Q & A
If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in? Is there a Sci-Fi world you’d buy a one-way ticket to?
I’m not sure I’d be comfortable living in a world where cruelly treated animals come back to life as space-zombies out for revenge! Judging by our past record, I think humanity would have a big problem on its hands!
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Ellie from Contact, I share her love and wonder for Space and its mysteries. Not that I’d have the balls to go through the wormhole machine like she does, however.
Friend or Foe: humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence? What if robots start making their own Sci-Fi films? Will you support them in their endeavors?
I feel like they already have! With apps you can download onto your phone able to produce impressive visual effects and trickery, I often wonder how Hollywood will keep ahead of the curve when it comes to science fiction visuals. Maybe they’ll just start letting the robots do it all?
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?
I still haven’t seen that film. My guys in the sci-fi cartoon-character universe are the Thundercats. Maybe I’m showing my age there?
You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
For me, if I sat around waiting for only good ideas to come, I’d have never made Laika. It’s a stupid idea on the surface. I just needed to present it in a way that the ridiculousness of the idea isn’t questioned… and hopefully I achieved that.
Do you consider yourself more of an analog or digital person? What kind of balance do strike between the two? Is there a disconnect between the technology you make films about and the technology that you make films with?
Digital has definitely opened a lot of doors for film makers, especially in the sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres. My first sci-fi film was edited on vhs cassette decks. We used lots of things stuck to glass, and mirrors. Tiny cardboard sets and forced perspective. It was a fun and creative process, but now with digital, you can be that little bit more ambitious, with lower budgets.
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 think the early pioneers of space flight defined a look that’s never gone away. Those big, chunky buttons and switches, exposed wires and tubes and the bare bones nature of the vehicles still looks great to this day.
Lightning round: Star Wars or Star Trek? Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs? Practical or CGI? Dystopia or Utopia? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Starcom: The US Space Force Philip K. Dick Both Dystopia Pre Apocalypse