Carleton Rodgers is a Belfast born director, editor and co-founder of the production company Apex Pictures.
His 2021 sci-fi short ‘Transmission’ world premiered at the Academy Award® and BAFTA qualifying L.A Shorts Film Festival and is currently enjoying its festival run. His editing credits include the critically acclaimed hybrid theatre film ‘Distortion’ (2021), ‘Frankie’ (2021) and the award winning short film ‘The Painted Lady’ (2021).
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’d take a one-way ticket to the Star Wars universe – pre-Empire!
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
I’ve always had a connection with Roy Neary from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. His quest and determination to seek out the unknown always struck a chord with me. That being said if I were to choose a Sci-fi spirit alien it would be E.T. his curiosity about the universe we live in and affection for those around him along with his clear love for his family and home is something that resonates very deeply with me.
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?
Foe: Robots are a tool like all other forms of technology in my opinion. Humans are terribly flawed creatures – a robot making a movie would probably result in zero flaws and be the greatest movie ever made but it's those flaws that give something character and a “human touch”
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?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I’d say Jar Jar Binks for the height alone, The Alien, Sarah Connor, Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Flash Gordon, Neo, Fox Mulder, Spock, Ellen Ripley and Maria The Robot from Metropolis would be top in my list.
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 never really rate myself as a writer so when it comes to writing I'll only do it when I believe that the film is going to get made. Luckily for me, everything I’ve written has been made. I’m sure I’ve come up with terrible ideas in the past but I don’t even begin to write them down.
Do you consider yourself part of a sci-fi community?
Science fiction is where I go for my escape, it’s a great community and what's fantastic is that you can find all sorts of fandoms in every corner of the globe wanting to explore concepts and theories ever further. I can spend hundreds of hours online scrolling through Sci-Fi threads and watching other filmmakers Science Fiction work.
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?
That’s a tough question. The more the world becomes more reliant on digital technology the more I appreciate analog tech. I love the analog aesthetic, the bold designs with physical buttons and lights – the oddities about it all. Touchscreens cased in metal and glass just don’t feel the same. There's a coldness about it all. But looking at a film spool as it plays or watching a vinyl record spin and make noise from nothing still conjures a real sense of wonder in me that’s hard to describe. I do film digitally, moreso for cost than anything but I’d love to shoot something traditionally.
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, Phillip K. Dick, Practical, Dystopia, Pre-Apocalypse