Name: Infectious Designer
Members: Brian Curtin, Mat Powell, Matt Hall
Occupation: Film Makers
Creative Industry: Film & Media
1. What does Creative Birmingham mean to you?
It’s exciting to see the government really getting behind the arts and seeing the positive impact creativity can have, not only on the individual experience, but the economy of the surrounding areas. But it’s really the creative people and groups that are putting Birmingham on the map and gaining recognition for having a thriving artistic and creative community. We like being surrounded by those people and that atmosphere.
2. What would you like to see happen in Birmingham in the next 5 years?
Well first off, as a long-time Birmingham residents, it’s been refreshing seeing downtown come to life. All of the stuff around 2nd Ave. N, the new Uptown District, the explosion of local breweries, Regions Field, and Railroad park have been exactly what this city needed. My hope for Birmingham is that we continue this upswing, and continue to get behind projects like the new Rotary trail. We have momentum, let’s keep it moving.
3. What got you started in film?
As long time geeks of everything science fiction, we were inspired by the work that came before us. We have heavy influences from movies and video games, stuff like Star Wars and Half-Life just to name a few. It’s these experiences that inspire us to create our own stories and put our own spin on them. In 2008, Youtube was a very new and accessible outlet for us to create work and share it with the world. Plus, new affordable technology compelled us to attempt our own sci-fi action/adventures, shooting for blockbuster quality on a micro budget. After completing our first short ‘Concrete Hustle’, which now has over 8 million views, we really fell in love with the positive online response and being able to submit work to our local Sidewalk Film Festival. We were at a Sidewalk local shorts block around 8 years ago, and were blown away at the quality work that was being produced right in our own backyard. It was from here we decided to jump on board, and haven’t looked back since.
4. You have a background in graphic design, how does that translate to film?
Our backgrounds in graphic design really translated seamlessly into film. One of the beauties of design is you aren’t restricted to one specific path. There are all these amazing avenues you can adventure down. Several of the skills and technical abilities prepared us for motion projects. In many ways the software we use can be viewed as Photoshop for videos. Composition, color theory, storytelling, etc. All these skills and techniques have there place in moving pictures, especially when our work is such VFX heavy. But on a more elementary level, the “creative eye” can be applied to any artistic endeavor.
5. There is a sci-fi theme in most of your shorts, what draws you to that?
We are firm believers in playing to your strengths, and one of our strengths happens to be action. We grew up as children engrossed in sci-fi and video games. As adults, our passion didn’t go away, it just changed. It became an exciting, hands on experience, where we get to dive into the worlds of some of our favorite fiction. It’s really cool to look and admire something you love, but when you have the opportunity to create it, that’s when it really becomes special to you.
6. We recognize a lot of the scenery, how do you choose a location?
First off, when you are a small production, limiting the amount of prep work you have to do to a setting can save you massive amounts of time and money. Fortunately for us, Birmingham has some amazing backdrops for a wide range of location options. Some of the areas you might recognize include Sloss Furnaces, Downtown Birmingham, and the UAB Campus.