Justin H. Reich is an editor and director, known for Skip (2018), Ace Frehley feat. Paul Stanley: Fire and Water (2016) and Black Label Society: Angel of Mercy (2014).
Q & A
If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in?
We kind of live in it now, it's a world where we are forced into mindless repetition. Where people are cancelled too quickly, turned away, judged, labeled, cast aside and chastised for not following the status quo or whatever the popular thing is at the moment. In Skip, non-compliance means death.. but then again in some situations, so is the same in our world. So unfortunately Skip is our world, and we all have to decide is this how it should be or should we work to change it to make it a safer and more tolerant and accepting world for everyone.
Is there a Sci-Fi world you'd buy a one-way ticket to?
Nah, I really do like my planet earth and all of it's flaws and would miss it. Now on the other hand, if it was a round trip ticket, I'd love to see the worlds of Blade Runner, Klingon and Coruscant.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level?
Yoda. Always Yoda.
Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Friend or Foe: humanoid robots with advanced artificial intelligence?
Make them your friend ASAP because they are the new rulers of earth.
What if robots start making their own Sci-Fi films? Will you support them in their endeavors?
Sure, they can hire me. I need to buy a house.
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?
Well, I don't play basketball, so I wouldn't make a Toon Squad. I would however (if I was Bugs Bunny) invest all of my royalty checks into planet friendly sustainable companies to save the environment and be the first cartoon on Mars.
You've golta 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 ideas are like Manure in your garden, lots of shit everywhere and not every spot is going to grow and the people around you are going to walk away or not be interested in staying to watch, but eventually something will grow and it will be awesome and everyone will want to see it and that's when you charge a fee at the door.
Do you consider yourself part of a sci-fi community?
Absolutely, I love all of my people.
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 enjoy analog story elements more than digital because there is more mystery and more room to wiggle with story. A horror movie is way more scary when you're lost in the woods and the only phone is a landline in a dark cabin that is dead. If the character had a cell phone, authorities would triangulate the position in minutes and send a helicopter. As for filming, I don't care, whatever gets the job done. It's what I see on the screen that is important. You could shoot it wit an iPhone I don't care, but if it fits the story and I lose myself in the work, it's a success in my book.
When you're creating the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspiration?
I look to my Art Director and say "make it look good" and she or he does.
How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
Jello Molds of everything.
Lightning round: Star Wars or Star Trek?
Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs?
Philip K. Dick
Practical or CGI?
Dystopia or Utopia?
Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Post Apocalypse, like post post post apocalypse, where everything is clean green and humanity is less than a million people, or apes rule everything, that works too