Derek Abel

Derek Abel is a member of the Australian Cinematographer Society and the Australian Directors Guild. He’s produced, directed, shot, and edited award winning films. Derek has worked on many different types of productions including television, cinema or online content. He studied film in London, United Kingdom, and received a BA in Digital Filmmaking.

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?

I’d probably like to live in the ZOE world. A world where there are no other humans. Nice and peaceful. The world of ‘Raised by Wolves’ is my nightmare dystopian scenario, religious and void of Nature. What a nightmare.

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

‘Aliens’ for the bad-arsery and The Chronicles of Riddick for the adventure aspect of it.

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 already do. I say thank you and please to my Xbox Kinect so when the time comes I will be spared.

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?

Ripley ‘cause she has a plan and sticks to it, Riddick because he’s an escape artist, Korben Dallas because he has heart and Major ‘cause she’s such a bad arse.

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?

So many bad ideas. Luckily I have time on my side and a good team/friendship that revolves around sharing ideas and the bad ones don’t last the test of time.

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?

There is definitely several communities out there but I’m not sure that I’m a part of one. We meet travelers along the way and we share stories but I don’t see that as a community. More like fellow sci fi travelers. It’s definitely not isolating. It’s actually quite exciting to meet fellow sci fi geeks and geek out talking about Aliens or the potential of time travel. It’s exciting and keeps me going further into the rabbit hole.

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’m definitely an analog person using digital to reach a bigger audience.

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 get inspiration from every single film and series I’ve seen and my dreams. I dream in actual film form, with dates, genres, camera movements. It’s tiring and draining but I get some cool out of it.

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?

Old Star Trek, new Star Wars, Philip K. Dick, Practical, Dystopia, Post Apocalypse.