View Full Version : Secret Agent Entry: wil

06 June 2009, 02:42 PM
wil has entered "Secret Agent".

06 June 2009, 03:01 PM
I don't necessarily think I'll have time to get this idea finished but I had an idea for a plot that I really like. So even if I can get through to the animatic stage I'll hopefully have created something that'll interest some people.

06 June 2009, 04:19 PM

It's the near future everyone has a mobile phone and every phone is capable of streaming 4k ultra-HD video. Distance from the action is no longer a matter of how far you are away from some event but instead how far the closest person is.

In this world is a digital artist who becomes involved in a research project aiming to develop new technology capable of procedurally developing 3D worlds on demand. HE is given high-tech brain implants that allow him to generate art as easilly as looking at something and his sub-conciousness, aided by software, fills in all the details.

The project is eventually bought out by a large corporation and our heroes skills and technology are put to use altering real-time ultra-HD video feeds for political and commercial gain. And so our digital artist becomes a secret agent.

Our hero is working smoothly, if obsessively, until he discovers the company he works for would prefer to be able to use the technology implanted in his head without relying on him as the interface. Such an operation could very well leave him brain damaged, or even dead.

So our hero does a runner. Yet, the corporation is onto him and he's quickly cornered on a roof-top in Shanghai where he and his girlfriend are murdered ... or so the spec-ops who carry out the mission believe.

Our hero hints to us in the closing moments of the piece that any electronic optical interface is capable of being interfered with to display whatever our hero desires. Even the goggles of the spec ops agents.


The whole film is to take place in a single shot that itself takes place during a single frozen moment in time.

The camera will pan around the final scene of the plot, a roof-top execution. As the hero reveals his tale in a voice over, corresponding details of the scene will move through the frame.

For example, when the heroes girlfriend is first mentioned in the voice over is when the camera will begin to reveal her dead form on the roof-top. And when the hero mentions the company he worked for we could see a logo clearly stamped into the uniform of the corporate assassin.

Attention to detail will add to the whole story that our hero creates false worlds and indeed the final implication of the visual treatment should be sort of similar to that of the Usual Suspects, where we have to question everything that has been painstakingly revealed to use over the last few minutes.


The single shot, frozen moment in time thing has a second purpose: it makes it possible for me to work on this in a sort of hap-hazard manner when ever I get some free time.

Given that I'll be happy to get just the 3D animatic out for this given my other commitments I think I'll start with a very rough blocking out of the major objects and the camera movement.

From there I just keep adding detail until I basically run out of time.

Sounds disturbingly straight forward for something that I have a feeling will be horribly complicated :)

06 June 2009, 04:27 PM
So here's a draft of the script. Right now it's running a bit under 7 minutes so I probably need to cut it down considerably.

Draft Script (v01)

Camera pulls slowly back from an ulta-closeup of a billboard advertisement for “Spy Kids X” reflected in an eye. The view is frozen in time so that even the rain drops are suspended in mid-air.

VOICE OVER: Some of my earliest memories are of going to the cinema with my Father. I remember him patiently explaining to me that the creatures and characters in those films weren't real, that they were created by artists to amuse us. I guess it's a difficult thing for a child of 6 to disbelieve his own eyes.

As the eyes and face are revealed, the camera starts to spin and it is revealed the head is hanging upside down.

The camera pulls back further so that it is now close to the ground. We see the head is decapitated and at the neck is a metal cylinder with hooks and tubes that piece the skin. A handle protrudes through which a hand holds the head. Only the bottom 1/3rd of the person holding the head is revealed, clad in some high-tech spec-ops type gear.

VOICE OVER: When I graduated from high school in '22 i was still in love with cinema, so I enrolled to study at VanArts and packed my bags for Vancouver, ready to immerse myself in the digital arts.

The camera pull continues moving away from the head. We move back over a bag which lies on the ground, plane tickets and money spilling out of it and splattered with blood. The camera rotates towards the ground to investigate as we continue to move parallel to the ground and away from the head.

VOICE OVER: In 2024 two things happened that changed my life forever.

Boots and legs come into view as the camera continues to examine the ground. The view is still frozen in time and rain drops can be seen in mid-splash on some objects – there is a lot of fine detail.

VOICE OVER: It was during an optional unit in procedural art that I met a young CompSci PhD on loan to the faculty from UCLA. She told me later that she'd only begun the stint Vancouver as a means to escape the riots back in Cali but when I first met her all we did was make eyes at each other. Her name was Anya.

The boots turn into a womans body. She is pale and her body is twisted in an horrible fashion. As we reach her upper body the floor is revealed a little to show smashed glass, pooling and splattered blood, and some rubbish. Eventually her neck is revealed to have a large bullet wound in it and we pass close to her face revealing a pair of bright, glazed over, green eyes.

VOICE OVER: While I was busy falling into her green eyes an unlikely company called Big Wave Rider managed to crack the de-coherence barrier and began production of the first practical quantum computers. Overnight Moore's law was smashed to pieces and processing power, for the institutes that could afford it, became virtually limitless.

The broken glass is revealed to be part of a cracked blackberry like device smashed against a step presumably during the lady's fall. The camera gets close enough to see a BWR logo on some of the components.

VOICE OVER: I graduated in 2027 and followed Anya into a post-grad research program in what had been southern Cali. The program aimed to develop procedural tools for real time generation of 3D assets at all human readable levels of detail. When I started the script kiddies were writing code that could automatically create a 3D wall in virtual space. The kicker was, the closer you got to the wall, the more details the software would produce.

The camera continues to track over the broken debris, specifically moving up and along a brick wall which is revealed in astonishing detail.

VOICE OVER: My job was to handle the tools, to provide artistic direction and feedback. I was the reality check.

The political climate outside the facility was still pretty volatile after the successions, so we spent most of the next few years staying in and working our arses off. By '29 we'd identified a serious bottle neck: the old keyboard and stylus weren't cutting it and so I was asked if I'd consider going under the knife for the sake of Art.

[*Camera move here* need to find something to suggest complexity, lace or web work]

VOICE OVER: 263,000 nano-mechanical lasers were implanted in my brain in 23 operations over 7 months in late '29. Each one aimed at an individual neuron, waiting to record it's firing. I was also implanted with an EEG that was grown through a lattice work of fine tunnels in my skull and, finally, a series of diamond/boron circuit boards crowned by some rudimentary big wave rider hardware.

The next 2 years were hard. From the start I could visually interact with the computer but it took a lot longer to develop tools that made that interaction meaningful, and efficient. Among my implanted software was a neural network capable to learning to anticipate my thoughts. It sat there watching my brain tick over and through a process of optimal sense it started to learn what responses I desired from it. The most prominent memories I have of that time though are of the constant head-aches and vomiting.

Camera comes across another of the spec-ops equipped people. A logo for IMT is revealed stamped onto a piece of his equipment when it is mentioned in the VO.

VOICE OVER: In '33, as the new states of the north west settled down into an uneasy peace, funding looked like it was drying up for our project. Instead, we were bought out by a large corporate security multi-national called Industrial Machine Theory. I was moved to a high security facility, Anya was shifted into management on the east coast, and we all were given a new doctrine.

The up-close camera continues tracking over the spec-ops person who is revealed to be in the process of cleaning a large blood-wet combat knife.

VOICE OVER: IMT payed well. Only instead of wanting academic results they moved our focus from developing tools to using them.

Tracking down the other side of the spec-ops man we see multiple electronic gadgets in his pockets.

VOICE OVER: It was 2035 when we celebrated our first successful simultaneous real-time augmentation of 16 ultra-high-def video feeds. The altered footage was so convincing not even the expert systems could tell it was faked.

The camera rotates, panning across the cloudy sky the moon is revealed.

VOICE OVER: I was withdrawing deeply at this stage into a world of constant development. My neural network was so capable of handling jobs that it could ask use my dreaming minds response to aesthetic considerations. I was working even while I slept.

The rotation/pan finishes finally back on the man spec-ops man holding the original head. He is silhouetted against the brightly lit billboard yet he is still obviously holding a smoking gun in one hand. The smoke, like everything else, is frozen. We see other roof-tops in the background, a sea of video billboards and neon advertisements.

VOICE OVER: It was sometime during '38 that I first stopped long enough to realise I was a secret agent. In the modern world everybody has a mobile phone and every mobile phone is capable of live streaming 6K stereoscopic digital video. Distance isn't about how far you are away from an event, it's about how far Anyone is away from that event. Then we came along, able to slip our fingers into the lens where we would take the irrefutable and smear it into another lie.

The camera drops down, still focused on the spec-ops man holding the gun and the head. At the bottom of the frame is clearly revealed part of the broken body of the lady. The spec-ops person's gun is still pointed directly just under the camera, where her neck would be.

VOICE OVER: It took Anya 6 months of messaging to convince me to take a 10 day holiday to Indonesia. IMT weren't happy but I'd been a good boy so they put up. While on a beach in Ubud Anya slipped an encrypted drive into my pocket. It was 2 weeks later when I was back on the job that I remembered and fished it out. Skimming through the documents it was obvious that my employer was beginning to consider the value of being able to remove my implants and externalize my neural interface.

The camera moves towards the spec-ops and the head.

VOICE OVER: Apart from the possibility of fatality or permanent brain damage, I'd also be losing access to an incredibly complex part of my self-awareness that could understand my thoughts and whisper to me even while I slept. Even if I survived I'd feel like I'd been blinded. And so I ran.

We travel back over the plane tickets and stubs on the ground ... singapore air, air italia, a mexican passport, and similar items are revealed.

VOICE OVER: Anya, of course, decided to flee with me despite my multiple objections. So we hoped to Singapore, Mexico City, Milan and on we went.

As the camera reaches the boots and head it pans up the body and starts moving up it, the top half of the shot is the night sky and the bottom half is the spec-ops man, his outstretched gun arm sticking out into the void.

VOICE OVER: It was while moving through China that they eventually caught up with us. We picked the guy as a ghoul the moment he entered the lobby of our hotel and so we fled back into the warren of corridors and ended up trapped by another of them up here on the roof. They shot Anya in the neck and myself in the chest with the precision of optical response aiming systems, before cutting my head off at the base of the neck and attaching it to an auto-medic.

The camera evens at as it reaches the head of the spec-ops, coming to a close up profile. He is wearing a face mask with night vision goggles and there is a slight green glow on his skin between goggles and mask.

VOICE OVER: When I was a child my father would take me to the cinema. He'd tell me afterwards that I shouldn't believe in the creatures and characters I saw in movies. I'm older now and I know how movies work. During the final scene when the hero is shot, he doesn't actually die. It's all just smoke and daggers. Special FX.

The camera slips in close, passing through the goggles into the area between the eye and the eyepiece. There is a bathing of green light here and reflected in the eye is a complete view of the roof-top scene.

VOICE OVER: I said before that I used to be a secret agent. Well, now I'm a free agent.

The reflection takes up the whole shot. Individual elements of the scene blink out of existence as if layers have been turned off. Eventually all that is left is black.


06 June 2009, 05:22 PM
Sounds disturbingly straight forward for something that I have a feeling will be horribly complicated :)

LOL no it sounds horribly complicated, but also very cool. I'm trying to visualise it. Seems like it's could be interesting and visually stunning.... I guess we'll see. Good luck. So you're solo on this?

06 June 2009, 01:49 AM
LOL no it sounds horribly complicated, but also very cool. I'm trying to visualise it. Seems like it's could be interesting and visually stunning.... I guess we'll see. Good luck. So you're solo on this?

Yup, all on my lonesome at this point ... and I'm also busy with other commercial projects to boot!

For the visualisation of the frozen-moment-in-time think about bullet time in The Matrix, the opening credits of The Watchment, and the recent Philips Carousel commercial (

I'll admit that the story is complicated but I'm hoping the execution of the 3D should be straight forward. From a 3D point of view it's basically all modelling, texturing and lighting. There's no need for a lot of the other time sinks like rigging (beyond what's useful for posing the 3 characters) and the only object that requires animation is the camera.

It's just a diorama that requires extra detail for the close ups.

I hope :D

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