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Sep 20, 2016 6:58 PM ET

Archived: Real Artists: A new sci-fi short about AI and the future of film from award-winning director/screenwriter Cameo Wood and based on the short story by Hugo/Nebula/World Fantasy winning author Ken Liu and stars renowned actress Tamlyn Tomita

iCrowdNewswire - Sep 20, 2016

Real Artists


A new sci-fi short about AI and the future of film. What does it take to be a REAL ARTIST? Sophia (Tiffany Hines), an up-and-coming animator, is faced with that question when she interviews with Palladon (Tamlyn Tomita) at world-famous Semaphore Studios. Based on the short story by Ken Liu.


About The Project


What would you give up to become a ‘real artist’?

Sophia,  a young animator is offered what should be her dream job. But when she discovers the truth of the modern “creative” process, she must make a hard choice about her passion for film. Set in an unsettling tomorrow, REAL ARTISTS, is the new sci-fi short film from award-winning director/screenwriter Cameo Wood (DUKHA IN SUMMER) and based on the short story by Hugo/Nebula/World Fantasy winning author Ken Liu (THE GRACE OF KINGS) and stars renowned actress Tamlyn Tomita (FOUR ROOMS, JOY LUCK CLUB, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW) and marks the debut of Tiffany Hines (BONES) in a sci-fi indie role.

Help us bring this story to life. Check out the incentives and wishlist pages, contribute monetarily, spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (use #RealArtistsFilm), blogs, and encourage friends to make this project a reality!


Sophia & Palladon discuss potential employment at Semaphore


Why This Story? 

We felt it was the right time to take a hard look at the issues surrounding the future of work, filmmaking, and what it may be like to collaborate with an AI. Right now, 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. 

We’re envisioning a near future when its more efficient to have an artificial intelligence create a film and test it on a human audience. Where ‘taste’ is not yet captured by code and still has to be measured by a human. This story is ultimately a reaction to what it means to be human and what the future of quantifiable filmmaking looks like. Through science-fiction, we focus on rapidly-approaching question of ethics in neuromarketing, the power of corporations to craft products in response to our biometric responses, and how these concepts connect. We’re also telling a story about a young woman’s dream job, and her heroine that tries to guide her toward the future of storytelling.


Tracking – coming to an interview near you!



Our director, Cameo Wood, read Ken Liu’s short story Real Artists on a plane in 2012 and was so inspired by the tale, she emailed him from 10,000 feet to ask him if we could option the rights- and so the journey of Real Artists began.  Cameo also wrote the screenplay adaptation of Ken’s story which has since won awards at international film festivals in London, Toronto, and the USA. We’re excited to build upon the short story’s critical acclaim and expand the world of REAL ARTISTS. The short story was originally commissioned by MIT’s Technology Review as a collection of short sci-fi stories called TRSF in 2011 and has been performed by Ann Leckie for Escape Pod (listen), and has been translated into Dutch in De Ingenieur, and into Japanese for はるこん/Hal-Con 2017. Now we want this story to reach its fullest potential and bring it to a wider audience


Post Production
Real Artists is already in the can. The film was shot on 35mm kodak film on a Panavision camera, and it looks gorgeous. Shot on location at the breathtaking Chabot Space & Science Center, the location couldn’t have been more perfect as the ultra-modern Semaphore Studios.  Our film has an original soundtrack by accomplished composer, Meredith Yayanos of The Parlour Trick – featuring Stripmall Architecture’s Ryan Coseboom.


Our Goal

We’ve already shot the film, and now we’re in the final weeks of editing, VFX, coloring, sound design, and music production. We realize that it will cost about $20,000 to finish the film. We are asking for you to help us reach that goal. That money goes to pay professionals who will be editing the film, editing the sound, animating the visual effects, designing the display for the artificial intelligence, coloring the film, writing and producing the music – all of which we need to make a great looking and sounding film. Check out our WishList to look at the budget we’re trying to fulfill.

Contact Information:

Cameo Wood

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