Can you tell us something about your background and past projects?
My background is actually in the theater. I specialize in boneless theater – no set, no props, just facial expressions and dialogue. I started working on films in 2005, starting as a runner from below. I started creating some shorts during this time, but it was just about trying out concepts and improving them.
Working on Neill Blomkamp's films as an EPK producer was a big educational thing for me. Not just from him, but also from the crew. For District 9, I was there every day from start to finish, getting to know the crew very well and talking to people about how things work. When I was working on the set for the second and third films, I was really familiar. I now realize how lucky I was to be working on such big films because you really work with A-grade people in the profession.
How do you approach sitting down and writing a script for a short film?
I sat down and tried to come up with 5 ideas for stories a day. Just as an exercise. During this exercise, one of the ideas O.I. – It was something that I later wrote down and expanded on. I also live from feedback. It is important that you publish your content. You can be too close to be objective. It also helps to take about three weeks off and create some distance between you and your work.
How did you start, O.I. to write?
While working on other projects I decided to go through the list of ideas and O. I really stood out, so I wrote it. Although the ending has changed a lot since then. I asked for feedback early on and the end actually came from some feedback I received.
As for writing, O.I. It was the first time I sat down and properly worked out the structure of the story before I started writing. However, once you move on – as with any creative endeavor – you immediately see flaws. But it's good because it helps you get better. I have a couple of my old shorts on my YouTube channel that I wanted to delete but decided to leave them there. It is good to know where you have been to get to your destination. The first thing you do will always be bad, I don't care who you are! It's a process.
In your own words, how would you describe the concept of the film?
I really wanted to find out what an original idea really means. You cannot have an actual original idea – everything is based on previous experience. It's about combining ideas from different angles. Maybe this can be classified as new, but it's not as original as people might think. Nobody comes up with anything really original – even Einstein needed years of earlier work by other scientists to be able to put together the theory of relativity. With this in mind, hundreds of people have contributed – so reality is an original idea of putting the pieces together. I just want people to think about it, and a comic book tone can help with that.
How do you stay efficient on set?
I think my background in theater is really changing my approach to filmmaking and differentiating me from other directors. I make sure we have as many rehearsals as possible and that helped me a lot. We had a 3 day shoot and the final cut was done in just under a year. We were self-funded and volunteered which means you have to stick to people's schedules. People have done us a great favor by helping us. If we had the money to pay everyone in full, it would probably have been ready in about three months.
For example, on the first day we shot 16 pages with intensive dialogues in the Tiki Bar. We could do this because we had so much rehearsal. This is the only reason we could even end the day. The actors knew who the characters were and what they were doing. I also had my DOP on the last day of rehearsals so we could plan the camera movements. We just had to position ourselves directly.
Had you worked with any of the actors before?
Toby (the bartender) is a good friend of mine. But I got to know the other two actors through Kris & Kara casting. Since we had no money, the casting agency basically gave us a few options and sent us videos of their previous work. We then rated them from one to five. We ended up with Ben and Kett, which worked out perfectly. I couldn't have asked for a better cast – they were ready for anything, they were professional, and they always knew exactly what to do.
You can have as many blood blasts and VFX as you want, but if the characters aren't convincing or believable it won't work!
Can you imagine a time when your idea was "blown away" by an idea?
The Matrix is the first time I've really thought about the weak nature of reality. You are really walking around in a kind of "meat suit" – and that suit is there to move your conscious experience. There is so much room for error and the matrix sums that up.
What is your upcoming film, Hunter & # 39; s Cabin, about? What can viewers expect?
Hunter & # 39; s Cabin is about a man who runs his own cabin repair business. The film takes place in the middle of the forest and begins with the main character in front of a hut while he is on the phone with his wife, who takes care of her newborn child at home. While he was talking to his wife, an uncontrollable episode suddenly began leading to a power outage and … that's about as much as I can tell! It's a lot more of a horror movie than O.I. and there's one twist I'd rather not spoil before it's release. Toby is there too!
Do you have any other projects in the works? Maybe a function?
Yes, I wrote a feature film with my writing partner Den Atonakas. The draft script is ready and is currently being reviewed by friends and colleagues in the industry. I can't reveal too much about the movie right now, other than it's a medical thriller with a female lead, currently called "An Old Man Called Roy". Den and I studied together, but lost touch for a while after moving to New Zealand with Victoria (O.I. & # 39; s producer). We've since reconnected and decided to write a feature together. We came up with a number of ideas, shortlisted 5 and picked Roy as the winner.
I also started working with Den on scripted podcasts – they are essentially radio plays where all voices are played with sound effects but are instead delivered in podcast form. You really take off and it's just the thing for me in terms of interests. It feels like going back to my roots in naked theater.