After spending his childhood in Oklahoma making animated short films, Eric McEver relocated to Tokyo during college to pursue his passion for Japanese fantasy cinema. While working variously as a theater actor, translator, game developer and animation producer, he developed an offbeat cinematic vision fusing the languages and idiosyncrasies of his two homes.
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 rather live in the world that the characters in Paleonaut are trying to build for themselves. To answer the second question: James Gurney’s Dinotopia.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Ka D’Argo in Farscape.
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 think our actual relationship is going to be much more symbiotic than anything binary like that. Like all life, A.I. will end up joining the ecosystem.
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?
I defer to the greatest moment of animation in all of science fiction: Revenging Angel in Farscape.
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 is relative.
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?
A Buddhist monk reminded me that dreaming of the future is my 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?
I try to embrace the best of both. And the cutting edge of today is the analog of tomorrow.
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?
There are no new ideas. Just look in the world around you and you’ll find all the inspiration you need.
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. I prefer Dan Simmons to either. Why do I have to pick between two equally beautiful art forms? Dystopia and utopia is all a matter of perception. Apocalypse is also relative.