Where futures are known and happiness is guaranteed by G.O.D., a mother is given a choice – her child or her perfect future.
Writer/director: Geordie Sabbagh
Producer: Ashleigh Rains
I’m sure each of us wants to know what our future holds. Well, I should rephrase that. Most of us want to know the good stuff and not that we’ll get hit by a car in two weeks or that our house will burn down.
I think that desire often comes from wanting to know our struggle to succeed in life with work, family and friends all pays off in the end, and we’ll be happy and secure. It’s an urge to control our destiny and surroundings – something we’ve wanted since we walked upright.
Controlling our future would be the ultimate step on the ladder of evolution, but what would it do to us? This is where the idea for G.O.D. came from as I’m more interested in a future that seems real because I find the sci-fi films that are scariest are those that feel like they could be just around the corner.
I think the massive amount of data we willingly share each day, combined with what’s on file with government, doctors and educators, is more than enough to start building a fairly comprehensive profile of who we and what we like.
It’s been said we’re at the dawn of the Internet of Things – which is essentially when everyone and everything will transfer data over a network without going through a human-to-computer or a human-to-human connection. A constant stream of information going between us and everything we touch.
For example, Samsung now sells a voice-controlled television and Nest is a thermostat that programs a perfect temperature around you. However, deep within Samsung’s terms and conditions is a note that the TV will listen to all of your conversations and transmit them back to third parties. Nest is paid by hydro companies to allow information to be fed back and forth so they can let Nest know how the grid is performing and work accordingly.
Google, whose main business is advertising, just bought Nest for $3 billion. What do they see with this highway? Both are silent intruders into our lives that we place there for the promise of convenience and ease. To me, it’s an off-kilter type of 1984 in which we’re willing participants and it’s not the government but corporations who we’re trading data with, mostly to have an easier life. Has having a phone and the internet made your life easier? Less stressful? Richer? More secure in yourself?
It wouldn’t take much more information to find our ideal jobs or know how much money we need to be content. (A recent study found the current optimum level is $75,000, by the way.) Anything more will not add to your happiness. And yes, there is a real happiness equation that can predict what will make you happy.
This is where this film starts. People are all fairly content. Privacy is seen as a prevention to happiness because the more you share, the more accurate G.O.D. is about your future. Corporations have taken over from the government and are much less feared. Money has been more evenly spread and everyone is taken care of. There is little need to struggle in life so people have become sluggish, apathetic and lethargic.
Even those who feel they want more, or want something different than what’s predicted for them, are often pacified through being told what will happen if they leave the path. It’s always worse. Innovation in terms of ease is prevalent, but going against the grain is not. The idea of struggle has become the new fear rather than the unknown.
About Geordie Sabbagh
Writer/director Geordie Sabbagh’s work includes the feature A Sunday Kind of Love, one of five projects selected from across Canada to be greenlit for the IndieCan10K competition. The film played at numerous festivals, received two awards of excellence and was theatrically released in Canada.
Geordie’s other work includes the awarding-winning shorts Counselling and The Proposal, which screened at ComicCon and Fantasia. He finished the short Tomorrow’s Shadows, starring David Cronenberg and Karine Vanasse, and his second feature Somewhere There’s Music.
A multi-faceted filmmaker, Geordie also produced the feature film Old Stock (Top 5 Canadian films at the box office opening week) and the thriller Clean Break (best drama, Atlanta Horror Film Festival).
He was selected for the 2013 Whistler Project Lab, 2013 Berlin Project Market, 2014 TIFF Producer’s Lab and TIFF International Financing Forum, 2015 CMPA and Telefilm Berlin Delegation.
Geordie won the $10,000 Euro VFF Pitch prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013 where he was also part of the Talent Lab. He has been the recipient of three Bravo!FACT awards.
Prior to founding his own company, Geordie worked in all mediums of entertainment including film, TV, radio and new media for some of the most prestigious and innovative companies in the world such as the BBC.
He is a graduate of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre and received his MA in international business and management from the University of Westminster in London, England.