Category: Influences


Things are heating up in the bedroom, as the machine gets sucked into a loop of introspection… (Illustration tip: The extraordinarily-beautiful Art Nouveau work of Mucha inspired the drawing of the main focus areas with a thicker outline, helping it jump out better. You can see it working in these panes, but I didn’t use this trick often enough)

I think characters need to be flawed, in order to have space to grow (or not), and therein lies half the story, and the satisfying internal journey of the narrative.

p.s. Table Mountain by night, especially if it’s lit up, makes for an amazing backdrop

Some more backstory (not that it’s needed for the film to be enjoyable, but I do think this adds value for some, to make the film even more enjoyable…):
So there was a time, not very long ago, when some neuroscientists seemed to insist dreams held no meaning. 
Listening to podcasts now, it seems hard science is getting much better at ‘seeing’ what we’re dreaming, and finally confidently linking some dreams to our past experiences, and emotional processing etc. 
What neuroscience still needs to do much better, is to start looking at the mythological content of dreams – in terms of symbols AND also in terms of the stories we dream – and matching those to our shared mythology.

T.O.M. pg 037

A little scriptwriting trick I picked up from the brilliant ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ – if you want your characters to hook up and without it taking too much focus off the main storyline, then it’s much easier if they already know each other…

Enough speculating on AI futures, it’s back to the main storyline!

(The viewing audience has new knowledge now, even if the class didn’t get it all – so we as audience now share a bond of ‘secret knowledge’ with Scot the protagonist. Because storytelling is all about who knows what, when. Sometimes the characters know more than the audience, and sometimes not…)

For me, this is a very important page, from an AI philosophy perspective. It introduces the idea of ‘Symbiotic AI’. We hear so much about the likelihood, or not, of machines getting as smart as humans, but perhaps we forget to see us and the internet as one new system.
And, if an AI-Internet effectively aggregates the minds of all us users (by aggregating our input), it might not be conscious as we currently understand the term, BUT can we still claim it is ‘mindless’? We’ll soon find out…
The idea of the Singularity is also explained nicely, but from a film script/story-telling perspective, once those points have been made, let’s get out of there quickly! So the bell is interrupting us all, and moving us on.
I feel strongly that with so many films today, audiences are being ‘dumbed down’, so I’m certain many would appreciate being offered new ideas and being made to think a little. 
It reminds me of one of my favourite films – Jean Luc Godard’s ‘A bout de souffle’ (Breathless) – where right in the middle of the film, we have a philosophical interlude. So in that regard, let this be a tribute to Godard.

The snake that eats itself – the ourabus – is an ancient symbol, found in mythology across the world. 
I simply needed a dream symbol for the computer to get stuck on, that it would struggle trying to ‘solve’. 
But I had no idea at the time of first writing this – that the ourabus is THE sign of the Singularity (nor did I know anything of the concept of the Singularity, which is a moment of infinity, and now also used to describe the moment when tech growth has accelerated so fast as for change to become instant). 
The symbol literally ‘came out of the blue’ to me, which might be ‘happy-stance’, or it might be the magical power of intuition? I like to think it’s the latter, and it still gives me goose-bumps. 

T.O.M. pg 018

A trick I learned from Tintin, is to always try make the last frame of a page a ‘page-turner’ – i.e. keep the audience wanting to find out what happens next. I think the same applies to scriptwriting.

As we approach machine-consciousness (A.I.), surely we should get to know our own states of consciousness much better? And that means understanding dreams!

The conflict & drama begins…
And hey, Webcams and Remote-work issues are more topical than ever?