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?
While my personal preference for watching sci-fi movies is a lived-in grungy world, if I were to live in a sci-fi world, I’d want something more utopian and Star Trek-esque.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
I’d have to say Chewbacca. I’m tall, quite hairy, and very loyal to my friends. I also tend to be quite competitive with games, though I always leave arms intact.
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’ve seen too many movies where A.I. goes bad, even with Asimov’s three laws. Let’s leave creativity up to the humans, shall we?
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?
It’d have to be Ripley, Captain Kirk, Han Solo, and Chewie at center.
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?
Bad ideas are just a pitstop to good ones. Sometimes you have to spend quite a bit of time at a pitstop before you can find your way again, but it’s an essential part of the creative process to explore different ideas, good and 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’m interested in sci-fi because of the stories you can tell, but I’m firmly planted in the present when it comes to the real world.
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 somewhere in the middle. I’m pretty connected digitally, but I still prefer analog for several things.
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?
They just need to feel like real objects that are used and have a purpose. It’s important that props fit the world and help support the story you’re trying to tell.
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?
You can’t make me pick between Star Wars and Star Trek, and I won’t! Philip K. Dick for me. His work has had a profound effect on my thinking and creative endeavors. In my opinion, it’s always best to film something practically to start with. It gives the actors something to interact with and helps with performance, it gives the effects artists something to match in post with real lighting reference, and it almost always leads to a better end result, even if CG replaces most the frame. The perfect imperfections of the real world are very difficult to achieve fully with the computer. CGI isn’t good or bad, it’s just a tool that’s overused. Dystopia for stories, Utopia to live in. I’ll always favor the post-apocalyptic stories, and I credit Mad Max for that.