LIFELIKE is a new sci-fi web series that explores how artificial intelligence affects society and the individuals who interact with it.
It's a different world. Personal computers are shaped like people, but there is strong social stigma in considering them anything more than toys. Religious zealots lobby for a clear legal ban of A.I. research. The conglomerate known as LIFELIKE Corporation makes most of the androids and controls the energy market.
But not by much. Someone creates an artificially intelligent android and then abandons it. She is found and taken in, but everyone has their own agenda. Tense wants her big story, Neo and Run want to find out how she works, Indigo wants to make her the symbol of the resistance movement. Is she a mistake? A government ploy? The messiah?
We're getting back to basics. LIFELIKE is about getting back to science fiction that is about story and characters, instead of action and special effects. What's the point of spending so much money on those things if you don't have a compelling story?
Our effects will be conventional. Our design will be unique. Our characters will be multifaceted. Our story will be engaging.
We're innovating the web series format. “Episcenic” is the term that we came up with to describe the
way we’re going to release LIFELIKE. We will release each scene as its
own video. It’s a mix of “episodic” and “scenic”. You can watch them in
the order that we put them out, or choose your own, that way, each
viewer will have their own unique experience with LIFELIKE. This way, we
set ourselves apart while providing a viewing experience tailored to
the way that people watch things online.
Because you love Sci-fi. Science Fiction allows us to tell stories that comment on the past and the future through backdrop of scientific progress. It can capture our imaginations and make us question our deepest beliefs. We will take this genre and run with it.
Because you're tired of movies substituting VFX for storyline. Sci-fi and nerdiness is becoming more and more trendy, but even though the big studios are making more sci-fi shows and movies, they are dumbing them down for a general audience. LIFELIKE is not for everyone, the technical jargon makes sense, the hackers are real people, and the story doesn't spoon feed you the answers.
Because you prefer to watch shows online. We believe in the internet and the freedom offered by it. Freedom from
commercials, demographics, censorship, and canned laughter. The
popularity decided by the viewers alone. Even crowdfunding represents
this coming-together of a community to support the medium with money
from all over the country. We decided to create LIFELIKE because we love the idea of the webseries.
It’s the brave new frontier of film, and we want to conquer it by
making content that isn’t just a short television show, but is
specifically tailored to be watched online.
Here's a sneak peak of one of the episodes from the middle of the season.
JoelSalas is a systems engineer. He loves science, engineering, and math. Although he definitely considers his work to be creative, he never gets a chance to work on something artistic. So when the opportunity to help write a series about all the things he likes came up, he was very enthusiastic. Joel also keeps us honest when it comes to hacker culture and technical jargon.
MariaVoylokov is an actor who grew up in Los Angeles after being born in Moscow, Russia. She's an artist through and through and has been painting and drawing forever, and coming up with stories even longer. After studying theatre in college, she decided to focus on acting and come back to LA. After auditioning for, being in, and watching a lot of bad short films and web series, she wanted to write her own series that she could shoot in her living room. With Joel’s help, she wrote a series that quickly outgrew its initial scope.
Together, we work towards the fusion of art and science. We blend our collective knowledge of storytelling, art, design, technology, and the internet to create a realistic portrayal of science and hacker culture in a compelling story.
We found most of our fantastically talented crew on craigslist. Hey, if you want to make something for the internet, why not use the people you find on the internet? Los Angeles is the best place to find young artists eager to work on an ambitious project like ours.
There’s a lot of stuff that goes into making a production like this. We do all we can to keep the budget down. We are using our own apartments as locations as much as possible as well as buying all the costumes and props from thrift stores and modifying them to create something that looks like it came from a dystopian future. Our cast and crew is volunteering a lot of their time. But there are still a lot of things that need to be paid for:
- Insurance - To get shooting permits in LA, it is mandatory to have filming insurance. - Shooting permits - in oder to shoot outside, you have to have a permit from the city. - Food - Shooting days are regularly 12 hours long, the cast and crew would die without food. - Set - Since LIFELIKE is set in the future, that means that we will need to modify our sets to look less like present day, and more like the dystopia of 2321. - Lighting - Production value suffers greatly without great lighting, we’ll need to rent pro lighting equipment. - Editing - This is a lengthy process that sometimes takes hundreds of hours.
We thought about doing only half the season with this money, but with some creative production scheduling and a lot of volunteer time, we can make the entire first season. You guys deserve to see the whole thing!
We have a complete script, a concept, a design, a production schedule, a cast, and a crew.
We just need you.
Risks and challenges
This is our first big project. We've both been involved in on the production side of films before, but this is the first time that Joel and I are coordinating almost everything. So the biggest challenge that we are going to face is running into stuff that we don’t know how to do, or didn't expect. When that happens, we'll turn to our production advisers. These are professional producers that we have found through friends and crew who generously answer our questions and steer us in the right direction.
Another challenge will be to get our set and costumes and props to look like they belong in a dystopian future. This won't be as hard as it sounds, because there are only three major sets in the story, so we won't have to try to get a public place to look like our world. There are a few outdoor scenes, and we've already scouted locations in LA that look like they belong in the future. Our cast is also fairly small, and there is almost no need for extras. This makes the costumer's job a lot easier. When we wrote it, we knew we had to keep it attainable, so we fit the story to what we needed.
We've already worked together on the trailer and the Kickstarter video, and we can do a lot more! Take a look at the links provided in the Cast & Crew section. Everyone there has worked on successful projects and has something to show for it. My team is young and dedicated, and I'm putting every waking moment into my project. We'll make it succeed no matter what.
All of the above, plus a walk-on role in the first season of LIFELIKE. Don't live in Los Angeles? Don't worry, you don't need to leave your house! We will mail you a kit to film yourself, do our post-production magic on it, and then feature it prominently in one of the episodes.
All of the above, plus an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit (your name alongside Joel and Maria's in the credits), and an invitation to the LIFELIKE wrap party, so you can celebrate the completion of the series with the entire cast and crew!