Freedumb | Interview of John Johnson
Cult Critic: How does the stop-motion animation film animate this notion in a post-humanistic fantasy? How are the characters and storyline used to portray this concept?
John: The story of FREEDUMB is set in an alternate universe. The Earth that we are seeing exists at the half-way point of the cosmic INFINITY-LOOP.
Humans are using the robots as lab rats. Utilizing an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) the humans are presenting the robots with challenges and monitoring their reactions. The robots are pre-programmed with specific reaction choices. However, when the A.I. goes rogue, anything goes.
Cult Critic: How do “Darth Vader” and robot Elvis Presley contribute to the bizarre and eccentric nature of the film's plot?
John: Darth Brooks (a play on Darth Vader and Garth Brooks) and King Pelvis (a play on Elvis Presley)
Darth Brooks is an A.I. generated Hologram that is not part of the experiment. Garth Brooks is a surprise to the humans but not the robots. The rogue A.I. has inserted the thoughts into the three robots’ programming.
King Pelvis is placed in the coffin to test the convict robots, Frank and Anglin. King Pelvis provides answers that the two convict robots would otherwise be challenged with.
Cult Critic: The film showcases humanistic characteristics in robots, like dreaming, enjoying, yawning, and expressing political ideologies. How does this humanization of robots add depth and complexity to the story's themes?
John: The humanistic characteristics displayed by the robots are a subtle attempt by me to tell the audience that the A.I. has gone rogue and is really having fun with the programming.
Cult Critic:The film takes inspiration from pop culture releases and molds them into one storyline, presenting multiple implicit meanings. Could you elaborate on how these implicit meanings are conveyed and what they add to the overall message of the film?
John: FREEDUMB is an example of what happens when we are not allowed to think for ourselves for a prolonged period of time. The robots have been drilled again and again with these same challenges and they always come up with the “PLANET KILLER SCENARIO” However, this particular run of the experiment that we are spectators of is injected with free thought by the rogue A.I. Singing, Dancing, Dreaming are fresh experiences for these robots. In the end, Anglin still chooses to bump a large asteroid into planet Earth and end it all. Humans will make similar decisions when challenged in this way. We are all FREEDUMB.
Cult Critic:The film is described as embodying cinematic "Freedumb" and being entertaining to watch. However, it also raises eyebrows due to its choices of language and lyrics. Can you provide more context on the use of language and lyrics in the film, and how they contribute to its overall impact and reception.
John: The playful lyrics that King Pelvis sings in his song ‘ONE WAY TRIP’ are simply meant to be funny. Darth Brooks singing ‘I’M YOUR FATHER DAMMIT’ is a play on Darth Vader telling Luke Skywalker, “I am your father Luke. The song, ‘TURN THIS RIG AROUND’ is really a gas and is my favorite song out of all the performances. The crowd favorite to this point has been King Pelvis. During production of FREEDUMB, I sometimes felt that I was drifting from my goal due to a constant internal battle that I always go through when I am creating. FREEDUMB is an example of what happens when you let all inhibitions go and just have fun!