Jody Wilson is an emerging filmmaker who got her start in the industry through visual effects production at Digital Domain in Los Angeles in 2009. In this capacity, she has had the opportunity to work with such directors as Joss Whedon, Marc Forester and David Fincher, from whom she has learned invaluable amounts about her own craft as a director.
Jody grew up in a small mountain town in Western Canada and studied Writing for Film at Vancouver Film School in 2003 before moving to Los Angeles to study producing at the New York Film Academy. A VFX production position on the film Ender’s Game brought her back to Vancouver in 2012, where she lives currently and just wrapped post production on her short film, Indigo, that she funded through Kickstarter just weeks before the team went to camera last October.
Jody is passionate about writing and aims to tell stories that evoke deep emotion by exploring different aspects of the human condition. The only thing she loves more than writing is directing the stories that she writes. She’s a collaborative filmmaker who loves putting together teams of passionate crew who believe in the story and can bring their best to the project. She is currently writing a feature film and submitting Indigo into festivals world wide.
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 for Takumi is his reality, would I want to live in it? I think in some ways I already do. Indigo explores the perception of reality and how it’s actually different for every single one of us.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Atreyu from the Never Ending Story.
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?
If humanoid robots continue to evolve in intellectual capacity and advanced intelligence - the only thing that will determine if they are in fact a friend is if they also develop empathy and emotional Intelligence at the same degree. I’m not sure it’s possible though, I’m not sure if it’s possible to artificially create an emotional response system. I think only nature has proven to have the ability to create it, which is why nature, in my opinion, is the highest power.
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?
What I love about the sci-fi community is that it’s bonded by one commonality; ideas of expansion and theories of what could be. It nurtures an inclusive culture, but not without a sharp bullshit detector… you can’t just lazily pass along ideas without supporting science as a foundation - I like that. I like being kept in check… and the sci-fi community will definitely keep you in check, because by default, it naturally responds positively to authenticity.
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?
Being an 80s born kid, coming of age in the 90’s, I think I am drawn to a healthy balance of analog and digital. Indigo is a good good example of my sensibility on this. I think you lose people when you rely too heavily on technology that doesn’t exist or is too far fetched. There is a sweet spot that needs to be found when creating technology in fiction - there is a space where people allow for a suspension of belief, but it must be rooted in something already familiar, already achieved.
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?
I think I look for inspiration from my childhood. Books and toys and films and music I discovered as a kid seem to always be the root for my artistic inspiration. Even when projecting into notions and ideas of the future, I never stray too far from my childhood as I think where we feel something for the first time has a powerful and long lasting affect on how we respond to something forever.
Lightning round: Star Wars or Star Trek? Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs? Practical or CGI? Dystopia or Utopia?
Star Wars or Star Trek: Black Mirror Practical or CGI?: Practical first, VFX until we figure out how to put a camera in outer space. But I definitely appreciate how VFX supports limitless ideas. There is nothing that cannot be visually created, and that’s awesome. Dystopia or Utopia: Creating Utopia after Dystopia