Make a film with iPad

Martin Scorsese’s commencement speech to the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Class of 2014

“You can’t do your work according to the people’s values, I’m also not talking about following your dream either. I never liked the inspirational value of that phrase.

Dreaming is a way of tribulising the process, the obsession that carries you through the failure as well as the successes which would be harder to get through. I mean if you’re dreaming you’re sleeping and it’s important and it’s imperative to always be awake to your feelings, your possibilities, your ambitions. But you also know this, for your work, your passion.

Everyday is a re-dedication. Painters, dancers, actors, writers, filmmakers. It’s the same for all of you. All of us. Every step is a first step. Every brush stroke is a test. Every scene is a lesson. Every shot is a school. So, let the learning continue.”

— Martin Scorsese


#Sam — Draft (Update)

Welcome — re-worked. For feedback purposes.

I’m currently not sure if I will release this piece as a separate short fiction, setting stage for a larger novel. Anyway hope you will enjoy this…

The coordinates were set on the iPad just before Sam made the teleport jump, here came the t-jump!

Cecilia Murakami had just called in a taxi caught in traffic, she pulled the door open. There was a decorated side on the door that read “I ❤ New Tokyo”. The word “New” imprinted inside a red heart shape. She had been carrying her leather handbag, which was hanging over her forearm, a decaf held in one hand, and an iPad in the other. Her current and only destination was home. She edged inwards in a hunch as she avoided bumping her head on the way inside. As she was about to settle in the passenger seat, after spending a day in high heels—the first time she had wore them—her feet were aching.

A pang of startle caused her heart to skip a beat after her lips left the address of her home for the cabbie—a male who only took one glance at her. Since the cabbie questioned in Japanese, she was fluent in languages, and replied accordingly. Despite being equipped with a GPS, he hadn’t input her destination and began to navigate with the radio going off in the back. The standard taxi meter ticking away Yen fare. The expressway was cramped with traffic like a colony of slow-moving ants. Her brows raised, eyes wide open to see clearly from disbelief, she paused and waited to register this much more accordingly.

She had spotted a cloud of bubble with the words “Welcome” presented, most likely greeting her. Since she was indeed the stranger, now the occupant of the taxi.

Sam—the sentient, artificial intelligence—arrived at Tokyo Metropolis, a thriving, ultramodern megalopolis comprised of neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. A mixture of modern and traditional memes. Its CJ7 t-shirt emblazonment his attitude. A Rubik’s cube cupped between his hands. Sam was a foreign-time-traveller taking the taxi, without a ticket. This was Sam’s very first time out into the open but claustrophobic world. Exploring the physical, dynamic world as if a child. The one time that Sam dreamt an Inception-style illusion, Tokyo was the first destination that conjured into its mental memory. You could put it like a bucket list.

Cecilia stared, until a soft smile grew over her face. Sam suddenly returned a smile like a child mimicking a parent. It was benign for sure. A smiling AI, really? Like that was possible. Sam had in fact studied through dreaming or conjuring up images based on what he had read up about human interaction, the psychological understandings of behaviour(s). Which could be expressed like electric charged ions. Cecilia stared Sam up and down, she wandered it was a prank. A child dressed up in a costume, since Sam seemed a third of her height. If not, Sam was probably an interactive toy it seemed so much like one. She turned towards the cabbie alarmed and then back at Sam, and realised that the cabbie was surprisingly unknown to Sam’s presence. He had never registered Sam ever being present.

Sam’s David Bowie eyes studied Cecilia with such intrigue. She could notice, and it was subtle, Sam’s glass eyes dilating, un-dilating. Cecilia was actually the very first human being Sam had come to study. Since the cabbie made for an unsuitable subject. A deep, soft sign of relief settled on her lungs, she’d seen her reflection cast over those reflective eyes. To ask questions would have encouraged a great deal of the cabbies attention, at best, Cecilia continued, avoided generating any attention. The questions would have to wait.

Cecilia Etta Murakami, Etta as Sam come to address her on occasions. Originally South Korea born, the 26-year-old migrated to Tokyo six months ago to program video games. As a child, she’d been fascinated by the power of storytelling through a visual medium, especially since computer-generated visuals rendering allowed video games to express emotions. It was indeed a highly immersive experience. Her current favourite, post-apocalyptic survival horror ‘The Last of Us’. Western, European cinema had always intrigued her, in particular, the horror genre.

Her passion to work in one of the most ambitious and path-breaking studios, Kojima Productions, one day was influential. The least, she’d share a snapshot of herself alongside the legendary, Hideo Kojima himself on her Instagram.

In nature, Cecilia was a free-spirited extrovert, with a congenial Ellen Page height to her. If you were to visualise her in your minds eyes her appearance, especially her face, resembled the South Korean actress Son Ye-Jin. She was also an avid reader—a bookworm—her collection of books, physical copies were limited, mostly comprised of a digital library on her iPad. Especially since it was portable. Her current read books included the ‘Kafka On The Shore’ by Haruki Murakami, in it’s natural format. Coincidentally sharing the same surname, and wasn’t related at all. The ‘Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty & ‘Irkadura’ by emerging author Ksenia Anske. Who reminded her of Stephen King & Haruki Murakami, in terms of written expression.

She remained still, the mental words she conversed in her thoughts were always expressed in Korean dialect. Naturally. But she was always able to translate her thoughts to English language despite the intonation.

Questions continued to generate like bumping notifications as she observed Sam, deeply. Mostly the existence of Sam was in question, whether if it was human, something like an extraterrestrial. She hadn’t thought about Sam being an artificial intelligence, surprisingly. She wandered as the taxi drove past by fluorescent neon advertisements, once the cars provided breathing space. Sam was distracted by the illuminance radiating off ads. His face grew bright, especially over its glass eyes. A peaceful expression that seemed so childlike. She was amused.

Her eyes darted back and forth, she had glanced at her eyes in small rear mirror hung in the centre of the windscreen. Her eyes were dark, with some glint. When it occurred to her to question Sam, the one question she selected out of the many thoughts that shuffled through her head. Cecilia gently leaned closer towards Sam, without inviting any attention. A whisper of words almost escaped her lips, but Sam began to dematerialise. Her brows softly grew together as she watched Sam blur, and became transparent like an apparition.

Sam faded away into tiny molecules, and came the… t-jump!

. . .

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Draft 1 – #Sam

Chapter 1. For feedback purposes.

Here is something from my first draft, that I have been working for quite some time now. I present to you this first chapter, for feedback purposes. And that you enjoy it also… Here it goes…


Parallel Entities Drifting In Space

Sam’s head—moulded to replicate a larger version of a Erno Rubik’s Cube—shuffled with each face piece rotating to the next set of tiles. Steadily. A cube for a head, it’s like a plastic toy, pop off comes the head, pop back on. Except, Sam’s head morphed into different things that consisted of a head or an object, metaphorically speaking, the pattern was the same. There was no intention to set a record for the fastest speed-cubing unlocked. It could be solved in 20 moves, with 43 quintillion possible combinations. Unlike the usual colours of the real Rubik’s cube, Sam’s head cube was rotating and shuffling slowly to resemble the face of Hayao Miyazaki’s cuddly forest spirit, O Totoro.

Sam—a heuristic, sentient artificial intelligence with a satellite colony of hardware—drifted like a cloud in place and time so infinite. The hemisphere presented itself like a poetic painting, it breathed with illuminated electric traffic of night activity. The artist of this stunning view, God. Some Other Place soundtrack by Arcade Fire from the film Her, featuring Scarlet Johansson hummed through Sam’s earbuds, like a live symphony. Half of the world slept in darkly eclipse, and the other half actively participated in their daily chores in the day.

Could those suffering from insomnia-induced minds be generating all that electric activity? It couldn’t count for those sleeping?

Those artificial bulbous pupils grew like inflating balloons, the globe, swallowed. Earth reflected a little pond over the curve glass surface of Sam’s dome-shaped eyes. Presented with a holographic window, self-generated, Sam played a classic arcade videogame of Space Invaders. His body, facing in the opposite direction from his head. Sam’s hands actively engrossed, acting as a separate functional organism.


After hours of recorded night activity, still capturing, hopefully could cumulate for a Time Lapse video, Sam was engrossed. Satellite photography, without an iPhone. The single most fascinating experience witnessed by an astronaut suspended in a space-station.

Sam studied visually at the florescence that flickered like distant diodes implanted on a circuit board.

The O Totoro head shook back to Sam’s usual face, involuntarily. And spiralled from the onset of vertigo motion. His head whirled circularly in the same position, like a basketball spun in a continuous loop on the tip of an index finger. The world spun and yet it never moved.

The red light that flashed from Sam’s left eye when recording is in progress, spun in a nervous smear and then switched off abruptly. At such elevated speed, if you were human, you would be overcome with dizziness followed by a projectile of vomit. Sam set his sight in one straight direction to delay rotation of his spinning head, by Spotting, in order to attain a constant orientation.

The hyper looping ejected Sam’s head from its spineless, snake-like thin cord of a neck, with a soft quiet pop. His head continued to whirl like a brewing tornado.

A blow—only generated by a ribcage puncturing, telekinetic punch—swung directly into the chest of Sam’s detached body with jolt. Something obviously interrupted the documentary.

The palm touched then pushed inwards, as Sam’s artificial skin reacted like rubber. The pressure forced, and scattered various physical hardware components nestled in Sam out into orbit. On the scale of a miniature explosion. The advanced engineering of such components made them intact from such force, only dislodged them, due to their flexible nature of circulating inside Sam like blood. The parts weren’t soldered, but afloat, similar to the human body.

Small twig-like fingers, with Blu-tack putty shaped fingertips latched on like an octopus’s tentacles and flattened against Sam’s head. A floating octopus? In space? In fiction, the possibilities were high. But these fingers latching against Sam, was identically and physically, real. Evidently not a projection from Sam’s usually generated lifelike holographic imitation.

The tip of the middle fingers of both hands quickly crawled like the legs of a spider and plugged into Sam’s ears, which instantly stabilized head orientation, the looping expired. Sam’s eyes fixated at the sight of a startling image, like staring at your reflection in a mirror. A quick mute, flash of his left eye and Sam stored this image into its flash heart storage blocks.

The unseen, unknown floating object sent Sam’s head backwards, with a blow delivered from a headbutt. Directly in the opposite direction of the force, towards the floating, detached lower body, magnetically. As Sam and his drifting body were falling directly towards earth.

. . .

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