In an interview with Athena Brensberger of the popular YouTube channel Astroathens, Future Dude founder Jeffrey Morris discusses his philosophy on science vs. fiction in entertainment and his latest projects. Astroathens is a YouTube channel with the goal of making complicated astrophysics topics digestible for the average person with minimal science knowledge.
Brensberger interviewed Morris on the heels of his appearance at the 38th International Space Development Conference which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Their discussion centered on the importance of bringing tangible, real science to science fiction. “Science is doing great. Technology is doing great. It’s the ability to connect the dots with the masses that’s not going well,” Morris shared. “The time when we had people up on the moon fired the imagination. Now, we need to find new ways, more aggressive ways, to bring this down to earth.”
Morris shared that while he loves science fantasy stories, there’s not enough realism to balance it. Morris shared a story about helping a visual effects team learn how space ships really fly, because it’s not how airplanes fly. Things can be more realistic and still be entertaining and cool.
One of his latest projects, the feature film Persephone, currently in production, is set on a real-life exo-planet, Proxima Centauri b. Morris is using science advisors to envision what the planet would be like and base the film on what could really happen.
Despite his commitment to real science, Morris understands the balance that’s important to both entertain and inform, and he’s excited to show the real drama and adventure that could occur given the conditions on Proxima b. He said of his work, “The audience that will really ‘get it’ – the actual technical accuracy — is going to be in the thousands of people, and we want to reach a film that will reach millions. I have to find a way to translate it to a broad audience.”
In addition to Persephone which begins production in early 2020, Morris is currently developing a children’s television series currently in production with National Geographic Kids and Pixomondo and a family adventure series, Neptune One.
Listen to the full interview on YouTube to learn more about Morris’ influences, dream collaborators, and perspective on Star Trek and Star Wars.