IN 2099, EARTH IS IN A GLOBAL REBELLION LEAD BY THE HACKTIVIST DEACON AGAINST THE RULING CLASS KNOWN AS SANCTION. LEAD BY THE COMMANDER, THEY ENSLAVED MAN TO EXTRACT EARTH’S REMAINING RESOURCES TO FUEL THEIR INTERSTELLAR SHIP TO THE NEW FOUND PLANET MOD-X. IN ATTEMPTS TO END THE REBELLION, THE COMMANDER HAS SENT IN THE INFAMOUS BOUNTY HUNTER VION TO DESTROY DEACON BEFORE HE TAKES OVER THE INTERSTELLAR MAINFRAME COMPUTERS...
Can you tell us about you and your film?
My name is Gregory Hines and I am the writer and director of MOD-X, a short sci-film set in a post-apocalyptic Earth.
A bounty hunter is sent in to stop a rebel leader from hacking into the interstellar ship’s mainframe computers.
I was intending to write a post-apocalyptic film with a friend but unfortunately our schedules couldn’t line up. However, using our our idea of a bounty hunter tracking down a criminal as a platform I wrote MOD-X. I had this notion that the elite class of Earth had temporarily escaped the toxic and dying planet in an interstellar ship where they plan to escape to a new found planet called MOD-X. Meanwhile, the rest of man is left to toil in slave labor to help fuel and build their ship. I liked the notion of an extreme divide between classes which helped spur the idea of a rebellion.
What inspirations and techniques did you draw from in the filming of MOD-X?
To create the imagery for MOD-X I looked to films such as The Book of Eli, Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan to Mad Max (original). I also pulled inspiration from the filmmaking methods of Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, The Wachowski and Cohen Brothers to M. Knight Shyamalan. I was careful in developing my cinematography techniques as over 90% of the film was shot handheld and I wanted smooth shots yet movement that produced tension. The other aspect was planning the Visual Effects (VFX) shots. Seeing a completed shot (mentally) when there is nothing in front of you is very difficult. Additionally, the technique of framing the shot and directing the actors as if they were in a world not yet created requires a lot of pre-design and prep.
How many hours per day do you try to devote to research and writing?
During the writing process, I try to put in at least an hour a day of research and writing. However, I find that I devote about 4+ hours a day given that I have the time. Currently, I am in the process of developing my first feature script with my friend and colleague Jeff Woodruff. We make it a point to come together once a week for 1-2 hours meetings where we talk about our ideas, research and anything that we have written in the past week. This ensures that progress is always moving forward and we stay on track.
Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I have done both, however, the current process of writing our new film we are plotting out an outline. I really enjoy this method as we don’t get so committed to ideas that we spent hours writing about. In an outline we move faster, freely juggle ideas around and find that overall it is a more pleasing way to write.
Do you have any advice for other writers starting out?
Regardless of what genre you write in, I always say write what you love. In the end you will be happier, and end up with a better product.
One of your favorite quotes –
“Carpe Diem” …“Seize the Day”
Horace (23 BC)
Thanks again and to keep up-to-date with everything MOD-X please join us at www.mod-xmovie.com