Jamie Parslow is a director, writer, and producer originally from Tampa, Florida, currently residing in Los Angeles. His work is often informed by his upbringing in poverty as a child, often leaning into works of science-fiction, comedy, drama, and thrillers.
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?
For the sake of science, I think it’d be incredible to witness a black hole in person. But for the sake of… well… life… yeah, absolutely not. Especially one that’s the size of the one in our movie. It’d be large enough to take out most of our solar system in an instance.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level.
A loaded question, but if we’re talking about the same level of apathy, existential crises, and generally falling into things they’re not prepared for, I’d have to say Rick Deckard from Blade Runner… or Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse Five. I guess they both sort of go through much of the same.
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?
Given that my last film was roughly about both, I think I’d like to believe that - at least from their perspective, they’d be friendly, though for the sake of survival, should we threaten their existence, they’d easily be a foe fast. I’m not sure, if they created their own films, we’d even be able to comprehend them, but I always support art, regardless of comprehension.
Who would be in your sci-fi crew?
Oh man, if we’re talking about real folks, it’d have to be George Lucas for the world-building, Mary Shelly to be scary, Kurt Vonnegut for the sass, George Melies for the imagination, Philip K. Dick for the robots, really, and Stanley Kubrick for that 1-2 punch of perfection.
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?
Philosophically speaking, I’m not sure if I believe that ideas can really be bad, just poorly executed. That said, I have a bad habit of biting off more than I can chew in terms of concepts, and I tend to write really, really beyond the scope of my budgets. This gets me into some hot water when I finally get to production, and often hamstrings my characters and sometimes dialogue. But I’ve found that getting perspective from friends and colleagues often pushes me past bad executions. The more collaborative a process is, the better the product tends to be in my experience. That’s the only way I know how to make things work, currently.
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 not sure if I know where the sci-fi community congregates, but I’d love to know if anyone has a clue. If we’re talking about participating in the story-telling community, I’d like to believe I’m in the conversation somewhere, but that’s to be determined. As far as the second question, I tend to think towards the future quite often, for good or bad. I don’t think it’s isolating, especially if one can express their thoughts to like-minded friends. But I’ll often find myself out on long walks at night conceptualizing my ideas, and until they’re fully formed, I don’t like to give my thoughts too early on in that process. So yeah, I guess in that respect, it can be isolating, whether I feel it or not.
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?
really like to think I’m a bit both analog and digital. I love working with my hands, tearing things apart, building things, and working with general mechanics. But at the same time, I’m most certainly the most tech-savvy person in my family. The fascination between how digital interacts with mechanical has been a long-standing one since I was a child, and I try to imbue that child-like intuition in most of my work. When it comes to Black Hole, we initially shot the film with a practical orb painted with Black 3.0 paint and affixed warped see-through records for the corona. But after seeing our friend’s CGI interpretation of our practical piece, we immediately jumped on to use the VFX version with the practical working as both a great eye-line for our actors as well as allowing the light to refract in the right manner on their faces and the surrounding surfaces. It’s that incredible marriage of both analog and digital effects that really sell movies nowadays.
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 -Phillip K. Dick -Practical -Dystopia -Pre-Apocalypse