In the basement of the OU Art History building, during a light rain, surrounded by the cast and crew the world premier screening of ComputerWorld was shown. The film was created in just seven months entirely by students at the University of Oklahoma. It was written, directed, filmed, and produced by Kevin Lough and Raymond Weilacher.
The noir science fiction thriller told the story of a young executive rising through the ranks of a cybernetic corporate world. While in the midst of a promotion he must decide whether he wants to fight for justice or for the company. Matters only get harder when a mysterious assassin is murdering his coworkers and an independent Code Lord approaches him to betray his company.
The setting for the film is the far future where you are part of the machine, speaking is optional for those with the right software, and your career is your life. The world is bare of countries and overridden with greed and power struggles.
This bleak image of the future is seen through the eyes of a middle manager who is in line for a promotion. When he finds an accounting mistake he thinks it is his big shot. When he takes his data to his superior his world slowly comes apart as he becomes a pawn in a war for freewill.
The film’s setting is well established. From the “sanitized” feeling every office has to the foreboding every hall carries—this movie draws you into its world. The ensemble cast of students, professors, local Normanites, and familiar Norman locations makes you see the Sooner City in a whole new light (dark gray).
The film takes things like sleeping, eating, and sex and makes it feel alien and off putting. The way the psychics communicate, kill, and work is unsettling. This is addressed by people outside the corporation who are fearful of the quiet men in all black.
For all the good things this film does there were things that could be improved. The obvious issues for the film were the constraints of all student films—low budgets, gorilla location scouting, hastened timetable, etc. Considering these issues the crew did great and still made an expressive deep film.
ComputerWorld’s main issue is the amount of long shots with little immediate action. The opening is a pair clocks ticking with nothing happening otherwise for a full minute. This is artistic and fun for fans of similar titles (Scanners immediately comes to mind) but to a general audience it would be hard to get into the movie. Once the action starts it picks up but other traveling scenes also include these long walking shots.
Incredibly the film was completely dubbed post production with only one original sound left in the film. The soundtrack was entirely original and created by Raymond. The gripping electronica tracks make a perfect background for a world of “sanitized” emotions.
The film has not been released for worldwide distribution at this time but the creators are gearing up to send it to several film festivals and more screenings are being planned.
With careful consideration and deliberation the film receives 4 out of 5 dancing hamsters!