Pittsburgh native Andrew Hunt began making films at the age of eleven with a borrowed video camera and an army of neighborhood friends. Later Andrew would study filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Soon after, he began working professionally as a writer/director on television commercials, documentaries, short films and music videos.
Q & A
If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in?
Absolutely not! The world of Level is my take on Groundhog’s Day in hell. The repetition of being trapped in a world that forces you to re-live the same nightmare over and over again is the real threat. The threat of losing one’s sanity.
Is there a Sci-Fi world you’d buy a one-way ticket to?
Guardians of the Galaxy. I just love the color and vibe to the place.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level?
Eliot from E.T. I love the optimism of the character. I would of given my right arm to have an alien visit me when I was a kid.
Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Chewbacca. I’ve always been fond of the gentle giants. Chewy is that perfect balance of rage and sympathy. Sadly he’d always be the action figure I’d loose. So somewhere in my old house there’s gotta be about a dozen Chewies hiding about.
Friend or Foe: humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence?
Foe. I believe are fear on true A.I. is that the computer will categorize us. And like Agent Smith in The Matrix will want to label us as a cancer. Which, truth be told, is exactly what our species acts like.
What if robots start making their own Sci-Fi films?
If robots starting making their own films. I think they’d be spiritual in nature. I believe they’d ask the same questions that we humans ask. “What is the meaning of life?” I’d be fascinated to watch a film robots make that tackle that subject matter.
Will you support them in their endeavors?
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 think I’d want to assemble a team that I would drink with. That being said, it’d probably consists of Han Solo, Drax, Guy from Galaxy Quest & Roy from Blade Runner.
You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas.
The bad ideas usually come out as a “one trick pony” type of narrative. Usually their an idea that could only last for a few minutes on screen. One bad idea I had was making an alien invasion movie trailer celebrating the greatest video game of all time… PONG!
How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
The character. The spark on creating an interesting narrative boils down to the character. What is their fears? What is their desires? What is their problem? I think once you discover what the core problem your character has, it’s then up to you the writer to design the most elaborate obstacle course you can.
Do you consider yourself more of an analog or digital person?
Analog. I find there’s more humanity in analog. Digital is an exact science. An equation. I don’t like the thought of being an equation. I like the “pops” and “hisses” of our species. It’s the imperfections, analog, that makes us unique.
What kind of balance do strike between the two?
I think Analog and Digital is totally at war with one another. Analog is messy… complex… human. Digital is cold… organized… robotic.
Is there a disconnect between the technology you make films about and the technology that you make films with?
I think it is quite funny that we chase human emotions on film with digital technology. We also have so many digital tools that help us enhance a performance and such. Sometimes you can get a little caught up in the advantages in digital filmmaking. Sometimes that takes your eye off the story… which is a bad thing.
When you’re creating the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspiration?
In a home depot or a antique store. It’s amazing how many ideas come washing over you when you’re surrounded by elaborate trinkets from the past.
How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
You give it a purpose. It can’t just be eye-candy. It has to serve some type of function. The audience doesn’t have to know exactly why that prop exists. They just need to know that you the storyteller knows why it’s there.
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?
Star Wars, Philip K. Dick, Practical, I’d love to say Utopia… but sadly I know we’re heading more to Dystopia, depends on the day.