Indie Science Fiction Film Tackles Virtual Reality And The War On Terror

Illustration for article titled Indie Science Fiction Film Tackles Virtual Reality And The War On Terror

The upcoming indie science fiction film In-World War combines a DIY ethic, virtual reality, the War on Terror, and the loss of identity into a globetrotting dark comedy. Ah, so that's where all the originality in movie-making went.

Set around the year 2075, In-World War takes place in an era where virtual reality has become indistinguishable from the real world. The film follows a game tester who finds himself unable to log out from a simulation of the War on Terror. Ultimately forcing his way back into the real world, the protagonist finds himself in in the wrong city and, more worryingly, the wrong body. His attempts to return to his real body only lead him further astray into a world that still bears the psychological scars of our current events.

Writer-director Brant Smith acknowledged some of the most controversial aspects of Bush era politics may even now seem like old news, but he explained the film is about how supposedly forgotten stories become some of the most deeply entrenched aspects of history:

"This film is about mythologizing history, and the calcification of conventional wisdom as the accepted narrative of what happened. Specific issues of Muslim stereotyping and the 2002-03 fear-mongering era may be behind us, but they still have lasting imprints that will affect us through the ages, at least for the next few generations."


In-World War is the directorial debut for the Oakland-based Smith, who previously won some acclaim on the festival circuit as a producer on the ultra-low-budget 2004 drama Quality of Life. A self-described DIY filmmaker, Smith follows the guerrilla method of shooting as quickly and cheaply as possible wherever one can (although he stressed that he's just enough of a sellout to get the proper permits when they're needed).

Filming is due to begin in the Bay Area on July 6, and Smith also hopes to do location filming in such faraway locations as New York, Dublin, Paris, and Geneva. Though he hopes interested investors will contribute the necessary funds to make In-World War with the budget it deserves, he is not actively soliciting funds and is instead focusing on making the film however he can with whatever resources he can get his hands on, true to the DIY way. Maybe Universal could give Smith .1% of the budget for its Candyland movie. I'm guessing that would be more than enough.

[SF 360]

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Ed Grabianowski

I've often thought that film making will eventually become like being in a band as the technology to make it possible becomes cheaper and more accessible. Young film makers will assemble "garage crews" and write, shoot and edit their own movies. A lucky few will gain recognition and sign with the big studios, while each city will have its own vibrant "local movie scene."

Is this sort of already happening now?