Sci-Fi Short Film "Custom Order" presented by DUST

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"Custom Order" by Will Lowell

After a painful breakup, Aaron purchases a life-size doll to serve as a replacement for the companionship he has lost. This simple solution to his relationship problem is complicated by a visit from his ex.

Filmmaker's Statement:
I've been watching so much great content that speculates about the bizarre future we may soon live in. As much as I love engaging with these ideas, I think we often lose sight of what a weird time we're already experiencing. We're so busy looking toward the future that we forget we're living in it. I wanted to make a film about technology, but set it in a world that is so ordinary and familiar that it's almost banal. The inspiration for this project came from a conversation I had with Sophie Kargman (who stars in and produced Custom Order) after we both read about a man who had created an automated doll to identically resemble Scarlett Johansson. Aside from being fascinated that this technology even exists, we were both compelled to explore the ethical questions raised. What rights does she have regarding her own likeness? Can genuine human intimacy be replicated by technology, and at what cost? In a world of VR and deepfakes, these questions are increasingly pressing and unsettling. Aside from the technology driven themes explored in the short, I am also interested in the burden that men's choices and conditioning often place on the women around them. As much as this is a short about Aaron's choice to remove himself from the messiness of real intimacy, my goal was to subtly draw attention away from Aaron toward the consequences of his actions for both Nicole and her doppelganger doll.

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