Where the City Can't See: the first movie shot with laser scanners

Tim Maughan (previously) writes, "Here's the teaser for our short film WHERE THE CITY CAN'T SEE - the first narrative film shot with laser scanners."

Directed by speculative architect Liam Young and written by fiction author Tim Maughan and designed ‘Where the City Can’t See’ is the world’s first narrative fiction film shot entirely with laser scanners. The computer vision systems of driverless cars goggle maps, urban management systems and CCTV surveillance are now fundamentally reshaping urban experience and the cultures of our city. Set in the Chinese owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone (DEZ) and shot using the same scanning technologies used in autonomous vechicles, we see this near future city through the eyes of the robots that manage it.

Exploring the subcultures that emerge from these new technologies the film follows a group of young car factory workers across a single night, as they drift through the smart city point clouds in a driverless taxi, searching for a place they know exists but that the map doesn’t show. They are part of an underground community that work on the production lines by day but at night, adorn themselves in machine vision camouflage and the tribal masks of anti-facial recognition to enact their escapist fantasies in the hidden spaces of the city. They hack the city and journey through a network of stealth buildings, ruinous landscapes, ghost architectures, anomalies, glitches and sprites, searching for the wilds beyond the machine. We have always found the eccentric and imaginary in the spaces the city can’t see.

Premiere at "The Invisibel CIty" Nov 12th. Tickets here

Notable Replies

  1. The effect is stunning. But those jobs on the production line making the cars? I think that might be the biggest fantasy of all...

  2. Where the City Can't See: the first movie shot with laser scanners...

    Thought that was "shot with laser canons".

    PS. I've been drinking, at the office, again.

  3. This concept would make a cool basis for a VR experience. Like if you stand at the scanner's position things look fairly clear, then start to break down as you go off-axis, but you want to go off-axis because important plot stuff is happening just at the edge of the scanner's view.
    When a character turns away from the scanner you can go round and watch what they're doing, but you can't see their face until they turn back. When someone walks in front of the person you're watching, that person gets big gaps in their body as the scanner loses sight of them.

  4. It would be cool to have a movie from the driverless car's point of view. From being trained in the trolley problem through to the clinical HAL-like running down of the mission team.

  5. Cunk says:

    Radiohead made a video using this technique many years ago:

    I remember you could even download the data and an application that let you manipulate it while the video progressed.

    I think it was the mood of these visuals that turned House of Cards into my favorite Radiohead song.

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