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TOM pg 039

As a sign of how fast things are moving now… when I first drafted this story, 10+ years ago, I thought I was pushing my luck having a computer identify an image by just holding a page in front of a lens – but that has come to pass with Google Lens – an A.I. app doing exactly that. 
Which hopefully should make others wonder – what else in this story shall also soon come to pass? (and why this may be a project/body of work worthy of investment?)

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…

T.O.M. pg 036

In scriptwriting, we (should)ask what is the overall ‘controlling idea’ & related ‘dramatic question’? – which in this story is ‘what does it mean to be human, in the face of the staggering/overwhelming growth of tech?’ – and the answers I’m suggesting lie in mythology – which we all share from the same source, because we see the same symbols, appearing in dreams, and in myths across all cultures and from all time. And perhaps no symbol is older or more multi-cultural than the ourabus, the snake which eats itself.
So you’ll see how in this story, as the two protagonists come together – one representing traditional masculine-rationalism and the other the feminine-esoteric (sorry to be so heteronormative) – the result of their union with be the one answer – (early Gods were hermaphrodites for a reason).
Stay tuned… 
Anyway, that’s just a philosophy motivating this project – always nice to know what’s driving something forward. Enjoy!

T.O.M. page 035

After all that tech talk, it’s now back to the mythology! 
(I’m hoping the storyline has a bit of a detective feel; a bit of a ‘L.A Confidential’ style if I’m very lucky…)
(Also a nod to Blade Runner in the ‘help an old buddy out’ phone call.)

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 character Thabang speaking for the general audience here.

T.O.M. pg 031

Yes, there’s a lot of info to digest here, but again, I’d rather have too much in the script, than too little material at the end of the shoot. I think it’s always important to imagine interest levels of viewers at all times!
So what would keep interest here too, would be cool images in the slide show, and the storyline – the (hopefully) building-intrigue as the talk is interrupted by something coming up… 
Also worth mentioning that viewers always want to feel like their time staring at a screen is meaningful – so if they’re learning stuff, and the info you’re giving them is true, relevant and interesting, and/or you’re making them think, then I believe audiences do appreciate that.
And slides part-projected on people also makes for great cinematographic opportunities. And yes, I like the idea of using ‘old tech’ like video projectors. This is Africa. Plenty of old tech mixed in with new tech here.

T.O.M. pg 030

I had to adjust the text now to reflect the speed at which AI is now developing – doubling in power every 3 months! Crazy times. Incidentally, some people imagine a script is set in stone, where in fact it’s just a working document. There are always 3 stages to a script – the writer’s version before production, the version during production, and the final script after the editors are done.
They can all be quite different. ‘Blade Runner’ is a great example, if you compare Ridley Scott’s finished film to Hampton Francher’s script.