Caden Butera

Caden Butera, Coeur d’ Alene local, is a filmmaker who has wielded his passion for the craft since a very young age. It is his life goal to succeed in making art that conveys unique perspectives, spurs complex imagination, and above all: entertains. Caden is the founder of a company called Paradox Studios, a multi media business that creates original film content, and available-for-hire photo & videography.

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

“Recursion” is set in a futuristic world not too dissimilar to ours today, with the exception to more advanced technology and flesh-eating paradox monsters…so I guess you could say it has it’s perks! Would I want to live there? Maybe I’d swing by for the futuristic holodecks and medical tech, but dip out when the aliens show up. If there’s one sci-fi world I’d buy a ticket to it’d be the world of Star Trek. Sure, like every science fiction story there’s bound to be some life-threatening conflict, but Star Trek represents a period in our future where humanity has joined together for the sake of peace and exploration. Since it’s very first episode Star Trek has stood as a beacon for diversity, equality and galaxy-wide order. Yeah, there’s the occasional Borg invasion, or a murderous Klingon every now and again…but as a whole Star Trek shows how humans, Vulcans, and Romulans alike can work together for the greater good, and go where no one has gone before.

Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?

Now this might come across as worrisome at first….but Cypher from “The Matrix”. No I don’t mean the backstabbing murdering side of his character (although who knows what I’m capable of on a bad day), I’m referring to his outlook on life. Cypher was a character who knew his world (the Matrix) wasn’t real and yet chose to ignore that fact, go back in and enjoy it anyway (Gotta eat that juicy steak, right?). When I saw this movie for first time as a young teen, this was what finally got me to truly understand existentialism, and helped shape my outlook on living. Throw as many thick philosophy books and college lectures at me as you can, but at the end of the day the one thing that got me to understand my outlook on reality was a side character in a 1999 sci-fi film.

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?

100%. The moment the created can create, true consciousness is born. Is that true? No idea, but it sounded good. Consciousness is seemingly impossible to define, so if an AI becomes capable of expressing themselves via narrative fiction…I’d consider that a win for team robots. The question is, will they be able to write more that just Transformers sequels?

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?

General Grievous, for his excellent dribbling skills, Quicksilver for his quick passes, and Han Solo…who will always take the shot first.

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 didn’t realize this until very recently, but it’s all about zeroing in on the most important aspect of the project for you as a creative. I’ve found it very easily to accidentally take your eyes off the prize during the creative process and end up cramming 14 different ideas into a story when you only needed one. Being truthful to yourself and realizing what is most important to you as an artist is essential to creating a razor-sharp narrative. I still have a lot to learn in that department, but I’ve recently been trying to put that rule of thinking to use. Being in the free-flowing creative space is a blast, and when ideas are flowing you feel on top of the world…but I’ve also learned it’s important to sometimes put your impulsivities in check. Flashy new scenes, characters, set pieces, and one-liners sometimes come at a detriment to your overall theme or story. So having a clear idea of what you’re trying to do from beginning to end I’ve learned is a must.

Do you consider yourself part of a sci-fi community?

I’d definitely like to consider myself a member of the sci-fi community. I grew up watching Star Wars almost every single weekend with my brother, the only poem I can recite is the Green Lantern Oath and when I was 19 I built a fully functioning warp drive. Ok that last one was a lie but the rest are true. For as long as I can remember I’ve been an avid collector and consumer of all things science fiction, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to make our film “Recursion”.

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?

First and foremost I look to other films and tv shows I love. Even films and TV shows I don’t love. Often times movies that may have missed the mark from a story perspective still had an amazing art director or set designer. Inspiration can be taken from anywhere, not just the obvious favorites. The more art I take in, whether it be a video game, a movie, or a comic book I’m adding to the arsenal of inspiration in my brain. I may not even consciously know what I’m being inspired from, but subconsciously my creative mind is being influenced by 1000 things 24/7.

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?

If I HAD to choose…Star Wars, Philip K. Dick, Practical, Dystopia, Post Apocalypse.