Sophia Baker is at that majestic precipice in a new, independent science fiction short film, Real Artists.
Real Artists is based on a short story by Ken Liu, an award-winning Chinese American sci-fi writer and adapted for the screen by writer/director Cameo Wood. After reading Liu's story on a plane ride, Wood was so moved that she immediately emailed Liu for a chance to adapt his story. Veteran actress Tamlyn Tomita (Teen Wolf; Heroes; The Joy Luck Club) plays Anne Palladon, the Creative Director of the fictional Semaphore Animation Studios who is responsible for inviting the intelligent, ambitious, and rebellious Sophia (Tiffany Hines of Damien and Bones) in for what she feels is the job interview of a lifetime. But what Sophia discovers about herself and other ulterior motives for her presence will send what she feels is her life's path as an artist into a tailspin.
Relatable on every level, Real Artists is an intentionally glossy beauty that never deters from the engaging significance of its emotional effervescence. The film delves deep into the layered relationship of who Sophia is in regards to the career path she seeks. Additionally, Real Artists touches on the concept of neuromarketing, artificial intelligence, and what this all means for the very real future of filmmaking. Wood concerns herself with the abilities that film studios have in being able to quantify how films are constructed for audience enjoyment based on biometric data. There's a reality that the organic, creative process will wither in competition to a sophisticated synthetic. Wood states, "this is a story of what it means to be human. It is a question posed of what humanity is when creativity is in the realm of an artificial intelligence, leaving us to consume and react."
As a part of the growing platform Seed & Spark, Wood with this project wanted to demonstrate her authentic commitment to working with a wide variety of cast and crew members. The Real Artists team being 75% women and 50% people of color, she's acting on effort with the idea that filmmaking is a space for anyone. "The original story had an older white man and a young Asian girl," Wood explains. "And I decided that it would be much more interesting to really think about women in positions of power and the pressure that's put on women to make truly excellent art."