Director Klayton Stainer’s team has made a movie from Michael Burstein’s Nebula nominated short story, “I Remember the Future.” It is beginning to make the rounds of film festivals – shown last weekend at Worldfest in Houston. File 770 was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Stainer about the production, his career and future plans.
We understand you’re an independent Australian filmmaker. Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I grew up in the vine-lands of picturesque McLaren Vale in South Australia. I founded the company KAS Creations in 2007, and am a Co-Director alongside Zané Pyper. We have worked on many projects including short films, promotional events, music videos, documentaries and wedding videography. I moved to Melbourne to study the Bachelor of Film and Television at one of the best film schools in Australia, Swinburne University of Technology. It is there, that I have been given the opportunities to learn my craft from remarkable lecturers who were more than willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Thanks to science fiction writer, Michael A Burstein, I was granted permission to adapt one of his short stories, I Remember the Future which became my ‘graduation’ film in my final year at Swinburne.
Who do you consider your main influences on you as a filmmaker?
My main influences as a filmmaker are Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron. I know that they are huge, but these three ‘greats’, in my opinion, are the best in the business. They really know how to create entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Their science fiction films have been above and beyond anything we have seen and have set the bar for future filmmakers to come.
How did you come across the story “I Remember the Future”? What drew you to it as a story that would be good to adapt to film?
I received a copy of The Mammoth Book of Nebula Awards SF for Christmas from my parents. I spent my holidays back home reading all of the stories. My family knew that I was looking for a great story with the intention to make my final film at Swinburne a great one – and sure enough, it was in that book waiting for me to find it.
I Remember the Future was the story that I felt most connected to.
At first glance, I Remember the Future reads as a nearly impossible story to achieve as a student film. Basically, because of next to ‘no budget’ when you are a student, too many locations required and last but not least, the implementation of some special effects it would need to be completed well. But ‘impossible’ is not in my vocabulary, nor is it in the team I put together to work with on this project. This is where “Pozible” the on-line crowd funding website came into effect. We advertised our project and encouraged people to donate to the project to help it become a reality.
For me personally, I have always been attracted to creating films that most people believe can’t be done or are just too hard. I believe that we can make high quality films and nothing should stop us to accomplish this for the audience. When people give up their time to watch your film, they deserve to be entertained. The audience is what drives me to achieve this level. After all, at the end of the day, the reason to make a film, is and always will be, for people who want to see it.
Have you been reading and watching science fiction for a long time?
I have always loved science fiction. I can’t think of anything better than making science fiction films.
You’re just starting out, and yet you managed to get many professional actors, such as Reg Gorman and Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, to appear in your film. How did you manage to do this? What was the process for casting the film?
Two reasons. Both Tiffany and Reg were attracted to the film because of the amazing story in which Michael A. Burstein wrote.
Once they had both read the story, I only needed to convince them both, that with my passion and drive for filmmaking, I would give everything I had to complete the project to a high standard and respect to the story.
I also made contact with an old friend, Alex Alexander, who was eager to come on board as an Executive Producer, and in turn, gave me the confidence that I could achieve my aspirations with this project.
I believe that everyone has that one thing that they are good at and are meant to do on this earth. Directing films is what I am meant to do and I have no doubt that this becomes apparent to people and they are then willing to work together on a film.
I have always been honest and upfront with my actors. I am there to look after them and gain a great performance out of them. Working with Reg & Tiffany was an absolute honor and fun as they are both such professionals. I hope to work with each of them again in the future.
What do you see as your next project? And, to go further, what trajectory are you hoping for as far as your career is concerned?
We currently have two shorts in the early stages of pre-production, one live action, and one animation.
But I truly feel my team and I are ready for a feature film. We have worked extremely hard on our last three short films and I can say with tremendous confidence, I am ready to direct a feature. This is my next main goal.
In terms of where I would like to take my career – all the way to Hollywood! That’s where the best of the best compete in making movies.
What will happen next with “I Remember the Future”?
At the moment, we have just started entering I Remember the Future into film festivals around the world. I am hoping it will be screened in as many festivals as possible, so our audience can see this fantastic story of Abe.
After that, I hope Michael and I can continue to work together. I believe that I Remember the Future may still have more to give. I have some ideas on how to achieve this goal. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself and your film?
All I can say, “watch the trailer!” (https://vimeo.com/84752786) I hope it makes you want to see the film. Then hopefully, we get screened somewhere near you at a film festival.
Updates on the films progress will be kept on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kas.creations) and the official website of I Remember the Future (http://irtf.kascreations.com.au) in the news tab.
This short film is meant to be shared and enjoyed. To the people who have read the story, I hope we have captured the imagination and heart of the story and that you enjoy the film as much as reading the story by Michael A. Burstein.