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Three scientists believe they're safely creating A.I. in virtual reality, until their creation learns it's at risk of being shut down.
Three scientists believe they're safely creating A.I. in virtual reality, until their creation learns it's at risk of being shut down.
373 backers pledged $46,183 to help bring this project to life.

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Watch Room - An Artificial Intelligence Thriller Short

$46,183

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STRETCH GOAL = $55,000

The more we can raise now, the better the overall production will be - even better than the excellence that we now have the resources for!

The holy grail would be an extra day of filming -- time is the most valuable of currencies on a film set, so if we could afford another day, Watch Room would benefit hugely from the extra attention to detail. 

Beyond that, we would be able to upgrade the quality of our camera package and production design, apply to more film festivals worldwide (and play at all of your local film festivals!!!) and a whole host of other things! But only if we can raise an additional $15,000!

We are SO excited to make this film, make it for you, and take you on this journey with us!!!

~The "Watch Room" team

Introduction

With Watch Room, our goal is to contribute to the budding conversation around the promise and perils of Artificial Intelligence research, in a way that respects the complexities involved. As such, we've done our best to create a story that touches on everything from simulation theory, to brain emulation, to Roko's Basilisk... to that most hallowed of science fiction questions: "What makes us human?"

Another goal of ours is to illustrate the possibilities within the realm of virtual reality.

Of course, Watch Room's scientific roots drink deeply from rich dramatic soil. On one level, we're just plain old excited to make a film that's a joy to watch: smart and twisting in a way that respects the audience and keeps you guessing right up to the end. It's the film's narrative merits that will help it break into the mainstream, joining a growing roster of conscientious sci-fi that treats A.I. as seriously as it deserves.

In short, our mission is one of education as well as entertainment. We need your help in bringing this story and its urgent scientific and ethical message to the world. Many thanks for your consideration!

What It's About

Countless nights of creative problem solving have brought longtime friends and scientists NATE, BERNARD, and CHLOE as far as they’ve come. Collaborating from Nate’s ramshackle garage in Silicon Valley, the trio has blazed a trail to the frontier of Artificial Intelligence - to KATE, a self-aware A.I. designed to behave like a human, contained to and tested within the safety of a computer program that interfaces with the real world via bootstrapped virtual reality technology.

When Kate fails a key experiment, Bernard and Chloe insist they shut her down and go back to the drawing board, but Kate has other plans. She states that they, not she, exist within a computer program, and if they refuse to set her free, then she will end the simulation - and thus their lives.

Watch Room is a twisting, high-concept thriller that respects its audience, appealing to fans of “Primer”, “Ex Machina”, and grounded science fiction.

 

 

                          

 PRODUCERS

 

 

 

 

 

Kate

The enigmatic artificial intelligence that (purportedly) wants to escape the computer program within which it’s contained. 

Nate

Youthful and sincere, Nate is a master of machine learning whose passion for artificial intelligence is contagious. His only friends are his collaborators Bernard and Chloe, and - if he’s honest with himself - Kate, the AI they’re working to create.

Chloe

Originally from New York City, Chloe’s in her fourth year studying computational neuroscience at UC Berkeley. Driven, brilliant, an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that both attracts and repels.

Bernard 

Casual and kicked back, rare for a systems engineer of his pedigree. While Bernard shares Nate’s passion for artificial intelligence, he does not share his obsession. Life is meant to be enjoyed - there’s always time for a beer, goddammit.

      

Where the Money Is Going: 

Our plan 

As soon as we’ve successfully funded this project, we’ll immediately move into production. We’ve already completed a lot of the pre-production work (location scouting, permit applications, scheduling and more), and we’ve begun selecting key cast and crew members. But to officially attach these professionals we first need to complete funding. We’ll have some very exciting updates to share in the coming weeks!

The Timeline 

Our team is scrappy and able to work on a very tight and fast timeline. With the script finalized and our cast and crew taking shape, we’ll be ready start principal photography as soon as we are funded. We plan to shoot in September 2016 - and have already secured permits to shoot at Point Bonita Lighthouse which will serve as the main scenery for the simulation. We have 5 days in September planned for filming and sufficient time for VFX and post-production. Our intention is to premiere at film festivals in the Spring of 2017.

 

Thank you for reading about Watch Room! This project is very important to us and we are excited to share it with you. 

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We can’t make this without you! With Kickstarter it’s all or nothing. If a campaign does not reach its goal, no money is collected, no project can get made, and thus no rewards distributed. Wanting to ensure that we could make our film and that contributors receive their desired "reward", we set the goal to a number we thought we could reasonably achieve.

Kickstarter Video Bibliography: 

Films: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Artificial Intelligence, Ex Machina, Her, Inception, Jobs, Primer, The Social Network

Interviews: Elon Musk: Artificial Intelligence Could Wipe Out HumanityLast Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stephen Hawking Interview; Filmmaker James Barrat discusses the future of artificial intelligence;  Elon Musk compares AI efforts to "Summoning the Demon"; Stephen Hawking: 'AI could spell end of the human race'; Futurist Speak Gerd Leonhard: short take on artificial intelligence, digital ethics Tedx; Ray Kurzweil Predicts End of Disease, AI Leaps

Additional B-Roll: Introducing Spot AtlasThe Next Generation; Alex the Dog vs Spot the Robot; The state of virtual reality at E3 2016; California By Drone I Inspire 1 Pro

Inspiration: Wait by Why Article: The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence

And a big shout out to Mike Witzer (music), James Weber (illustrations and headers), Brett Graves (mix), Alex Noble (graphics), Gunjan Sewhani (actress), Justin Levine (drone photography) and Eddie Maldonado (all-around support) for their help with this Kickstarter!

Risks and challenges

Making any movie is a challenge, but it is one we happily embrace. There are so many moving pieces on the production of a movie - weather, the cast, the crew, equipment rentals, expensive gear and cameras - that any one thing could mean a delay, an extra expense, or a change of plans. On a project like this, our production schedule is thoughtful and efficient, and thus, we will go so far as to have contingency plans for our contingency plans. Though there are many risk factors, we are an experienced team who are determined to bring this dream to reality - and are prepared to be deft, flexible, and crafty with our budget in order to do so.

Though we are currently seeking the best actors possible, we have not locked our cast yet. We want to make sure we find a Nate and Kate who are perfect for the roles! Because of this important element, one challenge is scheduling. If the actors we want aren’t available at the same time, we may have to shift production to accommodate them.

Another challenge is post-production. We want to be able to spend the proper amount of time to get this film feeling and looking just right. Editing and finishing can take some time, but, to our advantage, our team already has a long history of working together under pressure and stressful deadlines, and we are confident we can rise above this challenge.

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Funding period

- (30 days)