Director Biography – Justin Daering (PROGENY)

Justin is passionate about science fiction filmmaking. He believes sci-fi stories encourage us not only to empathize but also to be curious and wonder. Justin started directing when he was ten years old, borrowing a video camera and dressing up his basement to look like a mad scientist’s laboratory. His continued interest in film led him to The University of Wisconsin where he received a BA in Cinema Studies. In 2009, his short film THE SHADOW OF THE NIGHT was featured in film festivals nationwide and in 2011 his micro-budget feature FRANCESCA premiered at the Wisconsin Film Festival. Justin has an MFA in Directing from the AFI Conservatory, and has worked as a director’s assistant on films including THE ACCOUNTANT and JANE GOT A GUN, and the television series THE AMERICANS.

Director Statement

I love the ooey gooey stuff.

ALIEN. THE FLY. Even GHOSTBUSTERS has its fair share of goopy slime and bodily transformations.

A story (like a body) can take many forms. A drama about truckers who are abused by their company is interesting, but put it in space and throw a deadly Alien into the mix, now it’s fun. Observing the way drug abuse destroys relationships and cripples the addict can be moving, but make that addict a six-foot-five arthropod and now you have my attention. Grad students make a breakthrough in science but the world continues to doubt them? Okay… The breakthrough is that they can catch ghosts — I’m in!

So I could tell you a story about how the ruling class takes advantage of hard-working Americans, about how they manipulate us through coopting popular narratives and shaping them to suit their personal and economic interests. I could tell a story about how the greatest systems of control utilized by the wealthy are the ones that are self-enforcing, about how they trick us into trying to succeed within the system by allowing just enough of us to achieve the appearance of wealth to maintain the myth that it’s possible for everyone. But Eisenstein covered that base almost 100 years ago, and frankly it was a little dry then too.

I’d rather tell you about the alien’s grotesque insertion appendage, the greasy gestational sac it discharges and the fibrous, invertebrate tendrils that tear open the flesh at the nape of your neck to wrap around your spine and integrate themselves into your nervous system, sucking the life force out of you to feed itself. There’s a story that is shocking, disgusting, and appalling.

And above all, fun.