Yesterday, DUST released our latest exclusive premiere “Populace” directed by Aaron Bevan-Bailey. The short film is set in a dystopian world sputtering under ecological ruin and self-imposed eugenics. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you can watch it here.
In honor of the premiere, we are sharing Aaron Bevan-Bailey’s answers to some of our favorite sci-fi questions.

If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in?

I definitely would not like to live in the world I created in “Populace“; but unfortunately it feels like thats the way the world could be headed in if we don’t make some serious changes to the amount of resources we consume.

Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? 

I think Obi Wan is up there. Whenever I’m about to do something extremely egocentric or stupid I hear Alec Guinness’ voice in the back of my head like a force ghost. But I guess Yoda trained him so I’ll say Yoda. I think Star Wars, or the Jedi in particular, has such a strong moral compass it is kind of like a religion to a lot of people.

Friend or Foe: humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence? 

Oh definitely foe. Skynet (Google) will become self-aware and kill us all eventually. Yeah, I would watch a sci-fi made by robots it would probably be better than Avengers: Age of Ultron or Suicide Squad.

In 1996, Bugs Bunny recruited Michael Jordan and Bill Murray to form the greatest basketball squad of all-time, the Tune Squad; you’re Bugs, who’s on your Sci-Fi Tune Squad?

Oooh that’s a hard one. I’d have to go with Morpheus from The Matrix because he can jump really high.

Do you consider yourself part of a sci-fi community? Or when your brain is in the future and your body’s in the present, is that isolating?

I’m not sure what the sci-fi community is exactly. I love science fiction but I’ve never been to a comic con (though I’d like to.) I love sci-fi as a story telling tool because it is both allegory and an exaggeration of things that already exist. I would say my imagination is in the future a lot of the time but probably because I care deeply about the present.

Do you consider yourself more of an analog or digital person What kind of balance do you strike between the two? Is there a disconnect between the technology you make films about and the technology that you make films with?

I am quite an analogue person I think I do a lot of drawing and painting. I love how easy digital technology makes it to make a film nowadays, to me it is just another brush. The effects in “Populace” would not have been possible without it.

When you’re creating the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspiration? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?

I am a big proponent of having a lived-in feel to the future. The way we achieved this in “Populace” was to retro fit our tech into an old gothic location. I’m a huge fan of Terry Gilliam’s films 12 Monkeys and Brazil; they have a timeless quality because of this retro future look. Star Wars has the same thing. The design has a certain familiarity to it but at the same time it feels very futuristic; everything is tied together with a healthy layer of space grime. Blade Runner is another good one.

Lightning round:

Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs?

Philip K. Dick purely because he inspired Blade Runner which is my favourite film.

Practical or CGI?


Pre Apocalypse or Post Apocalypse?

The interesting point for me is right on the edge between the two. I love Black Mirror because what scares you is how close we are to its hellish scenarios.

Find out more about “Populace” here. For more about the star Jamie Pigott check out his website.

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