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REAL ARTISTS: The Future Of Filmmaking?

Real Artists is an Orwellian science fiction short film written, directed, produced & performed by women - a rarity - but it sure delivers.

REAL ARTISTS: The Future Of Filmmaking?

If you’ve read anything about the struggle for women in film and television, then you’ll know how especially hard it is for them to break into anything related to action, horror, science fiction or fantasy. According to many in Hollywood, women just can’t handle it. Anyone with half a brain knows that’s crap, and this short proves it. Not only is it female-led, written and directed, but most of the producers are female. It also boasts a female music creator and cinematographer, which are almost unheard of in mainstream.

Real Artists is a successfully disturbing, new sci-fi short written and directed by Cameo Wood.

Creating The Perfect Film

“A real artist will do whatever it takes to realize a great vision.”

Semaphore Animation Studios is the back drop of this compelling and alluring short. A young, ambitious animator comes in to interview for what could be her dream job. Sophia, (Tiffany Hines) sits filling out a non disclosure agreement, then reluctantly allows a computerized bracelet to be changed from her wrist. As soon as the new one is secured, Anne Palladon, (Tamlyn Tomita) Semaphore’s Senior Creative Director, appears.

REAL ARTISTS: The Future Of Filmmaking?

source: Charming Stranger Films

Anne is the vision of perfection. She is friendly, smart, well versed and the studio’s ultimate fan. Anne tells Sophia that the company is very interested in her because of the “fan film” Sophia created. The fan film, a re-edit of Semaphore’s greatest success, gets millions of hits on the internet. Anne tells Sophia they brought her in because of it. In the company’s pursuit of creating the perfect film, they want talented people, such as Sophia, to help them improve their future products.

Anne takes Sophia for a tour of the facility and shows her the trade secrets of the company’s success. They use a highly sophisticated AI system that breaks down everything known about filmmaking from the story structure, to giving an audience every emotion they could want at the precise right time. The story takes a darker turn when Sophia finds out how humans are used in the creation of the films.

This short takes on the age old question: what would happen if machines or robots replaced human workers entirely?

Tabula Rasa

This film’s use of “Tabula Rasa” ends up adding a clever twist. Tabula Rasa is a concept where some have theorized that all human brains start out as a “clean slate”. In other words, our minds are not hardwired by prejudice or bias, but instead, the mind is developed through personal perception as we grow and learn. Neurologists have criticized this theory claiming there is some predetermination from our genetics.

REAL ARTISTS: The Future Of Filmmaking?

source: Charming Stranger Films

Real Artists uses Tabula Rasa as a way to re-frame people’s perceptions in multifarious ways. It opens up one of the many talking points throughout the film. In twelve short minutes, this film manages to tackle several Orwellian-esque topics like “Big Brother”; the dangers of information sharing on the internet; how technology can assert an indomitable control over our lives today and what one is willing to do in order to achieve greatness. It holds all kinds of relevance to the current state of our world.

Women Led Sci-Fi

There is no question here that women can deliver in sci-fi. The lead actresses, refreshingly both women of color, deliver strong, believable performances. Hines‘ Sophia is the quintessential ingenue. She portrays an innocence, clearly struggling with her own morality, while trying to please her potential employer. Tomita‘s Anne is visually beautiful, but behind that lovely smile lurks a sinister menace that would rival any on-screen antagonist. She’s someone you’d never want to get too comfortable around.

With an elaborate script, entangled in layer upon layer of depth, you’ll have to watch this several times to pick up all the intricacies. The good thing is that you’ll want to. It’s easy to watch, brilliantly thought out and really makes you wonder how far humanity will allow technology to go. It’s not something to consider lightly, and I hope we can heed the warnings by writers and artists alike over the past century, about the potential disadvantages of too much automation.

Do you think technology will go too far in the future?

Real Artists premiers at Cinequest March 2, 2017.


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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Amyana Bartley is a screenwriter and producer. Her company, Queen B. Productions, supports filmmakers of all walks, interested in creating thought provoking, moving projects. As her company grows, she will create "real jobs" for any talented artist, in front of and behind the screen, who is passionate about making a difference using the art of film.

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