PLAY is a short film I created in collaboration with filmmaker David Kaplan. It was part of the ITVS “Futurestates” series of shorts. The film is set in a future where the lines between games and reality have become blurred. PLAY follows a character through a series of games that are nested inside each other like a set of Russian dolls.
Despite appearances, for me PLAY is not a commentary on games. Instead, it is a film that uses games as a way of meditating on the hypermediation of life by digital information technologies. It is very much a contemporary fable.
I co-wrote the script with David Kaplan, who directed the film, and we worked together on everything from casting to production design to editing. Working on a modest budget, we had a crew of about 20 and a cast of about the same size, plus many extras. It was an extremely educational experience for me to work on this project – I had not done any filmmaking since my days as a painting undergrad student.
PLAY has been screened at many film festivals and game events and has won some awards, including top prize for best short film at the Puchon International Film Festival. David and I are working on a follow-up project to PLAY.