To date Ben’s experience includes work with the BBC, Todrick Hall’s #1 visual album “Forbidden” Feat. Ru Paul, Deacon Blue’s music video “Gone” , a band that have sold 12 million singles as well as working with best selling author A.M. Kalifha on visual projects and Scott Brick Hall of Fame narrator. In addition I have worked on a number of Short Films, where I have directed, edited and written in many cases.
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 like to live in the world we’ve created in The ARK. Is it scary? Absolutely! The idea of robots taking over, creating a conscience and having the ability to go rogue scares me… I think I’ve also just given a spoiler there for the bigger project that Herbert goes rogue… However, Black Mirror was a big influence for me when working on this project. The reason I draw parallels to it, is because it was important for me to create a world that ANYONE could see themselves living in, in the very non-distant future. So yes, absolutely I could see myself living in the grounded world we created for The ARK.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
My Sci-Fi spirit animal… Got to be Wall-e! That guy is so cute! Who doesn’t want to be him… I also appreciate his empathetic level as a robot. So 100% he’s my spirit animal.
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?
I personally think we’re a few hundred years away from that. So I don’t think I’ll be here to see it. But would I be interested in seeing whether a robot can make a successful film that audiences want to watch in the cinema, 100% I am. I think filmmaking is such a complex process with so many variabilities that happen on the daily. I personally think it would be impossible. But let’s see!
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?
Space Jam might be the coolest sci-fi ever made… There I said it… the re-make…ummmmmmm. However, I think I’ve got to have Jack Whitehall and Joe Lycett on there… two UK comedians. Now, if you don’t know who they are! Look them up and tell me that’s not the best duo for a basketball team ever….
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?
The ARK I had a ton of bad ideas, but for me it’s prep… Prep, prep, prep! We originally were going to shoot this film in Los Angeles and I look back on that as a bad idea. Only because our wonderful cast and setting, elevated this movie 10fold by being in London and Surrey and for that I’m so thankful to have been able to create this movie 10 minutes down the road from my family home!
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’ve never thought of myself as a Sci-fi guy… I enjoy sci-fi immensely, but I have a great found respect for all genres! But I certainly have a very special place in my heart for the sci-fi world after creating The ARK. I’d like to think that Herbert is somewhat of a personal representation of myself going through an early life crisis. So I would say part of me is in the sci-fi community now.
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 embrace technology as much as I can, in filmmaking or In life… I’m a big apple fan… But I do draw the line at screens on fridges or washing machines you can control from your phone. I do prefer my household world to be more analog! Apart from a Roomba… They are so COOL!
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 touched on this above, but for me, it’s all about taking something that already exists and building on it. I think as humas we are looking for elements we can latch on to, believe in. For example, when choosing our vehicle for The ARK. I chose the BMW X5 because I believe it has a futuristic, high-tech look to it… We augmented it by adding different more “space-ship” like sounds in post to really sell it as a sci-fi vehicle. But all of our props were things you can find today in life with a little bit of Jazz added to it! Kind of like Marvel and it’s multiverse, these other worlds and planets a lot of the time are very similar to ours!
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?
Here we go! Star Wars, Philip K. Dick (ADORE Bladerunner), Practical, Dystopia and Pre-apocalypse in honour of The ARK!