Singularity: The Motion Picture

Rick Knight (
Thu, 31 Jul 97 11:13:00 CST

Rick Knight wrote:

> Ultimately, I'd like to provide a story that could be made into film
> that has the optimistic impact of "Contact" and not promote the scare
> tactics of oldies like "Colossus: The Forbin Project" or newer ones
> like "The Web" or (gag!) "Virtuosity" just because the
> artistically-deprived and generally bored people of our culture will
> lap up anything ...

YakWax replied:

I've been trying to do the exact same thing. The problems I find are:
trying to be optimistic and still hold the attention of todays audience
(who have been made to believe genetic engineering will create monsters and
AI's will eat their children) and trying to present highly complex, world
changing technologies in a way the audience would understand. For
instance, how do you show nanotechnology or uploading in a movie (without
resorting to "I can feel something... something strange... entering...
my... body... something small... almost nanoscopical in size" or "as you
can see, virtual reality technology has progressed so far that everything
in here looks _exactly_ like it does in the real world!").

I reply (whimsically):

In the words of Ellie Arroway's dad: "Small steps". An unfortunately large
percentage of American culture will still keep movies like "Face Off"
chugging away making millions when it was an incredible joke of a film. I
still believe "Contact", despite its less than stellar box office return
makes it impact, perhaps on the people that matter. It doesn't take a
majority of all people, it takes a majority of the movers/shakers to
guide/direct/inspire the rest.

You figure out ways to convey the possibilities so that the broadest range
of people can understand/appreciate/enjoy it. The goals are to make a
positive-image film that promotes the notion that such incredible change
doesn't strip us of our humanity, make us something less, something immoral
or evil. Look at all the 50s alien-encounter movies. All shtick-horror or
alarmist in nature. I want to transcend that rather monkey-brained
tendency that pervades in our culture that our survival hinges on physical
predisposition and our more recent (last few millennia) traditional notions
on immortality.

A film about Singularity (the kind we'd like) could happen. Film is one of
the most potent mediums of communication available to us.