Today’s selection is Autonomous, an award winning short film by George Verotsis. A bounty hunter, whose job it is to retire obsolete androids in accordance with a law which decrees their destruction, gains a conscience – and a bit more.
With short science fiction films, a consistent challenge is to create the world in which the film is set as effectively as possible given the limited budget such a film almost invariably has. Instead of relying on the symphony of visual effects common to feature films in the modern vernacular, Autonomous relies on thematic echoes and grace notes to give us the sense of where we are, and when. It’s a time in the not-too-distant future, where the world is still built for use by humans, and little autonomous drones carrying packages and messages flit about their daily business overhead.
The theme is echoed as each of the characters question their own roles in a system in which they feel compelled to follow their various directives. While the twist at the end is one you could probably predict, it’s how the characters get to that place that makes that crucial difference. What is human? What does that mean? But more importantly, why does it matter?
Watch, and ponder the implications.
About George Varotsis
George Varotsis was born in Athens, Greece, and studied Industrial Management (BSc), Fiction Film Production (MA), and Cognitive Narrative Theory & Narratology (PhD), while his revised doctoral thesis, entitled “Screenplay and Narrative Theory” is now published by Lexington Books.
George has been involved in the production of TV commercials, TV dramas and feature films in various roles. In 2005, he co-founded Split Second Film Productions in London, which he left in 2008 to pursue freelance film production opportunities.
He’s member of the Greek Screenwriters Guild (GSG) and he’s been a visiting lecturer at Regent’s University and the Central Film School, both in London, the University of Birmingham and at the Henley Business School of the University of Reading.
George has written, produced and directed short films while he’s making his foray into TV commercials. He’s represented as writer/director by Jake Friedman at Scenario Los Angeles.