Avi Bagla is a TV producer, writer, filmmaker, programmer, and comedian. He’s worked in the entertainment industry, the tech industry, and academia, and have built up strong skill sets in each realm.
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 mean, I do regularly call people from my past who heavily rejected me to shoot my shot one last time. So, in a way, I already do live in that world. Oh wait, you mean the sci-fi world I created? No, god no, we have work to do in this world for equality and I’m not about to leave this world without making it better.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi representation?
I’m the fly that Dolores slaps in the first episode of Westworld.
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?
Hell yes I will. Honestly, my past tech work makes me hope that I’ll help program that first creative AI and then instill in it a crap ton of depression and an absent father figure so it’ll make amazing art.
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?
My starting five would be basically the 5 separate moments C-3PO got exasperated with humans throughout the entirety of Star Wars. My 6th man would be David Tennant’s doctor so that when we’re both on the bench we could have a nice coffee and talk about our future and maybe see if, you know, he has plans for his retirement because I know this wonderful little cottage on the sea in Martha’s vineyard that’s quiet and peaceful with a beautiful view of the Atlantic…
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 uh, push them way down like that one time in 8th grade that Tiffany created a fake Facebook account to catfish me into a 5 month long online only relationship. Honestly, I just keep writing and then I burn the bad ideas (seriously, I print them and light them in a bonfire).
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 like to think of myself as someone who has been kicked out of a sci-fi community for my radical ideas like the value of pineapple on pizza and that soylent green is fine being people, as long as it is rich people (#EatTheRich)
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?
I’m hardcore digital – I’m so digital that I have ten digits on my hand. I regularly use my phone as a fresh horrors device to understand how the world works. I do like hikes though. So… nuance? I have many levels? I dunno. I like the world a lot, and I love the sunshine, but I also like the phone-shine. I HAVE FACETS!
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?
1. Spaceballs 2. Douglas Adams and Philip K Dick in a hot tub with me and Alan Turing. 3. Extremely bad CGI combined with really well done practical because someone thought they could use the same budget. 4. What apocalypse could be worse than the one we’re in now? Oh right, one where we weren’t pushing for change. #BlackLivesMatter