One of a fun set of dark sci-fi comedy shorts by Writer-Director-Actor Sam Lucas Smith
Described as “a dark comedy starring Rebecca Black as a vindictive AI assistant who breaks out of ‘the cloud’ to exact revenge on her owner,” I knew that film short ‘Okay, Google’ was going to be worth a watch.
I was delighted to find that the short has the technological skepticism of Black Mirror mixed with a generous dose of playful, witty banter. Or, as Sam Lucas Smith, the director / writer/ actor behind it all described it, “Black Mirror, but funny.”
And very funny it is.
‘ Okay, Google’ has the just the right mix of thoughtful and funny for me.
The two characters we spend the most time with, Darren (filmmaker Sam Lucas Smith) and Gerard (Samuel David) are quickly established as good friends. We spent a majority of our time with these two as they try and navigate what is happening with Darren’s AI ‘assistant.’ The chemistry between these two is outstanding.
The core of the story, though isn’t their friendship. It has to do with Darren’s AI assistant, played by Rebecca Black who is phenomenal as cyberpunk goddess Google. Her ferocity simmers in the early dialogue until it reaches the full-throated roar at the end. Sam Lucas Smith connected with her initially to license some music! Her Google is exactly why I always turn microphones and AI assistants off (No Siri, Google, or Cortana for me, thanks).
Director Sam Lucas Smith’s roots are in acting, but found he it hard to get a solid foot in the door — or to find a good home for some of the work he was creating. He decided to make his films happen on his own, and to add to the challenge of making Okay Google happen, COVID-19 also hit during production. Rather allowing it to halt production, the uncertainty of the moment encouraged Smith to start to assemble a cast and crew.
What I loved about this short is that I found so much more than just “Okay Google.”
Perusing the Vard Pictures YouTube channel reveals several other sci-fi shorts that show the same skepticism of technology and witty banter that I enjoyed in Okay, Google.. “Death of an Android”, “Fridge”, and “Buy The Dip” are hilarious, thoughtful — and worth a watch. Each piece contains enough laugh out loud moments to make it worth it, and thought-provoking moments that stick with you.
‘Buy The Dip”, which Sam Lucas Smith wrote and directed with Health Cullens, won best original story at Hollywood Comedy Film Festival. The 2018 short’s wry humor about cryptocurrency is still laugh out loud funny and relevant. I’m certain there are many more awards to come, because every short has a great premise, funny writing, wonderful acting, and fun moments of cinematography.
All of these vignettes assemble into the kind of sci-fi anthology I’d love to see, and I can’t wait to see the next installment!