Resistance, the futuristic dilemmas of AI

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Wanting to disconnect from everything he experienced seven years ago with the filming of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, director Gareth Edwards agreed to take a car trip with his girlfriend to visit her parents and on the way, a tree with a Japanese-type logo gave him the idea for his next film: a futuristic film in which humanity and the forces of artificial intelligence confront each other. The result of that distant trip shaped Endurancewhich comes at a key moment for humanity just when the use and presence of artificial intelligence (AI) is being debated today, one of the issues that concerns and occupies the Hollywood industry.

One of the great advantages of science fiction is that it allows you to explore issues that confront society. In this case we use the topic of artificial intelligence as a metaphor to talk about people who are completely different from ourselves. Several years have passed since I started working on this project and today, in the last year, this topic is more than a reality and at the same time something very surreal. I started writing the script in 2018, when artificial intelligence was up there on the moon, it was something that was not perceived in everyday life and I think that every new technology that has happened in the last century, such as electricity, the internet or Computers have changed industries and have helped a lot, so AI is going to be a powerful tool in the world that is going to have more positive things than negative things,” Gareth Edwards commented at a virtual and global meeting.

Endurance, a film that premiered this weekend in our country, has received good reviews from specialized critics and Rotten Tomatoes has given it a score of 83% acceptance. Much of that score is due to a mix of elements: the technology used in filming that results in shocking scenarios, the way in which certain dilemmas of humanity are posed in a futuristic setting, the idea of ​​a world of hope in which can make good use of technology and the great on-screen chemistry of John David Washington with the girl Madeleine Yina Voyles, who represents both the threat and the hope of humanity in the story.

To shape EnduranceGareth Edwards, who has been a great ally of science fiction and has titles such as godzilla either Monsters, chose a completely different and radical way to film this story. Contrary to what many studios and filmmakers do, by building sets and using green screens, he decided to fly his team to eight countries, shoot their sequences in natural landscapes and then complete the story based on what was obtained in Industria Light & Magic ( ILM), the renowned Visual Effects company that George Lucas created in the 70s to film his saga of Star Wars.

When we finished filming, we used a large percentage of the budget at ILM. We basically did the editing there. We took the sequences from the film, gave them to the production designers and those in charge of conceptualizing the story and everything was finalized in the editing. They painted and designed all the sci-fi around the shots we did. Everything was really very efficient, since you practically use everything you see. At ILM they helped us create the realism of the film and what I liked most about the film was the result of doing it differently, of making the film backwards and I don't want to go back to the traditional way of filming," said the British director of 48 years.

Endurancea film that was shot with super-light, high-resolution cameras that adapted to the natural light of the places, tells how Joshua (Washington), a former special forces agent, is recruited to hunt and kill the Creator, the elusive father of artificial intelligence who has developed a mysterious weapon capable of annihilating humanity and ending the war. Joshua realizes that this weapon of destruction is an artificial intelligence in the form of a child.

It was very simple to cast her because Madeleine had a strong audition. We did casting during the pandemic and hundreds of children from all over the world sent us their videos. My team showed me about 200 videos of children and we made a Top 10. I saw those ten children and I felt a little paranoid, because whoever was chosen was going to have to travel to the jungles of Thailand and everything was going to be very difficult and I didn't know if the families were going to accept. We met in Los Angeles and the first person I saw was Madeleine, she came in, made a scene and I tried not to cry, because she was very emotional and brilliant. "I was still paranoid and I asked her to play a little bit and Madeleine did a scene again and made it even better, so that's when I knew it was her," Edwards said.

The other fundamental part of the film is John David, son of Denzel Washington. they call him, was fascinated by the story, as well as by Madeleine, with whom he had a close relationship beyond the screen.

Madeleine is a very quiet girl and a little shy, which is why it was difficult to become friends with her. I tried to do it throughout the movie and it allowed me to get a little closer, but with JD it was different, he became her older brother, her best friend,” Edwards noted.

Endurance It features the work of Oscar winners: Hans Zimmer, in charge of creating the film's music, as well as Greig Fraser, a cinematographer who won a statuette for the photo of Dune.

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