Andrew Morris and Rob Silva

Since meeting at university, Andrew Morris and Rob Silva have gone on to write and direct 10 short films together. Their short ABDUCTED won the Sci-fi London 48-hour film competition, opening the festival in 2010. In the same year, horror short 7X5 was runner-up at the Smoke & Mirrors competition and DRAWN TOGETHER made the Virgin Media Shorts editor’s choice for comedy. In 2013, THE BEYOND was screened as part of the official selection at the Sci-fi London Film Festival and the London Short Film Festival. The film was distributed by Shorts HD.

Rob has worked in production for over 10 years and, since 2012, has worked at Heyday Films on projects including GRAVITY, PADDINGTON 1 & 2, and J.K. Rowling’s FANTASTIC BEASTS films. His most recent credits are on Noah Baumbach’s MARRIAGE STORY and Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

Andrew grew up with a camera in his hands. He has directed numerous films including RTS award-winning GET A LIFE, as well as working in the art department on Bond film QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Andrew works as a graphic designer, art director and editor with clients EOne, Universal and Electronic Arts.

Dust Films

Q & A

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

[Spoiler alert] Given that our film is about a wrongfully accused man trapped in an inescapable mind-prison, probably not! That said, to us, most good sci-fi is grounded in the real world and deals with issues we come into contact with on a daily basis. So, in many ways, we’re already living in less heightened versions of the worlds we see on screen. That’s partly what makes the genre so interesting to us.

Is there a Sci-Fi world you’d buy a one-way ticket to?

Despite all that is going on in the world at the moment, we still feel pretty lucky to live in it! But it’s great to be able to create new worlds to explore on screen. That said, Pandora seems nice.

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?

We’d support anyone (or anything!) who wanted to make a film.

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?

We once attempted to make a short film where half of the world’s population jumped on the spot at the same time, knocking it off its axis, causing Gravity to invert. Yeah... We believe that the only way to stumble upon a good idea is to fully explore the bad ones. Throw stuff against the wall, talk it out with people you trust, and see what starts to feel right. Basically, allow yourself to fail.

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?

Most of the stories we’re drawn to are set in the present or near-future. We try to make everything we do feel rooted in the reality we currently find ourselves in, but we use technology as a tool to push drama and magnify human frailty.

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?

We try to keep everything as analog as possible, to do as much as we can practically, and only use technology to enhance the experience. To us, the best visual effects feel invisible.

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?

We try to ground everything in reality, and occasionally push everyday objects into unfamiliar territory. The last thing we want is for everything to look like it was invented at the same time, and we often find that it helps to look backwards, at old films and photographs, to get a clearer sense of what will still be around in the future.

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, Dystopia, Post Apocalypse.