Singularitas poster


The Concept

'Singularitas' is an experimental short film written and directed by Kelly McErlean. Visual Effects by Sean McDermott.

The film is a 'concept-based narrative.' It is the visualisation of a blend of suppositions and predictions inspired by Kurzweil's writings on the 'Singularity' and Nietzsche's theory of 'The Eternal Return.'

In Singularitas we are faced with a technological tipping point, where man merges with machine and our biological evolution is replaced with a technological one. The exponential evolutionary cycle of growth is superseded by an 'intelligence explosion.'

presents one actual prediction for this machine-based evolution - an apocalyptic prophecy which warns that one iteration of nanotechnology (when activated) will become uncontrollable, and aggressively manipulate all Earth-based matter in just one week. The film depicts the final futile efforts of mankind, attempting to fight and escape the revolutionary forces that it so recently created. The Eternal Return theory proposes that such an event will trigger the reversal of time itself, and we will be trapped in a repeating cycle of history, backwards and forwards, forever - time endlessly bent back on itself.

The concept of the story in Singularitas was influenced by the Futurists (an early 20th century Italian artistic and social movement that rejected traditional ideas and embraced future technologies and war) and the Vorticists (a short-lived modernist art movement in Britain that tended towards abstract geometric styles). The movements were both rivals and allies. Their manifestos advocated energetic, unrelenting and even violent change. A complete rejection of the past. This film represents their ultimate wish - The Futurists dream finally realised.
Chris Marker's La Jetee is also referenced through the use of distant, barely audible multi-lingual voices. Are they communicating active warnings from the future, appealing to mankind to take an alternative path? Messages sent back in time from the few survivors?

Twitter: @Singularitas_



The Futurists dream finally realised...

  Singularitas poster  















The Sound

The original edit had no English VO and the actors spoke in Romanian, Croatian, Yoruba and Chinese only. The objective was to create an acoustic orchestration of languages that would necessitate the use of digital translation tools to understand the film's narrative. This in itself, was a reference to the fact that pervasive computing will make the English language the last lingua-franca (unifying language). In the future, languages we have never learned will be translated for us 'on-the-fly' and stories will be told in mutliple languages at once.
Singularitas - a multilingual short - in Romanian, Croatian, Yoruba, Chinese and English VO.



Evolution. Revolution.


















Equipment & Location

The film was shot with a Canon 60D and Panasonic DMC LX3 on location at Dublin airport and in the studio at the National Media College, Dublin.
It was great to work with a multilingual cast who were both actors and translators although it was challenging to edit in 5 different languages.
Dermot Doorly provided the final VO, in English. His voice was tweaked (for reverb) in Audacity then auto tuned using Reason. Visual effects were produced using 3D Studio Max and AfterEffects.



Uncontrolled nanotechnological evolution.

















Due to the nature of the story concept, there are a large number of overlapping acoustic elements in the film. To best appreciate Singularitas, the film should be viewed on a large screen, with high spec audio speakers.



Time endlessly reconfigured from past to present, present to future and future to past. Eternally bent back on itself.




The Shoot

The airport runway scene was shot early morning in late November at Dublin airport. There was heavy snow, and it appeared to be the last flight to be cleared for take-off that day. It was a chance opportunity to film the aiport and its surroundings in such an apocalyptic state. Roads were closed, there was no movement on the ground.

Cast & Crew

Voices - Aura Constantin, Ivana Patarcic, Ogundipe Adebowale, Yanyan Liu, Dermot Doorly.
Music - Tadhg McErlean, Dave Holden
Camera - Kelly McErlean
Visual Effects & Editor - Sean McDermott



Witnessing the eternal return will replace the ascetic imperative of the weak.




Stanislaw Lem 'The Future of Illusion'