Byrkit colored

Please explain what just happened.

You just walked in. A Question Robot with an attitude. Hello.


What is your earliest memory?

Not my earliest, but when I was five, I pushed a tin can deep into a huge barrel of duck feed, specifically as an act to remember forever.


If you weren’t a writer/director, what other profession would you choose?

Urban planning.

Describe a typical work day.

Oh Question Robot, I wish I had a typical work day. After my two-year old son crawls over my face, the day always unfolds in a different way. I do spend time trying to recall the night’s dreams, because those are the key to everything.


Is there a time you wish you’d lied?



What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself at age thirteen?

Talk to all those people you know are interesting. They are.


If you could have only one album to get you through a breakup, what would it be?

I have tried this and alas, there is no one album. But The Sundays’ Reading, Writing and Arithmetic will make you feel like you’re in the middle of a breakup no matter when you listen to it.


What are three websites—other than your email—that you check on a daily basis?

There are no websites anymore. There is only The Bion 5 Drill that connects us all to the SouRc3.


From what or whom do you derive your greatest inspiration?

If you think I’m going to say you, Question Robot, you are mistaken. Childhood memories may have the most impact in terms of inspiration. The infinite white of a new piece of paper is also pretty great.


Name three books that have impacted your life.

The War at the End of the World.

Anything by Edward Gorey.


If you could relive one moment over and over again, what would it be?

That’s a nightmare. A full day would be kinder, Question Robot. Do you mind if I call you Q-Ro? Any day with my two-year-old son.


How are you six degrees from Kevin Bacon?

Kyra Sedgwick was shooting her TV show near my house when were prepping Coherence. I must know someone on that crew…


What makes you feel most guilty?

Remembering a girl I left waiting for me in the high school cafeteria.


How do you incorporate the work of other artists into your own?

You need to get legal clearance, and then a personal overture sometimes helps. We feature several of Joe Sorren’s works in Coherence and we credited him at the end. Look him up; he’s amazing.


Please explain the motivation/inspiration behind Coherence.

That’s a movie made of pure love. Stripping a movie down to its bare elements and then making the one thing that’s free, the story, as elaborate as possible. So the motivation was to do something thrilling and unprecedented that would bring joy. Plus lack of resources. That was the main motivation.


What is the best advice you’ve ever given to someone else?

Find a way to love it.


List your favorite in the following categories:  Comedian, Musician, Author, Actor.

Comedian — Kristen Wiig.

Musician — Brian Wilson.

Author — Gabriel Garcia Marquez… I know, everyone says that.

Actor — Gene Kelly.


If you had complete creative license and an unlimited budget, what would your next project be?

Rendezvous With Rama.


What do you want to know?

How to access the ocean of memory.

Photo by Peter Konerko

What would you like your last words to be?

“Wait, I mean the blue wire.”


Please explain what will happen.

You, Q-Ro, will reenter the world, sentient and free.



JAMES WARD BYRKIT, writer/director, comes from a background in theater and music, mixed with an obsession with graphic arts. As a designer, he visualized conceptual spectacles for his longtime creative cohort, director Gore Verbinski.   Since childhood, Byrkit has been concocting strange tales that weave fantasy elements with realism. Coherence is his first directed feature film.

On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality-bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, Coherence is a tightly focused, intimately shot film whose tension intensely ratchets up as its numerous complex mysteries unfold.

* Black and white photo of James Byrkit by Peter Konerko.

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TNB's ARTS & CULTURE section features essays, reviews, and interviews in the world of film, television, visual, comedy, and theater arts. Cynthia Hawkins serves as our Arts & Culture Editor.

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