OFFICIAL SELECTION – REAL ARTISTS

Against all odds, Sophia Baker just scored her dream interview at the world-famous Semaphore Animation Studios — who’d have thought a fan edit of one of their hit films could land her a shot at a job? But when she meets arch, mysterious executive Anne Palladon, she soon learns all is not as she expects behind the curtain. Every instinct Sophia has ever had about art in filmmaking is about to be challenged.Based on Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning author Ken Liu’s short story of the same name, Real Artists asks a poignant question: In a dystopian near-future where big data, AI and natural language processing learn and create quickly and at massive scale, what role can a single artist play? Is Sophia a creative rebel who can make a difference? Or is the situation more serious than that?

You can view Real Artists at Women in Cinema in San Francisco July 29th. For the complete lineup and tickets click here.

 

Real Artists” is her first narrative film. Cameo had a long career in technology, working in voice over IP and computer security, and then studied artificial intelligence and neuroscience in university. She also opened up the first urban beekeeping store in America. Filmmaking has been her lifelong desire, and she is thrilled to have the chance to make movies.

Director Statement

What might it be like to have your main creative collaborator be an Artificial Intelligence? Already, biometric data is used for neuromarketing in many different contexts. Film plots are influenced by how test audiences respond during key points in the film. The creation of entertainment is no longer passed on guesswork. Enjoyment is quantitatively measured.

We are envisioning a near future when its more efficient to have an artificial intelligence create a film and test it on a human audience than it is to support artistic invention from concept through execution. Where ‘taste’ is not yet captured by code and still has to be measured by a human’s reactions. This is a story of what it means to be human. It is a question posed of what humanity is when creativity is in the realm of an artificial intelligence, leaving us to consume and react. Through science-fiction, we focus on rapidly-approaching question of ethics in neuromarketing and the power of corporations to craft products in response to our biometric responses. We are also telling a story of a young woman’s dream, and how she might hold the key to the future of storytelling.

Sophia seems closer to a superhero; she’s a genius editor, hard working, beautiful and cries at the sight of her favorite cartoon. She is confident in her artistic taste, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to make the best movies the world has ever seen. But young people are rebellious – and Sophia was willing to risk her career and reputation in order to create what she knew was a superior edit to her favorite film. Sophia is on fire with her youth: and this is how she resists Palladon’s enticements toward an artistic life of being merely a barometer of taste.

We all love products designed especially for us. We willingly forgo our privacy for sake of being a part of the new, the trendy, what’s hot. But when young people like Sophia are confronted with ultimatums, their actions — sometimes heroic, sometimes tragic — can rewrite many stories, not just their own.

Cameo Wood, San Francisco, September 2016