[ExI] Transhuman screenplays

Jimmy Adams jadams.neuro at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 6 04:36:28 UTC 2009

I'd changed the subject title. The Link didn't work right in my last email. I tried the <a Href=" but it didn't work. I 'm used to using [url= but that doesn't work here, so Ill try again

21st'>http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/21stcenturykids.html">21st Century Kids Screen Play
If that doesn't work, then cut and paste: http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/21stcenturykids.html 
Yahoo doesn't let me preview the email before sending it, so I can't correct any mistakes; primitive software, so last century! ;)
I'll try to answer the questions below...

From: Florent Berthet <florent.berthet at gmail.com>
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 5, 2009 6:30:30 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] The Excitement-Disillusionment-Reorientation cycle of online transhumanism

Florent: Hi Jimmy,

I've just read your amazon review of Shannon's book, and I'll soon check the script, it seems interesting.

About the movie, when you say there was no interest for it in Hollywood, what were the reasons exactly ? What kind of audience are you looking at ?

Jimmy: The type of audience is for children to open their minds about new ways of thinking, and understanding the future. It is to be fun and educational, it will be cool to live in the future!
Why Hollywood doesn't like it? It's educational. Hollywood is for entertainment, they don't care about teaching new ideas or new points of view. They want something to make a fast buck. They are not in the education business, they are in the entertainment business. They want fast action scenes, blow something up, the more violence the better. They want people to buy tickets, not educate them. 

Florent: Those issues are important because I think we need something that can be seen as the next Matrix in terms of success. By the way, I find it pretty impressive and encouraging how big was that success given the topics involved. I don't think I would have bet on it at first (sure, there was the Keanu Reeves card, but still...).

Jimmy: The Matrix movies were about violence first, lots of guns, action, and destoying things. It wasn't about transhumanism in the sense of living forever, or making the world better, or living in peace. It was about violence for the fun of it, and that sold tickets. (and teach children that it is O.K. to be violent) 

Florent: As for my personal screenplay, I have the overall picture and I'm now getting into the details. The story takes place in the near future (around fifty years from now, definitely less than a hundred years), in a recently created virtual world where the humans can upload themselves and live à la Egan's Permutation City, but with real mind-blowing epic fun. I will try to make it clear that it's actually a trully possible future by making people understand during the beginning that some years in the past, a team of scientists succeeded in making an AGI, which quickly managed to get the interest and sympathy of the people by being really smart, funny, and by being a great advisor on every subject. Then this AGI gained more political influence, and eventually, since she was so popular, some governments were forced to apply what she was proposing. Year after year, people could see the great improvements taking place all over the world, and finally,
 one day she introduced the virtual world with a speech along those lines: 

"During the past years, you have been giving me your trust. You allowed me to help you by all the necessary means, and together we have been able to get rid of most of the major world issues. But this is nothing compared to what I can offer you today. Let's try something : just imagine the best thing that could happen in your life. Go on, try it, even the craziest thing you can think of. Done ? Good. Well I can assure you that whatever that is, I have *way* better for you. Welcome to your new home."

Jimmy:  This sounds like the central computer in the movie "I Robot"  Victoria (?) "We will help you humans (by force, since humans can't help themselves)

Florent: So that is basically the starting point and it shouldn't take more than a tenth of the movie's duration. For the rest, it's pretty tricky do make a fiction where nothing is going wrong or where there isn't any real threat involved, but it's not at all unsolvable. Indeed, for once we can use an environment where there aren't any limits. We can literally make the best action scenes ever because, well, screw the laws of physics! Same thing with the mystery or weirdness of the events, the beauty of the sets, or anything that can shape the story. The only limit is the imagination, and it will also be a key point within the movie itself. 

Jimmy: "screw the laws of physics!" is part of the problem with movies, spaceships that make a sound in space (no sounds in space), Time travel, (there is no past nor future to go to, only the now),  Parallel Dimensions (No rich me, no dead me, no heaven, no hell,..there is only one me and there is only one you, lets just deal with that and maybe people will stop killing each other, since there is no other copies of themselves.). Science Fiction uses these tools but wouldn't it be better to write science fiction on the hard realities.(even 21st Century Kids uses time travel). But if I were to write something I would use only hard science, to teach that a lot can be done with this universe. Lots of people seem to believe what they see, and if they are shown only science mysticism, they can't understand realism.
But realism doesn't sell movie tickets. (or can it?)

Florent: The guideline is about a young guy that will wake up in that world (for a very valid reason...), not knowing where he is, and discovering the life in there. In particular, he will discover the Games (yes, with a capital G.), and how pretty much everything will be about them from now on. The games, like I said, will take place in a context of infinite possibilities, which will permit some never saw before kinds of stuff. The kinds there were in Tron but a lot more complex and fun, and not only based on techno-creepy environments. Every part of them must be highly attractive. After all, the aim is to make people really really want that future.

Jimmy: "Make people really want that future" of Games? I don't like or care for computer games, or most games in real life. OK, I like sailing and chess, but that is about it. You want to force people to like baseball, football, fotbal (soccer) and other sports? What about freedom of choice? There are 16 different types of personalities, not every one is an alpha male, or a hunter. A simulation would have to have something to match all the different types of personalities. Personally I don't want to come back (after cryonics) in a simulation. I want a biological ageless body in the real world. But that is my choice, and if you want to come back in a simulation that is your choice; the red pill, or the blue pill, but everyone should have the right to chose. Maybe the guy in your movie choose the simulation world but notices that the real world is trying to unplug the simulation world and becomes the hero in the simulation world by making a friend in the
 real world to help them out?  Just an idea. 

Florent: After having finished the screenplay (it's far from being done), and given the nature of most of the scenes, a finely detailed storyboard will be the least I can do to hope making a big director go woo-hoo. That's why the time and efforts needed are huge, but so could be the potential results.

Jimmy: Good luck, Larry and Andy Wachowski, used very detailed storyboards to sell their story. They also had a "name" in the comic book world. 

Florent Berthet

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