Marco Baldonado

Marco Baldonado is a director and actor, known for Toto (2020).

Dust Films


Q & A

If the world you created in your film became a reality, is that a world you would want to live in??

I would totally live in a world with robot companions like Toto. I would teach the robot to help my parents with chores and with the garden. Imagine having a robot that can cook, grow fresh vegetables, and recycle efficiently. It would all be really handy until the robot turns on us.

Is there a Sci-Fi world you’d buy a one-way ticket to?

I would want a one-way ticket to the Sci-Fi world of Carole & Tuesday. It is a Martian metropolis called Alba City. It is a utopian city on Mars and the same place where Cowboy Bebop takes place.

Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?

My Sci-Fi spirit animal is the hippo pig in Okja.

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?

Humanoid robots with advanced A.I. can be my friends but only if they have good taste in music. If robots were to make their own sci-fi films, I feel like they will be amazing visual spectacles but lack novelty. I would like to be proven wrong though. Imagine if the AI made shitty looking films with great stories, then that would be interesting.

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?

The Terminator, Jar Jar Binks and Leeloo.

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?

A bad idea I had for TOTO was the idea of starring as the robot and directing the short film from within the robot suit. Another bad idea was to pilot the robot suit on a Segway hoverboard. I think the best way to get past bad ideas is to do the work, try different solutions, and follow your gut. Simple solutions are often the best ideas but also the hardest to figure out.

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 consider myself an outsider for most things but if the sci-fi community would accept me then I’d be happy to join. Lol. It is isolating and sometimes scary when my brain is in the future and my body is in the present. I think writing is isolating too and the pressure to make good work is immense. I try talking to someone kind whenever it gets to be too much.

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?

As I get older, I’m becoming more of an analog person. I like holding tools in my hand and interacting with my environment. I like the idea of tsukumogami. Of how tools can have a spirit. I always carry a lucky pencil, eraser, sharpener and yellow notepad. My short film is based in the near future, and there isn’t a big gap between its technology and filmmaking technology today. It seems that the highest forms of filmmaking are always on the cutting edge. Yet there is something about shooting on old fashion filmstock that is beautiful.

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 look for inspiration in millions of places for props and sets. From all media, video games, history, comic books, art galleries, and to science today. Researching and gathering references is a huge part of the creative process. To create an object that is relatable but unfamiliar isn’t easy. I think it’s a matter of tapping into what works today in our world and asking yourself if you can live with the object you’re creating. It’s also important to collaborate with other artists that can build upon the vision that you’re after.

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 William S. Burroughs Practical Utopia Pre Apocalypse