Q&A with Paul Howard Allen, dir. Mega Sexy Robot Dinosaur - Clermont 2020
Wednesday 12 February 2020, by
INTERVIEW VIDEO TO COME
A silly (in all the best ways) short very much made for fun that certainly made me laugh! Glad it made it into the Clermont competition.
How much do you enjoy artistic experiments?
Cinema audiences these days are incredibly smart and cinema literate so it’s really fun to be mischievous and play with people’s expectations. This is the beauty of short film, it allows you to explore your weirdest ideas without having to satisfy a commercial agenda.
Why was the Kubrick reference important?
Kubrick epitomises the cinematic auteur, someone who defines the idea of pushing boundaries through a singular artistic vision. The absurdity of referencing such a cinematic legend in a film that uses Comic Sans amused me.
Is the word “Fin” only for French viewers or is it from the original English speaking version?
‘Fin’ is in the original English version and plays with British/Americans caricatures of European arthouse films as pretentious. I was hoping to satirically embody pretention and therefore it felt like a natural way to end the film. Being at the most prestigious short film festival in the world, in France, it’s starting to look like a bad judgement call.
To conclude, what did inspire you most : sex, robots or dinosaurs?
Ha, I tried to pick three of the most interesting and intriguing words I could for the title – self consciously making the equivalent of film festival ‘click bait’. But in answer to your question, robots. Who am I kidding – sex. No, it’s robots.
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
I made a feature film 10 years ago and freedom is definitely something that I have experienced coming back to the short film format. The feature film world is moving to safer and safer places with endless sequels and projects based on established franchises, so it’s liberating to see bold, uninhibited ideas being expressed in this space.
What are your works of reference?
The main inspiration for this film was a short film called Iranium directed by Harald Hund that I watched at a documentary film festival in Eindhoven called DocFeed. It playfully challenged the documentary form in a way I’d never seen before and got me thinking about just how much you could play with the expectations of an audience.