Private Project

The Apocalypse will be Automated

As a virus spreads through Melbourne in summer of 2021, a group of friends follow their pre-determined emergency plan and flee the city. But the plan relied on technology, and they discover technology may not be as helpful as they had hoped.

Will the machines side with the humans . . . or zombies?

  • Melanie Killingsworth
    The Lilith Necklace, Nobody's Perfect
  • Melanie Killingsworth
    The Lilith Necklace, Nobody's Perfect
  • Cat Fay
  • Melanie Killingsworth
  • Rachel Baring
  • Jessica Tanner
    Key Cast
    The Tempest
  • Johnny Carr
    Key Cast
    The Greatest Love of All
  • Dushan Philips
    Key Cast
    Wentworth, Offspring
  • May Jasper
    Key Cast
    Not A Very Good Story
  • Sophia Davey
    Key Cast
    Liz Drives, Hunter
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Horror, Sci-Fi, Dark Comedy
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 16, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    9,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Melanie Killingsworth

Melanie has worked on dozens of films and TV shows - including shows for Hulu, VH1, and FOX - in roles ranging from Story Producer to Lead PA to Editor. She has produced and edited shorts and features of all genres. This is Melanie’s fourth directing gig; her neo-noir The Lilith Necklace premiered at the Green Bay Film Festival in 2015, and her silent film Nobody's Perfect has received praise online.

She recently relocated from the US to Melbourne, where she is working on fiction films, web series, and a series of documentary shorts. The Apocalypse will be Automated is the first Australian film she has directed, and she looks forward to many more.

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Director Statement

I was reading a lot about Artificial Intelligence, and how in building 'smart' machines, engineers are attempting to teach the machines a version of the Trolley Problem, an ethical thought experiment. I thought, 'Okay, but what if the machines encountered zombies?'

Of course, there's a lot of potential hilarity in a zombie wandering into a 'smart home' and activating the air conditioning, ice-maker, and television. But there's also a deeper psychological pull.

Zombie movies often touch on some of humanity's oldest fears; the crush of a mindless mob, questions of what happens after death or loss of what makes us human. Stories about AIs tend to tap into a hopeful curiosity about postponing death, but can also involve fear of the unknown, or of being overtaken by something inhuman.

What happens when those two worlds - and most importantly, those two film genres - collide? It results in a darkly funny apocalyptic film which toys with familiar film conventions, while posing serious questions about where we currently stand in regards to technology and humanity.