GENRE: Sci-Fi + Heist Movie
LOGLINE: Set in the near future, when his ex-girlfriend's research lab is on the cusp of an Artificial Intelligence breakthrough - enabling the human mind to be immortally preserved, idealistic hacker Stu is compelled to infiltrate her company and then steal the invention for a rival tycoon.
TAGLINE: "When some become immortal the rest of us are dead."
BTL BUDGET RANGE: $2MM - $5MM (w/limited VFX shots)
• Male Lead (30s): Stu Reigns is a charming, ne'er-do-well A.I. computer scientist & live vlogger. IDEAL CAST: Topher Grace, Jason Segel, Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, Diego Boneta
• Female Lead (30s): Roxy Zhang is a brilliant scientist & CEO of ZeroQu, demisexual, "on the spectrum", and Stu's ex-girlfriend. IDEAL CAST: Ali Wong, Jamie Chung, Jessica Henwick, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Jing Lusi
• Supporting Female (Late 20s): Maria Gutierez is a community organizer, Stu's girlfriend, and hates the idea of marriage. IDEAL CAST: Gina Rodriguez, Demi Lovato, Karla Souza, Diane Guerrero
• Antagonist Female (50s - 60s): Gwendolyn Grantham is old money, ever ambitious, and religiously devout. IDEAL CAST: Annette Bening, Sharon Stone, Helen Hunt, Linda Hamilton, Angelica Huston, Jessica Lange
• Antagonist Male (60s - 70s): Floyd Rosti is Gwendolyn’s rival and about to be convicted for a Madoff-like scam. He's medically ill but otherwise a dangerous, bizarro version of Elon Musk. IDEAL CAST: James Woods, Gary Oldman, Jimmy Smits, James Cromwell, Christopher Walken, Danny Glover
•Supporting Female (30s): Vicki Mellor is an "Unplugger Activist" and owner of a coffee shop. She pines for Maria. IDEAL CAST: Janelle Monae, Tessa Thompson, Dalila Ali Rajah, Raven-Symoné, Janina Gavankar
1st PREVISUALIZATION VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/265831621/3840265c80
SYNOPSIS: Just what job will your granddaughter be able to do better than a robot? According to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and most AI (Artificial Intelligence) researchers, the answer is “nothing” and there’s nothing we can do about it. Ever-increasing advances in AI are already in the process of replacing all sorts of high-end jobs including financial analysts, journalists, radiologists & doctors, and even lawyers. Scientists are developing realistic plans to scan and digitize human brains to create immortal virtual minds. That’s what’s cutting-edge today and we haven’t even got to the fictional part of this sci-fi movie.
At humanity’s most crucial turning point, in the all-too-near future, is where this story begins. Huge 3D-printers can print smaller 3D-printers and when machines can make machines there’s not much for humans to do for work. PDDs (Pizza Delivery Drones - the size of phone booths) fly everywhere. For those who actually do have somewhere to go, virtually all cars are driverless so there’s no street parking and almost no traffic. The increasing population of unemployed subsist on the dole, living in IKEA-style “sleeping pods” set-up in abandoned parking structures.
Brilliant, charming, idealistic Stu Reigns is our hero. All his previous computer ventures have failed while his demisexual ex-girlfriend, Roxy Zhang, has become a rising star in the field. Her breakthrough invention preserves not only human memories but also decision-making. Shrewd, old money Gwendolyn Grantham is buying Roxy’s company. This infuriates rival billionaire, Floyd Rosti who is about to be rightfully convicted of a Bernie Madoff-style scam and is terminally ill. Floyd knows the only way to get this new immortality is to enlist Stu in corporate espionage and steal it for him.
Stu rationalizes taking the assignment by thinking he’ll actually, ultimately ensure the masses get this immortality but he’s mostly doing it for the money and to pay down the college loans of his current girlfriend, Maria. Stu cleverly devises exquisite plans to pull off the heist without getting caught (including AI-enabled face-swapping VFX for the security cameras – Google “DeepFakes”). Complex, second act plot turns, kidnapping, betrayals, and bad luck foil his plans. So Stu has to crudely, straight-up steal the device and accept that he’ll have to endure the consequences.
On the night of the heist, Stu finds out he’s not the only one trying to acquire the device. He gets lucky with some unexpected help (including his virtual mind which has autonomously, proactively become his accomplice). Stu thrillingly escapes with the device by hopping aboard a PDD as it flies away.
But in the final series of twists, Stu recognizes he’s far from the smartest player in the game as the others get the better of him and then each other. Gwendolyn is the ultimate victor by getting all the results she wanted but Roxy gets her revenge on her main enemy and emerges safely to benefit humanity.
In the spirit of the best sci-fi, EXABYTE seeks to culturally influence not-yet-widely-known yet nevertheless highly urgent matters regarding the future. Judiciously designed to have limited VFX shots enabling a powerful trailer on a low budget.
Daniel Lawrence AbramsWriterProducer: Mining For Ruby, On Wings of Eagles
Number of Pages:103
Country of Origin:United States
Beverly Hills Film Festival's Screenwriting CompetitionBeverly Hills, CA
April 6, 2019
International New York Film FestivalNew York City
June 14, 2019
Stage32.com's Sci-Fi Screenplay ContestLos Angeles, CA
October 12, 2018
Los Angeles Cinefest Screenplay ContestLos Angeles, CA
Beverly Hills Screenplay ContestBeverly Hills, CA
Workers Unite Film FestivalNew York City
May 23, 2019
Finalist (Top-5 script)
Fade In Awards: Sci-Fi Screenplay Competition
June 18, 2019
Austin Film Festival - Screenplay CompetitionAustin, Texas
Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope - Screenwriting CompetitinSonoma, CA
February 18, 2020
Top-4% (QF) of 1600 submissions
ISA Fast-Track Fellowship (Double-selectee)Los Angeles, CA
September 21, 2019