Entropic (United States | 2016, 12 min)
Directed by: Sebastian Savino
Universes collide when a scientist seeking to uncover the meaning of life accidentally disrupts the robbery of a small town grocery store from another world.
Interview:Interview with Sebastian Savino, Director of "Entropic" by Caleb Dawdy
CD: There is definitely a long tradition in cinema and storytelling that deals with philosophies around the meaning of life. What did you hope to do differently with your story?
SS: I was inspired by a wide range of films and literature while writing "Entropic." My goal with the story was to encapsulate my favorite ideas into a narrative that, although absurd, still might be theoretically possible. I became fascinated with the idea that our universe could have been created as an experiment in someone’s laboratory. If that were the case, our creator certainly had his own agenda when designing the test. There was something lovely about imagining our God as a scientist who is just trying to figure out his own life.
CD: Were there any aspects that you hoped to keep and or pay homage to?
I hoped to pay homage to many of the things that inspired me like the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," Albert Camus, the Fermi Paradox, Carl Sagan, and many more.
CD: The writing in this short, both in its skill and humorous style, was key to keeping a level of belief. Did this short start as a comedy?
SS: From the beginning the short had comedic elements. One of my goals, however, was to avoid writing in any jokes that didn’t come directly from the narrative. I love working with improvisors and some of the funniest parts of the film actually came from the actors while shooting. Sometimes I like to create a beginning and end of a scene and see where the actors could take it through the middle.
CD: What type of tone changes did the script go through, if any?
SS: The biggest change I was dealing with was deciding if the lead scientist should be a grown man in a laboratory or a ten year old boy in his backyard. I’m glad I went with adult scientist although I’m sure the other option would have led to an interesting story as well. Tone is always such a hard thing for me to capture when drafting a script — I always had an idea of the tone I wanted to hit but the real challenge is communicating that to the rest of the team while in production.
CD: What were a few of your influences that you called upon for this film?
I was influenced by many filmmakers while making this film. By stealing their ideas, I was able to develop my own visual style on the project. People like Edgar Wright, Charlie Kaufman, Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Scorsese, and Spielberg — I often looked back at some of my favorite films of all time and tried to pack in as much as I could.
CD: Your film was able to balance this genre with some great skill, especially given a tricky genre and subject matter. What aspects of this sci-fi/existential genre did you absolutely hope to avoid?
SS: Although the subject matter was dense, I wanted the film to be fun and exciting to watch. The tricky part was writing a story that would make sense on the surface but also mean something more for people willing to look deeper. Sci-Fi also has a typical color and look but I wanted "Entropic" to be colorful and musically driven.
CD: Speaking again towards mastering this genre, I feel I always find myself wandering down a wormhole with these movies; discussing timelines, alternate universes, and time-travel. Did you ever face any issues with plot-holes with your universe in the film?
SS: Absolutely. The entire scriptwriting process was a never-ending nightmare of trying to make sense of the universe I was creating. This is still something I need to work on as I progress in my career but at a certain point I needed to trust my decisions for this film and work as hard as possible to convey the world to the audience.
CD: You capture a definite voice and style here. Do you have plans to continue with genre styles such as this?
SS: Thank you very much. I do plan on continuing to build on my filmmaking style and technique. Every movie teaches me something significant about my craft and I hope I can continue growing and learning as a filmmaker.
CD: What can we look forward to from you and your team? Any works in progress?
SS: I am currently seeking financing for my first feature film entitled, "Mind of Miles." Miles, a talented comic book artist with a vivid imagination, must learn to live with his recently diagnosed depression through an offbeat spiritual club and a bubbly girl named Yummy Young. Very excited about the project!