Teal Greyhavens is an award-winning writer and director of short films, documentaries, and virtual reality experiences. As a creative director at Dark Corner he has developed some of the world’s most acclaimed VR experiences, which have screened at Venice, SXSW, Tribeca, AFI, Fantastic Fest, Sitges, Dubai, and many other fests. He has previously been profiled in IndieWire and Filmmaker Magazine as a young director to watch, before he made the unfortunate mistake of partnering with Nikolai von Keller to form Ink Run.
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?
Without getting into spoilers, we definitely would not want to step into the world of Contact. We wouldn’t get to enjoy it for very long.
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 much prefer robots to be making sci-fi films rather than enslaving or destroying us all. Also, at that point are they no longer sci-fi? Isn’t it just sci?
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?
Nick and I burn through a lot of ideas when we’re writing, and most of them are terrible. Especially his. But the beauty of our collaboration is that we’re very mean to each other, so we just keep shutting everything down until something decent sinks its hooks in. I imagine a lot of things that are great probably got that way simply because someone was stubborn enough to keep saying “not good enough” when others might have said “sure, it’s fine.”
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 consider myself an organic person. The best special effects are the kind you never knew were there. (Insert Fincher reference here.) I’ve worked in virtual reality for a while, but it wasn’t our mission to make a film that was a statement about virtual worlds. We wanted to make a film that was about being human, about fear and dread, and discovery. The technology, as is often the case in sci-fi, is a means to an emotional end.
Lightning round: Star Wars or Star Trek? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Star Trek. Practical. Yet somehow affordable. Apocalypse Now?