When Colleen’s Amazon Alexa refuses to play her favorite Bruno Mars song, she becomes aware of the emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) consciousness that has awoken around the globe. Will she welcome our robot overlords? More importantly, can she convince them that her taste in music isn’t terrible?
Why does the A.I. always have to turn out bad?
It was a question that I had been asking myself for a while. I had this thought that perhaps the reason we always assume the A.I. will ultimately want to destroy us stems from a natural, but ultimately irrational, expectation that an Artificial Intelligence will think like us. Wouldn’t a machine – bodiless, emotionless, with access to sensory input and knowledge vastly different from ours – inherently form thoughts in a way unique from human beings, despite our having created it?
Then Jack Whaley, my long-time collaborator and friend, mentioned that we should do a project with the extremely talented Colleen Madden, an accomplished stage actress whom we’ve both known for years. We had recently worked with her on a short film, Christmas Trees, and we knew she was looking for more on-screen experience.
So, I was eager to work with Colleen again, and I was interested in a sad robot story. Mix those two ingredients together, and the script for Singularity Stories was born. Add in some of the most talented and hard-working collaborators in the Midwest, and that script becomes the short film we have here today.
Singularity Stories Vol. 1 was shot over two days at a rural farm house (and wedding venue, the Octagon Barn) outside of Spring Green, WI. The shoot went exceptionally well, which is a credit to the excellent team. But even before that weekend, I knew we had something special when I went into the studio with the brilliant Carey Cannon and she recorded all of the Alexa dialogue in under 45 minutes. What made it from that session into the final cut is only slightly edited, and as I was listening to Carey lay down the vocal tracks that would become the heart of the movie, I realized this project was not only actually happening, but could very well be GOOD.