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?
Yes, I find the evolution of science fascinating and I would enjoy living in the world of my film. That being said by film takes a rather dark view of people ability to live in such a world, so if I were to live in it, I would want to be very careful. My film is about the murky ethics of life and death … and whether we are humans are evolved enough to wield such power.
Name a Sci-Fi character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Sci-Fi spirit animal/spirit alien?
Leeloo from the 5th Element.
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?
I would endeavor to win their trust and favor, so we could work together. I see AI as taking over the earth sooner than we realize I’d rather not be a casualty of that war.
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?
Sorry, I don’t follow hockey.
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?
Great question, before I wrote Together Forever, I wrote eight other short scripts and before that about twenty-five features … almost all of them, subpar. I won’t say bad ideas, I will say lack of experience and far too much enthusiasm for my subjects. I love writing and do it all the time, but I know for sure I’ve evolved and matured over time and only get better with each new challenge I take on. I’m also a big believer in “just doing it” so I write down dreams I’ve had, scraps of ideas, fragments of characters. I don’t think it ever hurts to get your idea down on paper. The ideas are rarely actually bad, it’s a matter of taking the time to fully form them and understand if they have merit. That’s where I go wrong a a writer sometimes is assigning merit to a concept that isn’t worthy of it. Knowing something is truly special and not letting it go is the key for me and my ideas.
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 don’t feel like I’m part of any community. I write all manner of genres, primarily dramadies. I do love Sci-fi – because of the big ideas and their relevance to our real lives and the direction of our future, but it’s not the exclusive world I work in. I think being a writer is rather a lonely endeavor, but a lot of writers are misanthropes who prefer their own company to that of others so perhaps it works out. For myself that balance is struck by also being a director. You have the solitude of the written page but then extreme community of the cast and crew and collaborative process, which I also love and thrive off.
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 grew up shooting film and had a dark room in my house growing up (I took over the laundry room, much to my mother’s displeasure.) But the realities of today’s tech mean I am primarily digital these days. The democratization of the medium is both a blessing and a curse and I try to roll with it.
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’ve been a Production Designer and Art Director for the past 15 years, so I’m privileged enough to have risen through the ranks in the hallowed halls of Warner Brothers, Universal etc and their many prop houses. So for me art and props and set dec are all around me and second nature to me. If I write something I am confident I can build or have someone help me build any and everything I dream up. I find if you present something as “real” people tend to accept it, if it’s done convincingly enough they forget it’s new or alien to them.
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?
Neither. Burroughs Practical Dystopia Post Apocalypse