I’ve been drawing and writing about robots, aliens, and monsters, for about as long as I can remember.
While my skillset and toolset have increased, my enthusiasm to create and design worlds and tell unique stories within them has remained consistent.
In the past decade, I have worked at companies such as Ubisoft, Digital Dimension, Rocket Science VFX, Jam Filled Animation, Little Blackstone Studios, as a matte painter, concept artist, and 3D modeler.
Through Exocentric Productions, my independent film production company, I have written, produced, and directed short films such as The Carrier (Written/Directed/Produced), a full-length feature entitled Redshift (Written/Produced), and a short proof-of-concept short film entitled EXT (Written/Directed).
In short, whether it’s with a pencil, a stylus, or a camera, I am a visual storyteller at heart and I hope to work with others that share similar interests and passions.
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 think I would! I didn’t want to present either the real world or the digital world as dystopic or utopic. Just...different worlds with different problems that could benefit from a healthier connection with their alternative instead of an outright condemnation of one or another. Also, I’d love to live as an AI in the world of Portal. Not as a human though that would be horrifying.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit Alien?
Probably Johnny 5 from Short Circuit. I too have an insatiable need for more input, am capable of reciting whole commercials, movies, TV shows, and videogames, from memory, don’t quite understand humanity, the food they eat, or how to make it, and spent some time trying to fit into rural society as a visible minority before realizing the futility of that pursuit and finding a relatively comfortable existence in a city.
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?
Yes. With advanced intelligence comes personhood, and humanity has had a terrible track record when trying to reduce the moral compass of an entire type of people to a simple binary affiliation. If people have the right to be friend, foe, and everything in between so should any advanced intelligence. If they made their own movies I’d certainly be first in line to check it out especially the first ones made. Even if I’m not the intended audience, or if they’re not very good movies, they would still have my support (I mean it’s not like we judge humanity’s abilities to make movies off of our worst films right?)!
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’d like Harbinger from Mass Effect to be on my team. At 2km tall I think I’d certainly have the height advantage. After that, I’d probably have the T-1000, the Predator, the Xenomorph Queen, Kerrigan from Starcraft, and GLaDOS. I mean just in case everything goes south I’ll need someone to flood the area with a deadly neurotoxin...
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?
I wrote a feature film called Redshift in my early 20s in a weekend and while it was a struggle, my team and I managed to get it done in 2 years...It’s a very tough film for me to watch because it’s kind of an unfiltered stream of consciousness, unedited and unchallenged for the most part. If I could do it again I think I would’ve taken more time, done some more re-writes, and sought out criticism from more experienced writers. Now luckily I have a pretty good network of colleagues and critics that I collaborate with daily on scripts and projects in general, although I still try my best to get help outside of it before committing to a project.
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 absolutely consider myself a part of the sci-fi community. Since I was a kid me and my dad would watch Predator or Terminator and in between commercial breaks (or just pause the VHS) my dad would overexplain every little detail about how the hydraulics in the T-800’s body work, or how the Predator uses recorded voices to lure in its prey. For a while, I believed that all things adult humans made had that level of detail and reasoning behind it which in retrospect was maybe too high of a bar to set for humanity. That bar dropped hard as I grew up and realized that the details were more often than not the result of mistakes or circumstance rather than intent. Is that isolating? I guess it is in some ways. But I was a pretty introverted kid who enjoyed isolation. It’s only in my college years that I realized the benefits of a community. With the internet and with fandom forums I started to see that there was a fantastic community of people similar to me that loved taking apart and analyzing sci-fi films. But with any community isolation brings stagnation, and I’m happy to see sci-fi fandom bleeding into pop-culture and inviting people in that otherwise felt dismissed or excluded. Oh and just in case I went a bit off the mark, I’d like to know someone who hasn’t had their brainvisit the future at least once in their life. It’s kinda what humans do, and that should be encouraged more often I think.
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?
The older I get the more I start to see all things as a chimera. Humans especially. We are a mess of identities and biological structures living and dying as a poorly understood hive-mind in a world that’s a lot more nebulous than we often think. So we use binaries to make sense of it all. Digital constructs are the opposite. They are constructed purely as clear and contrasting binaries but with enough layering, they can simulate the mess of reality better than we can ourselves. So I see it as a relationship. You can’t have constructs without a constructor and vice versa. It’s for that reason that I find dichotomies either within technology or outside of it, uninteresting. In regards to filmmaking, the story should always take precedence. What you need/use to achieve telling that story is important and fascinating, but not hierarchical.
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 biology would be the first source of my inspiration. There’s a madness in nature that is both as cruel and as inspiring as you’d expect a chaotic system of development to be. But beyond creature or robot designs, I try to design my props, environments, and objects off of their real-world equivalents, and for me at least, all design begins with a question of their assembly. Did someone make this? If so, who? Why? How? And from what? My ability to answer these questions for my own designed creations is only as good as my ability to investigate these same questions in objects in real life synthetic or otherwise.
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?
The Expanse! (Otherwise Star Wars). Philip K. Dick. CGI. Utopia. Post-Apocalypse (I like to think things can always get better).