Nick Trivundza & Lexie Trivundza

Nick + Lexie Trivundza are award winning directors whose work spans feature films, television, and commercials. They are the directors of the feature films, The West and the Ruthless and Danger! Danger! as well several award winning short films including the Umbrella Factory and Jack the Ripper. Their television work has included broadcast and streamers alike as well the Emmy Winning series, the Dead Unknown. Their commercial work includes brands and clients such as Apple, The Academy Awards, Google, NFL, Yahoo, Visa, DIY Network, Adobe, Mattel, HP, and many more.

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

We would love to buy a one-way ticket to the world of BackSpace! It has everything we love, from robots, to distant planets, and adventure! It’s also a world we could relate to instantly. Despite being an adventure in the farthest parts of space - there’s still the everyday dynamics of coworkers, not always liking your job, and issues that come up with dating.

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

Lexie I’d love to identify with the Terminator 2 Sarah Connor. What a badass! Looking at me you’d think I’m 100% not her. I have pink hair, wear vintage star wars t-shirts, but when my daughter gets pushed on a playground by a bigger kid - watch out! I go full mama bear / Sarah Connor protecting the future of mankind. Nick I’d love to identify with Han Solo. That would be the coolest thing in the entire world - BUT I’m definitely more Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Friend or Foe: humanoid robots with advanced ar%ficial intelligence? What if robots start making their own Sci-Fi films? Will you support them in their endeavors?

Humanoid Robots are great and will more than likely never have advanced artificial intelligence. Most of the time my phone barely works. If AI is ever invented it’ll only take a week before an update gets released that totally ruins it.

In 1996, Bugs Bunny recruited Michael Jordan and Bill Murray to form the greatest basketball squad of all-%me, the Tune Squad; you’re Bugs, who’s on your Sci-Fi Tune Squad?

If we were Bugs Bunny putting together a super team, I think we’d go with all villains. Throw in Darth Vader, a Terminator, a Predator, and you’ll destroy the other team!

You’ve got to 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?

We love bad ideas! Bad ideas are the best place to start. If you can allow yourself to embrace something silly or just fun without being too precious about something or thinking it has to be perfect from the moment you start, then the creative process can be so much more enjoyable. One of our worst ideas lately has been about newlyweds during the apocalypse, an apocalypse with evil robots, cannibals, and shoot outs - although we’re really starting to like that idea. We call it “You, Me, and World War 3.”

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?

We’ve never considered ourselves to be part of a sci-fi community, but instead a filmmaking community that loves sci-fi. As filmmakers we tend to work with a lot of like- minded people that love filmmaking - and almost by default, everyone’s favorite films are always sci-fi films. The love for these films is astounding and transcends age, sex, ethnicity, in such a wonderful way that never feels isolating. Sci-fi films have this wonderful way of bringing people together.

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?

We love the combination of digital and analog. Its the fusion of these two worlds that we really enjoy. Figuring out how they plus one another. On our latest project, BackSpace, the entire project was made in Unreal Engine, but we spent weeks hiking and climbing and photographing rocks and real locations. We took a trip out to the Grand Canyon and went on little adventures that helped inform the digital world we were creating. On other projects that we’ve directed that are live action, we’re shooting on Red and working in a completely digital workflow and plussing the footage with FX. So it’s the combo of the two things that we love.

When you’re crea%ng the props and sets that make a new world, where do you look for inspira%on? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?

When we’re creating new worlds, one of the things we love are Art of Books. Seeing the formation of an idea whether its for Blade Runner, Dune, or Rogue One, it’s so exciting to see the evolution of a concept and pieces that may have been lost along the way. Sometimes it’s these little pieces that didn’t even end up in the film that leave you yourself as a filmmaker wanting to further explore that spark.

Lightning round: Star Wars or Star Trek? Philip K. Dick or William S. Burroughs? Prac%cal or CGI? Dystopia or Utopia? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?

Star Wars! Phillip K. Dick! Practical mixed with CGI! Dystopia! Post Apocalypse!