Why make Impact50? Interview with Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival

Sydney International Science Fiction Film Festival

As part of the Sydney International Science Fiction Film Festival where The Impact is playing, the organisers asked me some questions, and I thought I would share them here too. You can get more info on the festival and tickets HERE.

What have been the science-fiction works – books, films, art of any kind – that have inspired your work and forged your love for the genre?

As a kid, fantastical cinema was huge part of my life. Occasionally at the cinema but more often on TV. By the time I was a teen, I suspect I had seen almost every SciFi film of note to that date, and a huge amount that should maybe remain a footnote too.

British TV has a heritage of Sci-Fi too, be it Dr Who or Quatermass or others, and I immersed myself in that also. For most filmmakers my age, Star Wars was THE film, but for me it was ALIEN. The atmosphere, design, story, characters, the whole thing, mesmerised me. But I still love all those 1950’s movies in particular, like THEM, The Day The Earth Stood Still etc. and will do anything to work a Theramin into any project.

How did the original concept for your film take shape? What aspects of your film’s narrative and your protagonist’s journey were most important to you?

The Impact is not a normal film, it’s a collective film project with thousands of people from around the world involved. Out of the London Screenwriters Festival we built this project called Create50 to get 50 writers produced. We ended up publishing several books and making two feature films, The Impact being the second film. We asked writers to pen scripts that were two pages long and told their story in the final two hours of humanity before an asteroid strike that would be a planet killer. We had thousands of scripts submitted and hundreds of films. We chose the best and made a feature film from them.

Does the ‘science-fiction’ genre have deep roots in the art and cultural history of your homeland? Were the resources, facilities and talent pool required to bring your film to life easily sourced?

Britain has a tradition of Sci-Fi but the film was globally produced.

Describe for us the very best day you had in the life cycle of your film…

The premiere. Making a crowd sourced film is like herding cats and I was glad we could finally get in a cinema and celebrate.

Having guided your film from idea to completion, what lessons and advice would you offer a young science-fiction filmmaker about to embark on a similar journey?

All my lessons from this film are about crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. My biggest piece of advice is don’t do it. Crowdsourcing is remarkably hard. That said, we did it, so it does work. I wrote a long post here that you can re-use if you like, and any of the posts on the main site can be re-used.


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