the house was actually up Memory Grove in Salt Lake. It was the lead actress's parents house...very cool place...It was once home to Heber J. Grant, Mormon prophet, and is definitely haunted.

How many seagulls pooped all over you and your crew while you were filming out at the great Salt Lake? - 03/25/2000 - cricket

Trent: 14,643

I haven't had the chance to see the film. Is it out on video tape, and if it is, how much does it cost, and where can I buy it? Can you get it in a "letterbox" edition? - 03/25/2000 - Exmormon Robertson

Trent:The tapes are $30 (that includes shipping) if you want a tape email me at - no letterbox yet.

Would you ever make a movie about the LDS church and it's battle to stop gay rights in states such as Vermont,Alaska,Hawaii and most recently California(Prop 22- the Knight thing here last election)!!?? - 03/25/2000 - anon

Trent: Probably not. I don't know what I could add to the dialogue that hasn't already been said. It is sad but true that sometimes the Church is its own worst enemy

Will you please do a spoof on Joseph Smith and Brigham Young? There is so much excellent "virgin" material here that you would probably win an academy award . It would be the most hilarious film ever watching all the Gullible Little Lemmings dance for con-artist leader ! - 04/05/2000 - John D Lee

Trent:. Nope. I think you should make this movie

Can you tell us more about this documentary of a woman who kidnapped at return missionary? Will this be released to TV or the movie theaters? - 04/06/2000 - anon

Trent: I don't think this movie will ever hit the big screen. To many problems with rights. I actually approached Madonna once about playing the role in a dramatization. She said she thought it was to weird....too weird for Madonna?

Who are some of your favorite people living behind the Zion Curtain who have helped you on your various projects? - 04/06/2000 - cricket

Trent: Alex Caldiero...He is perhaps the world's only "Mormon beat-nik poet". He's a great friend and even better poet. He plays the dad in Plan 10 From Outer Space. Alex is a constant source of inspiration. He has somehow managed to live in Orem, stay in the Church, and still come up with some of the wildest stuff I've ever heard.

Would you give us a "snap shot" of Utah Mormon culture one hundred years from now? - 04/06/2000 - cricket

Trent: This is an easy one. Unfortunately, I think the culture will only become more mainstream. We often forget what wild people the first Mormons really were, real radicals. They printed their own money, practiced polygamy, had their own alphabet, own army, tried to start their own country. I don't think those old guys would recognize the Church now...and I don't think they would particulary get along with Modern Mormons.

Basically the Church is doing its darndest to become the most flag waving bunch of Republicans in the country. Unfortunately, the Modern Church is trying to distance itself from its colorful past. I guess that's understandable, seeing how much they were persecuted in the early days....anyway I liked the old Mormons and what they were up too. Someone once ask me who my heros were and I said, Alan Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and Brigham Young. They were all hellions in their own right and actually have quite a bit in common.

What classes do you teach at the University of Utah? - -4/06/2000 - cricket

Trent: I teach a screenwriting class in the summer. I also do the occassional screenwriting and directing class at the Utah Film and Video Center.

Do you have a favorite "funny story" about life in Utah? - 04/06/2000 - anon

Trent: What can I say, I love Utah because it is so darned strange. I wrote a book called Mondo Utah Utah that's filled with all kinds of funny stories about this state. You can find it at most book stores or order it. It was published by Dream Garden Press. My biggest fear is that our beloved state will become normal....that it will become just another, "anyplace USA" We shouldn't be embarrassed about our kooky home. We should be proud of it and encourage our nuts to go even farther. That's what makes us special...that's what makes living here worth it all.

Who is your very favorite general authority (living or dead)? - 04/07/2000 - Heather

Trent: I prefer "Specific Authorities" myself...but I can't get enough of Boyde K Packard.

Are you as sick and twisted as you seem to be on this web page? - 04/07/2000 - anon

Trent: This is an interesting question. Uhmmm? Am I sick and twisted? I am assuming you mean that in a derogatory way, but I'm not sure because some people consider that a compliment. So I'll just say I'm not nearly as sick and twisted as the person who asked this question...that should pretty much cover all my bases.

Response to Online Inteview Section

01/21/2007 - WGA

I'm from Michigan, so I doubt if I'll run across Trent Harris's DVD's in my local blockbuster. I am a devout Mormon, and in fact currently a bishop. But I would happily rent the films, as I believe I am very open-minded even when satire and a finger in the eye comes my way. After all, we are a peculiar people, (especially you "Utah-Mormons"). Why not admit it?

But let's do it with fun, not snideness. Is it judgemental of me to see the judgementalism of others? The 2000 reader jibe about Spencer "KKK" and Boyd "KKK" is uncalled for, and more importantly inane. I sense a dose of condescension also bragging about having "unusual common sense to not go on an LDS mission".

If Mormons are really so hayseed and myopic that we're fair game for satire, wouldn't leaving happy valley to dedicate 2 years of your life to see the real 3rd world be a good thing? Not a bad? Satire's only funny when it hits near the mark, and I hope Bro Harris pulls that off without being too snide and mean-spirited.

I hope to see your films and see for myself.

06/17/2004 - from gracie the heretic

I'd love to see Trent Harris explore Emma Smith's second marriage to that wonderful gentile man who had to be an uncommonly wonderful husband after all the suffering Joseph caused. How about a musical comedy? Or a story narrated by Laman and Lemuel lamenting their insane father and arrogant asshole baby brother. I'd love to hear their voices. I've always wanted to see the BOM ordeal from their perspective.

03/26/2003 -
We own Heber J. Grants summer house. We are looking for The lds church to make it a historical site.

10/11/2001 - D.P.
It wasn't until I moved from Utah to New York City that I found your Plan 10 From Outer Space on video at a neighborhood store in Brooklyn.  I thought it was very inventive, appropriately cheesy and made me laugh out loud.  You may remember that we shared the cover of the Event Newspaper back in 1995.  (We were dressed as pioneers and were pulling a handcart.) I miss the beehive state something terrible, but find that Utah in cyberspace is even better, yeah, even exceedingly better, because when I log-off I can buy beer stronger than 3.5  My favorite kind of beer is illusion beer:  it's not really there when fellow Mormons happen by.  Thanks for sharing your testimony of the true state.

04/09/2000 -
Speaking of Boyd KKK I would suggest that you or someone consider making a movie about Boyd's "little factory." Also something about how Spencer KKK was at his core a sex crazed maniac, as per his list of things he wanted to do in his book Miracle of Forgiveness.


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