Two students create a short-cut to induce hallucinogenic visions of God, and find themselves hunted by a deadly religious sect.
Ok we like crazy wacky films, but filmmaker Joseph White decided to tease out thinklers to another level with his unleveled film ‘The Brain Hack’, which sets out to do exactly what title says. What else would you expect when mixing hacking and God himself. The film is about two students create a short-cut to induce hallucinogenic visions of God, and find themselves hunted by a deadly religious sect.
Despite the hallucinogenic nature of the movie, the environment stays rather neutral and simple, except for a couple of moments where we are dazzled with glorious visual effects.
I started writing The Brain Hack by setting myself a challenge; to make a short film I could actually afford to make. Something with just two actors, simple locations and affordable props. I love films like Primer and Moon, where it’s mostly just dialogue between two actors, but within those constraints there’s still room for big ideas and real drama and tension to keep you hooked.
Even with this twisted premise, White manages to keep the viewers grounded, while letting them take a leap of imagination. The thing we love about the film, is that the detailed explanations get pretty deep, but always keep some sort of understandability, keeping this real as much as possible. White also hits the magic note when it comes to online cinema, understanding full well how to keep audience plugged in from beginning to end.
I also wanted to make something that was suited to being viewed online. I think a lot of short filmmakers write stories imagining they will be screened at festivals to a captive audience. So they make slow, atmospheric, photographic movies with feature-like pacing. I love those kind of films on the big screen, but when I see them online, I skip ahead if the story doesn’t grip me – it’s a really bad habit. So my aim with The Brain Hack was to make something that would hold my attention if I stubbled across it online. For that reason it has a very different pace and structure to most other shorts, but hopefully that makes it exciting.
So plug in your brains and devour this exciting short that might just change any religious belief you’ve had, you’ve been warned!