Ben Hansford grew up on a steady diet of Dungeons & Dragons, Robotech, and Armored Core. His love for videogames was only usurped by his passion for filmmaking, at which point his life was irrevocably thrown into the wondrous world of science fiction action-comedy filmmaking.
Q & A
Name a Sci-Fi or Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Does Shaun from Shaun of the Dead count as a horror character? Always trying to do his best, takes care of his friends, and constantly sneaking in a bit of videogames before "work".
Do you consider yourself part of the sci-fi or horror community?
Absolutely I'm part of the scifi community. I live across dozens of forums, but more importantly -- my friends and I are always ideating and creating new stuff.
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 have to admit-- this is a great example of where Directors cheat. I got most of the robots designed by an incredible set of artists and/or by sheer luck. John Park from Hawken (and a ton of other great games) designed the big bots. Alex Falkner from Weta Designs built Terry the Trashbot out of tupperware boxes, pvc pipes, and his own mad-genius brilliance. I was more the conduit of this genius just making sure the robots all fit well together.
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?
This is such a wonderful question. I wrote 3 separate versions of the UPRISING! feature script before landing on the one that these scenes were excerpted from. I have a really trusted crew of friends who are always there to tell me "It's not quite there."-- so that when they all shouted, "This is it!" I knew the feature script was ready to rumble. Gordon Smith, Steve Martinez, the entire Tuesday Night Krewe -- you're all the wind beneath my wings.
If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in? What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Absolutely I would want to live in this world. I've been fascinated with robots since I was 4, so as long as this world is filled with robots -- even these ones that are trying to murder us all -- I would want to live in it.
Who would be in your ultimate sci-fi or horror villain squad?
My ultimate scifi squad would definitely start with Vasquez from Aliens at point guard. Ripley in the Loader Mech at power forward. Arnie as the t800 Terminator for muscle. Robby the Robot. Kaneda for tenacity. And Roy Batty as Coach / Spiritual guidance councilor. (Oh && the TRex from JPark and the planet from Solaris are on my bench.)
And finally, what’s your favourite sci-fi film?
Is it cheating to claim the entire Alien franchise? I just think if there was a single world for me to go play in as a creator and director -- Alien would be it!