ON THIS FILM:
Shawn Welling enjoyed watching films and TV based off the Sci Fi genre. Shawn can name any episode from the original Star Trek series almost as well as he can quote every line from Seinfeld. His inspiration for the creation of The Last Astronaut came from the movie, 2001 Space Odyssey , E.T. and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. While much of Welling's influence in filming came from a much more post-apocalyptic palette, such as Blade Runner and Mad Max, he enjoyed a brighter palette with a youthful, coming-of-age film in creating The Last Astronaut. The original script was written by his former assistant, Marian Goldman, who sadly passed away in 2016. He would like to dedicate this movie to her memory.
FROM START TO TODAY:
As a director, Shawn Welling won a Gold and a Platinum Remi at the WorldFest International Film Festival for his first film, The House of Dreams. His second film, The Messenger: 360 Days of Bolivar was released at Landmark, AMC, and Angelika theaters to sold out screenings, and was awarded Best Feature Film of 2009 by Houston Press. In 2011, Welling premiered his third feature film, also based on a true story, entitled "Project Aether." It earned numerous awards including Houston Film Critic's Society Best Actress, the coveted Young Performers Award, Houston Film Critic's Society director award for Best World Premiere, and Best Director of 2011 by Houston Press.
Welling won awards on a web series entering its fifth season "AXI: Avengers of Xtreme Illusions" (winner of the Grand Remi for best web series 2012 & 2013), and the lauded release of his fourth feature, The Legend of DarkHorse County, starring Lee Majors (Six Million Dollar Man), Michael Biehn (The Terminator), and Olivia "Chachi" Gonzales.
In 2015, Welling Films won a studio record 11 awards for its short film, web series, and web site work, including a coveted World of Dance Industry Award. Welling released a short film about the love of his life, his dog, Max. The short, If I Could Talk, quickly became Welling's most successful and awarded work of his career to date, achieving 6 award wins and nomination in its first year on the festival circuit. The film would go viral, garnering over 80 million views on Facebook and YouTube, and spawning a sister film and a sequel, If I Could Bark. In 2015, Welling married the real love of his life, Michelle, a Houston-based photographer.
Welling entered 2016 with four shorts and two features in production and an ambitious slate of coming features, shorts, and webisodes, including the true-life family feature, The Blimp Trap, the story of two imaginative Texas pre-teens who "caught" the Goodyear Blimp in 1970s Texas. Young actress Isabella Blake-Thomas would be nominated for a Young Artist Award, the "kiddie Oscar," for her turn as Billy in the film and win the Best Young Actress award at Worldfest International Film Festival in Houston.
In 2017, Welling released Strange Bird, an ambitious speculative fiction short film with an epic focus. Star Preslee Bishop won a Rising Star acting award for her work on the film, the eighth acting honor for Welling Films, joining over fifty official accolades for Shawn Welling's small independent studio. Welling was also named a filmmaker ambassador for the Chinese/American partnership that has become a signature of the Worldfest International Film Festival.
In 2018, If I Could Run was released, and has already received 36 festival awards, 3 of them including Best Actor. He also began filming The Last Astronaut, a sci-fi drama starring ABC's World of Dance, Eva Igo as Evena. In November, Shawn and his wife, Michelle Simmons, brought into the world their first daughter, Emma Rain Welling. Their baby girl will also be featured in the movie, portraying a newborn Evena.