When a pair of thuggish residents threaten a young girl, the line between human and machine becomes blurred.

Flesh Computer holds strong routes of 1980’s science fiction films, the type of short film that will fry your mind with its interesting and compelling way to tell a story. In a strange manner the film is a twisted mix between Tron and The Fly with some adaptive modern flares. The story is about a weary handyman that does his best to maintain order and care for his cybernetic ‘pet project,’ a strange mix of machine and flesh. But when a pair of thuggish residents threaten a young girl, the line between human and machine becomes blurred.

The film holds many psychological threads, but filmmaker Ethan Shaftel’s main purpose was to explore consciousness:

The goal of the movie is to explore point of view, and what it means to HAVE a point of view, or, to put in another way: what it means to be a conscious being. We literally see through the eyes of a housefly being swatted, a prosthetic eye of a little girl, and a fleshy “computer” creature. I think philosopher David Chalmers’ work on the theory of mind and consciousness in general was a great counterpoint and commentary to weave into an otherwise science fiction narrative.

Just like its title, the film holds as much computer generated visual effects as live action to give the film it’s distinguished cybertronic feel.

Another fun fact is that after our film was made, the special effects and makeup master George Troester who built the actual Flesh Computer appeared as a contestant on the SyFy Channel’s FACE OFF reality show, and made some really amazing creations.

Ethan Shaftel is a director, game designer, film editor and 10-year veteran of the entertainment industry. Ethan’s independent sci-fi feature SUSPENSION played at festivals around the world and was released by Warner Home Video in 2008. In addition, he has directed a successful line of Hasbro games and screen content for musicians such as Tiesto, Foster the People and Jane’s Addiction. Outside of work, Ethan is obsessed with travel and has lived for extended periods in both Italy and Japan.