Caleb is a short film about a nine-year-old boy who is being bullied at school and, to cope with his life, he decides to 3D print himself. Back home there’s confusion, discord and reshuffled schedules as his parents figure out how to deal with the new addition to their family. But perhaps this is exactly what they needed?
Caleb is a world where science and technology are both embraced and denied and intertwined with personal and political views. It explores what makes us human, our fundamental needs to have a happy existence and whether that will change as technology evolves at a rate faster than we can grasp.
Producer Amanda Mesaikos told Women Love Tech how this incredible short film was created with her producing partner Susanne Aichele at Randomcat.
“We met whilst working on commercial projects but discovered we both had a passion for telling narrative stories that mattered to us. Following many late night, red wine fuelled film brainstorming sessions this was the idea that stuck with us. Talk of 3D printing was everywhere but we couldn’t really wrap our heads around why it was such a big deal,” Mesaikos said.
“After researching the impact it could have, not just on manufacturing material goods, but also in bioengineering, we began to wonder what people would be able to print next. We then starting thinking about the implications of being able to print an entire human. Not only printing their organs and physical body but copying their memories and experiences.”
“We thought that if you could print an exact replica of another human being, the government would surely want to regulate it, otherwise it would become a massive national security threat (maybe that’s just the American in me talking!) Then suddenly we had this idea; wouldn’t it be funny if, in the future, a kid printed himself at school. What kind of havoc would that wreak on his family? What if they had to decide which one they were going to keep?”
Mesaikos believes Caleb is an important film given the current obsession and dependency we have on technology.
“When developing the film it felt very relevant, as we’ve now become so immersed in technology, to consider its influence on human interaction. It was fascinating to take it one step further and ponder on possible future impacts.
It’s undeniable that as a society we have already become dependent on technology. You so often hear people saying they can’t imagine how they ever did anything without X, Y, Z apps. But how did this dependence happen and how will it continue to evolve?”
“Hopefully audiences will be able to take a step back and look at how technology is influencing and controlling their lives.”
The film is also an example of how the sci-fi genre has evolved as it is now more of a reality in people’s lives.
“We grew up with sci-fi being a rather remote exploration of people’s behaviour, rather like technological fairy tales. But since the question has moved from ‘what if’ to ‘what when’, it has shifted to a much more relatable storytelling form,” Mesaikos said.
“A lot of technology that would have blown our minds 20 years ago now sits in the palm of our hand. Can we step back and observe our own reaction to it, our behaviour. And what if it throws up fundamentally human & moral questions?”
Caleb received the award for Best Original Screenplay at the 41st Boston Sci Fi Film Festival and has screened at various festivals, including London Short Film Festival, London Independent Film Festival, SCI FI London and Festival Alto Vincentino where the film was nominated for Best Short Film.
You can view Caleb here.