Canadian short film Hello World is now currently crowdfunding via Kickstarter. This 9-minute short tells the story of an android observing the relationship of a father and son after the passing of their wife and mother. The future portrayed in Hello World is a far cry from many bleaker, dystopian futures in popular culture.
Written, directed and produced by Olaf Blomerus, Hello World has completed principal photography. The android character will be computer-generated in post-production with movement based on the on-set actor, Robert Sainsbury.
Hello World was a winner of the Telus STORYHIVE competition this year, being awarded $10K.
I spoke to Olaf Blomerus about Hello World, technology and why this short film is so different from anything we’ve seen in Hollywood.
Hello World bucks the trend of “machine versus man” stories. What inspired you to take this particular approach?
Olaf: I’m a huge fan of the progression of the human race through technology and there are so many ways that technology in all it’s forms is going top create a better and more wonderful life for a lot of people. But the movies like to tell the story of how bad it will be (Terminator, The Matrix, etc). I’ve just become tired of progress being the bad guy. It’s like looking at the glass half empty. Spike Jonze’ HER took on a different perspective on that. A story about technology can still be a human story.
Given the ambitious nature of the project and the fact that audiences are so responsive to science fiction and technology, why did you choose to limit Hello World to nine minutes’ length?
Olaf: The limit actually came from STORYHIVE. Their grant program limits pieces to 10 minutes. I wrote a 13 page script and we’ve edited it down to just under 9 minutes. As we developed the story though, I realized there could be a lot more to this and will most likely turn it into a feature at some point.
You have a tremendous crew on board. How did they get involved in Hello World?
Olaf: Through Twitter, Facebook, friends, past projects, friend of a friend, the internet, you name it. The world really is our oyster these days for filmmakers. There’s not much stopping you from contacting anyone in the world to collaborate with.
You wrote, directed and are producing Hello World. How did you manage to balance each responsibility?
Olaf: It’s tough, I promise you that. Productions in the indie world often need you to take on many roles and it can sometimes be daunting. There’s also the other side: letting go. I’ve got a photography and post production background so letting go of the DP, editing & grading roles is really tough. Watching someone else be responsible for crafting your story is nerve racking. But I’ve created some of the best stuff when I’ve had someone there to bounce ideas off of. Regardless of who ends up being right or wrong one things is for sure, it’ll be better.
What inspires you/drives you creatively?
Olaf: Life. A cheap answer maybe, but it's true. It's hard to say a specific set inspires me because it doesn't. Everything from typography to music to films to people to clouds. It really can be anything that sparks an idea. But to give at least some context to your question so that someone can take a nugget away: Music.
I do my best creating when I'm lost in my headphones. I start to see and feel stories happening around me. The moment I get goosebumps, I know it's good.
When people see Hello World in its finished form, what is it you would most like film-lovers to take away from it?
That technology has the capacity for anything. Give it a gun and it might shoot. Give it a heart, and it might just care.
Intrigued? Want to help make Hello World a reality? You can contribute to the Kickstarter HERE.
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