Andrew Conlon is the Key Grip and Prop Master for the film.
How would you describe In-World War (the film itself) in no more than seven words?
Man transported to different places and bodies.
Why did you get involved with it? How did you hear about it? What interested you about this film in particular?
The visual effects house I was working for in Berkeley had just closed down and it made me realize that film production over VFX was going to be my route. I happened upon a CraigsList posting, and got excited to work on someone’s passion project, especially because it was in the sci-fi genre.
Did you enjoy working on the film? What was the best part for you?
It was my first real journey into filmmaking, and especially because I was jumping back and forth between grip/electric and art department every day, I learned more in one month than I did in the four years of college. I loved the idea of having a problem on set and “McGuyvering” a solution with available resources to keep the production afloat. That concept of being vigilante and resourceful has kept me on my feet, ready for anything in the film industry since IWW.
How long have you been working in film/involved with film?
I have a movie I made when I was twelve years old on my computer, but I really jumped headfirst around 2008 with the visual effects house and then In-World War.
What is your goal in filmmaking generally (director, writer, director of photography, key grip, etc.) and why?
Production Designer. Due to connections made because of In-World War, I got jobs in both grip/electric and art department. Eventually it dawned on me that I enjoyed my time more building sets, creating props, and the overall creativity aspect of the art department. It’s been an exciting few years, and I love showing up every day on every job in the art department never having the same experience twice.
In your view, why is filmmaking and making art important to society as a whole?
Whether it's just creating entertainment and therefore giving society an outlet to escape temporarily from their lives, or as a way to change the way people look at different facets of life or change how people think, filmmaking is definitely a powerful tool.
Did helping make an indie film leave you with a positive or negative outlook on this type of ultra-low budget filmmaking (and why)?
It was a positive outlook because it helped me realize that with a common goal, people can come together and work as a single entity to make the impossible possible. It just keeps me optimistic, gives me hope that one day I can bring a group of people together and make another low-budget feature, but this time with my concept and script in mind.
How do you feel about the genre of science fiction? Is sci-fi just for fun or can we tell serious stories that are culturally relevant? (Okay, that’s a loaded question....but still, what do you think?)
I think that the best science fiction films and novels are ones that balance fluidly between entertainment and important concepts, especially ones that are capable of being set in the future, yet addressing parallel problems and issues with our current society.
The film takes an unusual sci-fi approach to issues of racial profiling, Islamophobia and the so-called “war on terror” -- how have these issues impacted your life and your work?
Prejudice is prevalent everywhere, regardless of where you live or who you find yourself consorting with. As filmmakers, we have a tool to communicate with the public, and it would be a disservice to the medium to not use it to educate the masses about issues in the world. Islamophobia and racial profiling are two on a list of thousand important issues that need resolve.
Before you started with IWW, what did you expect it to be like working on the film?
As IWW was my first non-student film, my concept of a film set and the overall process was absolutely delusional. My idea of film jumped between having three students, a camera and two lights, to Hollywood with big movie stars, directors chairs and someone yelling “ACTION!”
How was it actually, compared to that? What was exactly as you expected it? What was very different?
It was exciting, but definitely not at all what I expected. There were no actor trailers, no movie sets, no giant green screens, but there was instead a group of hardworking people taking little and, in turn, creating a vivid story.
DIY filmmaking can be rough. What was the worst moment? If you have one, share a painful memory from making the film, to give a taste of how tough it got.
There was no single terrible moment; instead, the toughest for me was the long hours. Anyone can handle doing a fifteen hour day of work, but when you do it for three weeks straight, those final days will start to break anyone down physically and emotionally.
What did your experience of working on IWW tell you about humanity and people in general?
I learned that some people are capable of being ready for anything; of taking a moment that seems impossible and saying, “I’ll have that done in ten minutes.” I’ve found that there’s not a just a few of those people out there, but an entire industry of people who refuse to say no.
What have you been doing since you worked on the film? What other film projects have you done?
After deciding to stick to the art department, I worked mostly on commercials, ranging from Volkswagen, AAA, Ford and the like, with the occasional stint on a television show, feature and music video. I eventually jumped onto a few TV shows for Discovery, and now it’s been around one and a half years with the production company, which I’m a set decorator for.
Why should people get involved with, donate money and/or help out on IWW?
To help bring a movie that deserves to be seen to theaters. Nothing feels better than helping out an underdog and being able to look back and say, “I helped make that a reality.”
If people want to get in touch with you and/or see your work:
My website is https://www.andrewconlon.com and my email is awconlon @ gmail.com. Shoot me any questions.