Contestant Seven unravels on a live Japanese game show where one android is hidden among humans

As we have just entered a new decade, our obsession with artificial intelligence is still ever so present. And as we get close and closer to reaching the ultimate technology in real life, the films portraying the subject become more and more eerie in a unique and bizarre way. Abhishek Prasad & Rebecca Kahn’s ‘Who Among Us!’ is no different, but take a tantalizing new road to tell their story. The film sits perfectly in between an episode of Black Mirror and Westworld, as the premise revolves around a live Japanese game show where an android is hidden among humans.

We wanted to explore how the media and groupthink can cause a person to doubt what they know to be true. Seven’s character goes through the trauma of gas-lighting, but on a public scale. Reality television specifically exploits and bends the truth in this way. We just extrapolated how that would play out in the future when bots like Siri and Alexa become nearly indistinguishable from humans. Wouldn’t there be a game show where contestants have to figure out who among them is the machine?

The great thing about science fiction and genre filmmaking is that you can really challenge yourself to think outside the box.

Although we took a humorous and kitschy approach to the game show, we want the audience to sympathize with Seven. The host’s laughing at the end was inspired by Christine Blasey’s testimony in the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. She spoke about “the uproarious laughter between the two and having fun at my expense”. That really struck a chord – that something terrible was happening and yet for everyone else it was all fun and games. It was fresh in our minds when we went to write the script. We actually didn’t anticipate making this short until our DP Mike approached us with a full Panavision camera package. So we wrote the pages in about a week and immediately went into production. The great thing about science fiction and genre filmmaking is that you can really challenge yourself to think outside the box. We did our first ever set build and worked with a talented VFX team led by our friend Indrajeet. Our Production Designer Electa completely designed the set from scratch to create the unique retro inspired sci-fi look.

We’re also currently writing a feature based on the short. It’s a documentary looking back at what went wrong on the game show and how the host accidentally gained consciousness. He’s now petitioning for his rights and claiming that he didn’t mean to exploit Seven. It’s giving us the opportunity to explore who these characters really are behind the scenes.