Frankie De Leonardis
Frankie De Leonardis is a director living in Barcelona, Spain. Frankie has been working for advertising and broadcast media since 1998, mainly as a director and animator, also as title designer and VFX artist. He’s won of several awards, including gold the NY Advertising Festival(2011) for his work in promoting the last season of the series “Lost” for Cuatro.
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 would love to live in a world were there is life after death, and someone to greet you with a cake once you get there. Anyhow that's too fantastic, so If I have to choose a possible world I'd say Earth at Star Trek's time/space.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
It took me too long to become a filmmaker. I relate quite well to David from "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" made into Kubrick/Spielberg's A.I., that feeling of trailing something you desire so much but it's moving forward at a slightly faster pace than you. That ongoing sensation that you'll reach your goals too late. My spirit animal in every situation is Gonzo from The Muppets, and yep he can also be an alien.
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?
We tend to imagine robots mimicking humans, aliens having human characteristics. I'm not too sure that'll be the case once we reach that point. Surely friends, and if they produce any sort of artistic material I'd love to experience that.
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?
Any choice starts and ends with the muppets. Also someone badass like Sigourney Weaver and Leonard Nimoy. ¿Do I have a limit?
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?
Any idea can be good, except this one: I woke up in the middle of the night after writing all day for a tv show, there was this alcoholic character, and it got into my mind I should use a bottle as a metaphor for her falling apart. We would have, in every shot she appeared, a bottle. The bottle would be filled at the first scene and empty at the last. I did not sleep at all, thinking: This is genius! I have to remember this tomorrow. The next day as I was having breakfast it became clear that was the dumbest idea ever, and it did not bind with any of the series writing since the character did not end wasted or damaged by her drinking. I troll myself to get past the bad stuff, and I share a lot of what I write or think with my friends (they're savages). The spark pops-in when you've abstracted yourself from the self-centered exercise of writing. You get inputs when your mind is un-aware that it's working.
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 do consider myself part of a globar sci-fi community, me and my friends have lots of talks about how the future's gonna be. My mind is flying around most of the time, and it is not isolating it's a great escape-trick from everyday troubles.
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?
100% digital, but there's a trick. I write about human troubles, so technology is somewhat present but not indispensable. The technology for making the films is such a small part of the whole process that if there is any disconnection it's never really present.
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?
If you want to move forward you have to look back. Retro-future is my choice.
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, the other is empty reiterative entertainment. Philip K. Dick every time. Practical rigs and props + CGI enhancement. Utopia, let's hope for the best. No apocalypse, just consequences of poor judgment.