Emily Skye is an award winning director and cinematographer, who shot her debut feature, River (being released worldwide July 2021), which she filmed September 2020, during the pandemic. She won over 18 awards for her short film of River, filmed May 2020, which is on DUST, Hollyshorts Bitpix to name a few. Emily has a highly anticipated Whiskey Docuseries adventure called Binders Stash coming out fall 2021. She also in development of a worldwide phenomenon book series called Significance and prepping her next film, Cherry Ln.
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?
The world I created, is based on a lot of truths in my life and I added a sci-fi twist. I wish my life was that cool. Flight of the Navigator was my childhood wish, if I could travel the galaxy with Max I would.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
When Star Wars VII came out and introduced Rey to us all, she is someone I can relate with, we all. Are searching for our purpose, while dealing with life.
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 would embrace them, haven’t we seen enough films and shows that teaches us what happens when we are against them? If robots began making their own films, I’m sure they would beat Tom Cruise and be the first to make films in space. I would then ask to join them. I would definitely learn from them.
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?
Space Jam was my 5th grade film of the year. My entire class sang the theme song the entire way to D.C for our safety patrol trip!! Hmmm. I would have the Guardians of the Galaxy as my Tune Squad, or would that be cheating? I know my strongest player would be Rocket.
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 honestly think every idea starts off as a bad one, you just have to keep working on that idea until it has life. I usually sit with an idea for a moment and then I began creating the ending first. I want my ending to get me excited, then I fill in the beginning and middle. All scripts have an ugly faze, well at least mine do, then I torture myself by getting notes upon notes from trusted writers. I have yet to have nice notes, but I prefer the truth so I can dive deeper, it is almost painful. It’s in those moments that my usually bad concepts turn into something, which always reflects on my personal experiences. River did a total 180, originally “River” was in College and “Amanda” was a man. I pivoted due to COVID and I love Alexandra Rose who is now “Amanda”, so I changed the character for her.
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 part of the film community, which consists of a lot of filmmakers who love Sci-fi as much as I do. My brain is always in the future, thinking how I can get my worlds off the ground and sometimes it feels isolating, but I am also a mom to a creative 8 year old and he keeps me coming back to being present.
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?
Analog for sure, infinite possibilities. I feel there’s a happy balance between the two for sure. Filmmaking has changed a lot over the years, but I still do my VFX practical. There will always be an enhancement in post, but I seriously love making something feel more tangible on set. Technology has changed how we make films, everything is about CGI and creating worlds around computer graphics, but I still very much love making worlds the non CGI way.
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?
Everything I create I put a human emotion into it, after all we are human and have to connect, even if this is a different world. So for “River” all I did was enhance what was already there and made the forest both scary and familiar to her.
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 Trek, Philip K. Dick, Practical, Dystopia, Post Apocalypse.