Ready for a sharp turn?
I got some feedback from Craig on the Advantage outline that he didn’t feel like it was visual enough. My natural inclination being to fix rather than ditch, I went through it looking for the problem areas, and realized I had to get one of the characters a more interesting job. So I started thinking about jobs in the future.
I then had a meeting with Rose where she was wondering why people would care about the Advantage kids. I realized I didn’t really care too much about these overadvantaged underachievers myself. Then Sanford offered to do some matte paintings for futuristic backgrounds and I started thinking about the CN tower covered in giant space spider webbing. So this is the new idea:
Ghosts With Shit Jobs is a 2040 documentary for the entertainment of the Chinese mainland, “ghosts” being slang for white people. The western economy has completely collapsed and China and India are the new first world. While laughing at the North American slumdwellers, the documentarian (a tiny fly camera who follows them around) also cultivates a paternalistic concern about these people.
Subject one is, Oscar, a pixelator. The future of Google streetview is an immersive experience indistinguishable from reality, and they’re planning to unroll the Wayback feature — where you can visit every moment in the past fifteen years from when they started filming. However, for legal reasons they have to blur out copywritten images. This is obviously a huge task, and has to be done by humans. It’s a boring job, and the sustained time required in the virtual world gives most employees nose bleeds.
Subject two is Anton, who’s in silk recovery. In 2025, giant arachnoid egg sacks landed on earth, and quickly hatched. Before they left in search of octopi prey, they covered the CN tower and many other buildings with space spider webbing. The webbing turned out to be an exceptionally useful building material, favoured by the big Shanghai architects, and so people like Anton spend their days collecting it from increasingly difficult spots around the city.
Subject three are Karen and Gary, who are freelance robot assemblers. However, the main demand for robots in 2030 is in lifelike babies, so Karen and Gary must care for these very demanding products for months before they can certify them as tested. They have sworn an oath never to become parents.
The documentary brings them together over beers to discuss why they don’t get better jobs. Oscar wants to go back to school to learn an Asian language. Anton’s saving up to bring back his girlfriend, a nanny for a wealthy technocrat in Mumbai. Karen and Gary started out planning to make customized robots, but the robot fairs where they could pitch their designs are so expensive to attend. Money is an issue for all of them. Karen has an idea about the Wayback feature Oscar has access to — doesn’t that mean you can watch someone unlock a safe? Or type in a pin number? or a password?
They trap the documentary maker’s fly cam in a beerglass and go out to change their destinies…
I started the script on this new idea today.
Feedback welcome, especially brainstorm ideas that start “In the future…”