David Wayne Smith
Hi there, my name is David and I’m a U.S. born filmmaker who has resided in South Africa for the past 11 years. I grew up in a moving family that traveled across the world. The experience of being thrown into new environments and cultures has always inspired me to create worlds with the medium of film. I am deeply in love with story and genre.
I’m currently the senior creative researcher and storyboard artist for Egg Films in Cape Town. Having collaborated on some of the most awarded adverts and music video projects in South Africa since 2016, I’ve been able to team with the local industry’s top advertisers and filmmakers on a handful of incredible projects. I have written, directed, and produced several, high calibre short films throughout the past two years. My focus on the storytelling dynamics of genre, stunt work, and character development.
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 most sci-fi worlds are an artistic reflection of the one we live in. The world of OASIS is filled with vulnerable people and limited resources. Its our world exaggerated to the extremes of being a desolate desert in which excavating water is your only chance of survival. I would not want to live there but one could argue that for some, we already are. That said, the world of Oasis is one where kindness ultimately reigns. I’m not always certain it does in our own. And while that scares me, I do have hope that we always have a chance to be kind to one another.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
I sometimes find myself thinking I’m like Neo. A man who has awoken from the lies of a fabricated reality. Someone who against all odds, discovers the truth about what it means to exist. And then I harness the truth of my self and the world and expertly wield it to make reality better. But all too often I’m reminded how little I actually know… I’m more like StarLord. A good-intentioned idiot on a crazy adventure through this universe as I continue to learn the importance of friendship.
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?
The ethics of sentient robots is a topic for people much smarter than me. Which Terminator is making the film? The T800 from the first film? Or the second?
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?
Mechagodzilla. You can’t lose if there’s no team to beat.
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?
There aren’t bad ideas. Only incomplete ones. Getting from bad to good takes work. Reach out. Share. Collaborate. Listen. Adapt. Those last two are probably the most important.
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 consider the sci-fi community as those are have taken part in Sci-Fi stories. Wether you enjoy them, create them, feature in them, inspire them, whatever. I love consuming Sci-fi stories. I am thrilled to have the chance to craft them too. I will continue to consume and craft Sci-fi stories as long as I live.
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 don’t think too much about my own preferences. I like to explore the themes of synthetic vs organic in my stories but when it comes to a personal preference I don’t really have one. Both have positives and negatives.
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 first consider a problem in the world I’m creating and then imagine a tool that would be exciting potential solution to that problem. Once I have an idea such as, a device the extracts water from a desert, I will then research devices that may exist like this.
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 Philp K. Dick Practical Effects with motivated CGI Enhancements Dystopia Post Apocalypse