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The Boy From Out of This World is a documentary project about film director Tom Graeff, a stubborn dreamer struggling with inner demons and the sweet siren song of Hollywood. Best known for 1959 cult film Teenagers from Outer Space, Tom's entire career spanned less than two decades and seven films. Since 2006 we've actively been compiling interviews, primary source documents, and fan input to bring Tom's work into the public eye. Interested in helping out, or have info to share? Let us know!
Back when I first started work on The Boy From Out of This World, I wrote the following piece about how my fascination for Tom Graeff & Teenagers all began. A little clunky in hindsight and terribly eager, it nevertheless continues to encapsulate the wonder I feel for Tom and his heartbreaking story.
"The first time I saw TFOS was on a sunny afternoon on Long Island. I was sick and couldn't go outside, so while my family was out, I sat in my parents' bedroom trying to see how high the channels would go. After many channels of blank static, something finally appeared: a black and white movie where a young man dressed in a funny uniform ran around with a ray gun.
Content to having found something, I switched back to more normal programming. But I was intrigued, and there was no one home -- I switched back. Something about the film reeled me in. Sure, it was crappy, just like the stuff I would watch on MST3K with my friends, but something about it made me want to keep watching.
So I did. Eventually I looked up the film on IMDB, and the rest is history. Shortly after I recieved the film as a present in 2001, I did some sleuth work and found contact information for Bryan Pearson, "Thor" in Teenagers.
A timid young teen, I sent him a short letter asking a few questions. He was amazed that anyone, especially a young person, would be interested in such a film.
After that, TFOS kept popping up everywhere in my life. I referenced it in essays, short stories, and throughout the MSTs my friends and I wrote online. I showed it to everyone I knew. And over the years, I tried to learn more.
Now that I live in Los Angeles, I have access to the places the cast and crew lived and worked. The somewhat hazy locale of the film becomes clearer and more enthralling as I stand on the locations used for filming, and stumble across information I've sought for years.
Finally all the pieces are coming into place, and I'd like to share my journey with you as I pull the story together into a documentary that tells the tale of one man, Tom Graeff, and his dream of making it big in Hollywood.
Teenagers is a lesson to all young filmmakers, and also a warning. Anyone can make their dreams come true, if they try hard enough. But you have to believe in yourself, even if the project doesn't come out as planned.
I sure hope this one does, for Tom's sake."
Elle Schneider, 2006
Did you know Tom Graeff? If you have information to share or think you might be able to help us with our project, please let us know!
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DISCLAIMER: All information within this site is original research on Tom Graeff conducted by the creators and contributors of this site. References made to other intellectual property are cited where appropriate and used with permission. All Rights Reserved. (c) 2005-2010.