Diogo Gameiro is a versatile director focused on storytelling and with a strong background in visual effects. He puts much effort and attention into narrative aspects such as acting and composition, and always uses aesthetics as a storytelling tool. Diogo has won awards such as Cannes Lions, Clio, Ciclope, One Show, and international film festivals around the world.
Q & A
If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in?
I somehow feel like we’re almost living in a world close to what we created for the film. Technology and artificial intelligence are evolving very fast in exciting and concerning ways, at the same time. I’d love to have a machine that know precisely what medical conditions I have and help me cure it, I somehow feel like this is getting closer and closer to becoming real, but I also think that we have to make sure that we compensate with empathy. I hope that’s what differentiates both worlds.
Is there a Sci-Fi world you’d buy a one-way ticket to?
There’s a concept that intrigues me a lot and you’ll find it written and rewritten again and again (guess it’s not just me). Replay and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (books) both build very interesting worlds around that concept: reliving your life keeping the memories of your past tries. It always makes me wonder what I’d do again or differently and how things would build from that. From TV, the world of Tales from the Loop.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Any Na’vi from Avatar. Not the humans, the indigenous Na’vi. I find amazing to want to live in oneness with nature and every living thing. The concept of total integration and mutual benefit/responsibility is fascinating to 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?
Friends. Every advancement in science is a friend. Foes are the humans who use advanced technology to hurt and profit.
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?
Original Bob (We are Legion books), Yoda, Eleven, Heptapod from Arrival, Akira, Any Na’vi
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?
Everything starts really bad. We believe in being in brainstorming and being honest. We usually work in 3 to 5 people throwing ideas at each other. If the general feeling isn’t one of excitement nor inspiration, we move on to the next idea/solution. Instant Doctor started out with just an empty room with a chair in the middle and a camera on a tripod. It took a lot of ideas to get to where it is. Most were bad.
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 myself a dreamer, but the worst kind. I’m always wanting something else. Not that I’m not grateful for what I have, I truly am, but I often wonder what things would be like if they were different. So I often create parallel worlds in my head. So it is kind of isolating somehow. Not from other people, but from other possibilities, maybe.
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 consider myself more of an analog person, but everyone else consider me to be very digital driven. I guess that’s the balance there :) I do love technology, but there’s a poetry to the imperfection that gives life to the textures of film, cut paper, paint and graphite.
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?
That is a great question. I look everywhere. Designs from the past, evolution of common goods throughout history, present trends in design, and mostly the most simplistic way a feature could be represented. I truly believe that the future is minimalist in shape, plural in function. The simpler the form and the broader the range of use, the more chance of belonging to the future (think smartphones vs old cellphones).
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. Philip K. Dick. Practical FX. Utopia. Post Apocalypse.