William Hellmuth

William Hellmuth is a director of photography based out of Southern California. He strives to create meaningful images that visually reinforce the story or themes of whatever project he’s shooting. Besides filmmaking, William enjoys spending time with his wife and kids (and dog), brewing beer, and playing nerdy table top games.

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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?

In this world, it’s possible children are being abducted by aliens. So, I don’t think so. I’d love to be a Jedi in the Star Wars Universe, though.

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

I really love Luke Skywalker. His story is the archetypal hero’s journey. I love it!

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?

Sure. But only if they don’t try to create a Hal 9000 origin story that explains in detail where it came from, why it went bonkers on Dave, and how Hal is actually a victim of circumstance.

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?

Bullseye for the shooting. Nightcrawler from the X-Men for teleportation from offense to defense. The spirit of Abraham Lincoln for motivational speeches. Bill Murray just because.

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?

Way too many bad ideas to compile. I did have one about a person under house arrest for tweeting the “wrong” thing about a popular political figure, but reality caught up with it. Usually, I look for story and character, then I ask: What are you trying to say? And do you need to say it?

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’m in a community, now! Thanks DUST!

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?

It’s hard to not be a digital person in today’s world, but I find my own little ways. For instance, I LOVE hard copies of books. I love to write things down as opposed to typing them. I usually use digital methods of performance for work, analog for leisure.

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?

Simplicity is key.

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. Philip K. Dick. Practical. Dystopia. Post Apocalypse.