SF mockumentary: 'Ghosts With Shit Jobs' -- China looks at westerners with awful jobs

Jim Munroe sez, "In the future, jobs still suck -- but in whole new ways. The economic collapse of the west is complete and North Americans are a cheap labour pool for wealthy Asian and Indian markets. A Chinese documentary show focuses on these unlucky enough to have been born in the slums of Toronto in a special report that translates as 'Ghosts With Shit Jobs'. The lo-fi sci-fi mockumentary feature offers both a commentary on the economic downturn and a model for surviving in it -- it was made for $4000."

Ghosts With Shit Jobs (Thanks, Jim!)


  1. Jim does awesome work!  Celtx just wrapped its first round of Celtx Seeds for short filmmakers and Ghosts with Shit Jobs is one of the ten projects selected for screening on http://www.celtx.com and our YouTube & Vimeo channels.

    This is the kind of project that we realize sets the bar awfully high for the next round of Seeds funding.

    1. I think at this point, the project could do well with less seed money for better visuals and more critical thinking about the reason for making this. Listening to attractive people complain about the market for robotics while they relax with a glass of wine in their beautiful kitchen doesn’t exactly say ‘dystopian future’ to me. Nor do the fleeting images of scattered homeless people shed light on those who are actually suffering through our current crisis (hint: it is not people with advanced tech degrees living in San Francisco). Some of this is kind of cute (‘the cloud was repossessed’ ha ha), but there’s no edge to it. And there’s lots of confusing imagery (who are those people sitting in rows pretending to type or meditate?). And then the strange “yellow peril” overtones aren’t too original.  

      So I say back to the drawing board with this one.  

      1. I’ve seen more meat than this — about 20 minutes.  Please recognize that you’re offering some pretty sweeping generalizations from having seen a *trailer*.

        In deference to the filmmaker, I ask only that if you get a chance to see the whole thing, please do give it a shot rather than dismiss it out of hand based on two and half minutes of visuals without context.

        1. Point taken. But the trailer is either representative of the film’s general premise and tone or it isn’t. I’m not really excited to learn much more about the characters who were introduced in this clip. (I’d be far more interested in something like what MisterDarcy proposes, a film that criticizes our own assumptions about ‘the east’ rather than simply extending them into the future). So no, I’m not going to reserve judgement until I’ve seen the entire thing. Nothing here piques my interest. 

          On the other hand, If the trailer doesn’t accurately introduce the film or serve as ‘context’ for determining whether or not I’d want to spend more time with it, then it doesn’t work as a trailer. 

  2. I was expecting to see Chinese tourists taking photos of Americans in tou tous playing the ukelele as a pictorial symbol of our likely future careers.  

  3. I’m with SerfCity, I was hoping to see mid-30s single female Chinese tourists visiting impoverished small American towns to “find themselves” ala the Bali scene in “Eat, Pray, Love” along with Indian convert to Christianity hippies living in a commune in LA, making a living by selling weed and teaching rich Chinese tourists how to surf. 

    Also, scenes where Chinese tourists return home to Shanghai and tell their friends at some posh French-styled East-West fusion organic/free-range/vegan cafe: “Americans have so little, yet they seem so happy. They’re so deeply spiritual and friendly people.  I went to study with one of their gurus, they call them ‘Pastors’ about their prophet they call Jesus.” Or some other similar drivel.

  4. I love, love, love the concept.  I’m a sc-fi nerd and I think there could be a whole new genre based totally around future time doc’s.  There was a fake documentary set in SF after humanity was almost wiped out (by plaque I think) that was in the same general field. 

    And I appreciate that low cost film making is a labor of love and sometimes you have to forgive it’s problems.

    That said, this trailer just doesn’t help sell the idea.  Was it done by someone other than the filmmakers?  It’s all over the place in terms of style and substance.  On second, it’s high camp with ‘fake babies made by rich people’ and then deadly serious following poor people who are bitter about life.

    Is the whole thing already made? If not I would suggest that the filmmakers pick a tone and stick to it.  Or recut a tighter trailer that feels like it all comes form the same film.

    And I agree with the above poster, the Asian shots came off as a touch racist.

  5. I kinda dig the camp of it and it looks very well-made for the budget. I admit I feel a bit confused about the gist of the message. 

    I know I may be reading way too much into the short clip, but isn’t a trailer supposed to give a first impression after all? Anyway, I get a slight sense of “What if we all-powerful Americans suddenly became like these destitute masses of Chinese/Indians, haw haw…”, as if it is a ludicrously surreal concept in itself. But there are already lots of westerners with shit jobs in lots of areas that are very much slums (and they look way more destitute than the people in the video)… So I guess I don’t get the ‘joke’ yet.

    But I am looking forward to see the final result.

  6. I think “Ghosts With Shit Jobs” is my new band name,… soon as I get a band. And some songs,   ..with ghosts in ’em.

  7. What a great idea for a project. Looks well shot, directed and acted. What really scares me is how NOT a parody it really is. I’m a little worried that the future this film explores is OUR future. And to the guy who watched the trailer and commented on the whole thing. Go watch the project first please.

  8. A good piece, excellent production value for such a low budget (which is heartening in the video DSLR enabled world); would like to see the full piece. I agree with the above posts that the trailer doesn’t seem to have a coherent presentation of the message. Like why would the wine-sipping baby-makers/roboticists be gravely unsatisfied with their lot? OK, maybe it’s akin to VFX folks complaining about long hours behind a computer- but still, it’s not like sewage farm attending, is it?.

    1. It’s because they’re breaking the law making artificial babies. Robot babies that make couples feel they don’t need to pop out eight kids, creating a cheap labor force for their impoverished nation.
      That and they have advanced degrees that are literally worth nothing.

  9. Technically, it’s very well done, but the storytelling doesn’t quite happen in perhaps the manner intended.

    In this case, the concept is great but the trailer doesn’t match it. Everyone looks well-off and well-fed.

  10. i have always believed americathon would become reality, and this mock-u-trailer just makes it all seem all the more likely that it is real.  

Comments are closed.