Jeffrey Morris, Founder of FutureDude, had the pleasure of presenting at Celebrate! Innovation Live (ciLive!), which took place March 9-13, 2020 at the Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa. CiLive! is a free event that gives attendees the chance to both hear from and interact with developers of the latest innovations.
Coinciding with the event’s theme The Art of Imagination, Morris talked about how his love for space started when he was a child, imagining what it would be like to visit the moon one day. Morris walked the audience through a timeline of his career, all leading up to his upcoming feature film Persephone. Both Star Wars and Star Trek inspired him as a child, but as his love for science grew he wanted more realistic stories. “The best science fiction is a mirror,” Morris shared.
Morris also talked about his various careers, like teaching in schools and at the Science Museum of Minnesota, writing his comic book series Mars One, developing 5th-grade curriculum about the Alpha Centauri star system, starting a nonprofit called Project Universe, and even directing choreography for a couple of Prince’s music videos!
Ralph McQuarrie, Syd Mead, Carl Sagan, and Gene Roddenberry, and his parents are just a handful of names Morris shared as his biggest inspirations throughout his career. He also cited Minneapolis mayor Don Fraser as a major inspiration. In the 90s Morris wanted to start a business but wasn’t sure how, so he called the mayor’s office. He left his name and phone number with Fraser’s assistant, and five minutes later he got a call back.
“Hi Jeff, Don Fraser here, mayor of Minneapolis – what do you need?” Morris recites, remembering how the mayor greeted him on the phone. “And I literally can track having the guts to make that phone call to standing on this stage today.” The business Morris started years ago evolved into what is now known as FutureDude Entertainment.
Along with Persephone, Morris is also currently working with National Geographic on the children’s television series Saturn 5, as well as the 13-episode mini-series Neptune One, which is a continuation of his short film Oceanus.
Listen to the full talk on YouTube to learn more about Morris’ biggest inspirations, various endeavors, and career as a filmmaker, director, and visual artist.