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Anyone Can Quantum - a short film

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Iceman

Member
So I got the chance to write a script for Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, and ... Stephen Freaking Hawking. It was produced by my friend Spyridon Michalakis at Caltech to promote a game called Quantum Chess which invites people to experiment with some fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics. It was directed by Alex Winter (Bill of Bill and Ted fame). The game was invented by Chris Cantwell (of University of Southern California). To see our goofy ideas and lines come to life on screen is an experience I won't forget any time soon.

Thought I'd share this with you guys, and particularly with creative writing GAF, with whom I had cut my writing teeth for years.. all in preparation for this moment. (It's a little over 10 minutes long, including the credits)

https://youtu.be/Hi0BzqV_b44
 

Lord Panda

Gold Member
Iceman, that was great :)

How long did it take for you to produce the short?

How did you get this opportunity?

Good work man.
 

Tarsul

Member
great and funny movie!

albeit I still dont understand quantum chess nor entanglement^^

Would it have been possible that paul rudds real king was the one that he went through with his bishop? (and by that, I mean even after the fact)
 
Oh, man, that was awesome! Very funny, and Quantum chess seems super awesome. Well done. A bit jealous of all the cool names involved! Congrats, dude.
 

Iceman

Member
Thanks guys. It really is a ridiculous opportunity.. and I'm glad I didn't faceplant.

Iceman, that was great :)

How long did it take for you to produce the short?

How did you get this opportunity?

Good work man.

From the moment I got involved, December 6th, it took another month and a half to get all the individual pieces done and the final film edited. We had a hard deadline of January 26th to reveal it.

I wrote the first draft in one day, then revised it over the next three days after the other three story/game creators chimed in. Then we handed it over to Paul Rudd to look over and make any changes. He said it was good and that he was going to add some of his own jokes (I will forever treasure that email). All we had left was to tinker with the dialogue for Keanu's voice over work (which was recorded before Paul's part was filmed). We were working through the evening the day before his recording (on the 7th of January).

My friend, Spyridon Michalakis (Spiros) is a quantum mechanics researcher at Caltech and in charge of outreach. I had met him through volleyball though (He's quite great at it, by the way). We're both really competitive, intense and cerebral so we just clicked.

Anyway, Spiros had consulted on Ant-Man with Paul Rudd (who co-wrote the blockbuster) and they hit it off. Over the last year Spiros had been developing this quantum chess game with a USC grad student, Chris Cantwell, and Spiros, excited by its prospects, somehow got Paul on board to help promote it. Spiros already had an ongoing conversation with Stephen Hawking - who frequently visits Caltech. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were suggested and by Ed Solomon - the godfather of this whole operation (the writer of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, etc.).

Spiros had created a narrative for Paul Rudd but it soon got to the point were a screenplay was required to go any further. That's how I got involved. I have been training to be a screenwriter for some years now. Once I handed over my version (and that's a whole story in an of itself) then it was a race against time to pull together something virtually impossible. It was a freaking fun and stressful and overwhelming and fulfilling and educational, and on and on and on, ride.
 

Mariolee

Member
Thanks guys. It really is a ridiculous opportunity.. and I'm glad I didn't faceplant.



From the moment I got involved, December 6th, it took another month and a half to get all the individual pieces done and the final film edited. We had a hard deadline of January 26th to reveal it.

I wrote the first draft in one day, then revised it over the next three days after the other three story/game creators chimed in. Then we handed it over to Paul Rudd to look over and make any changes. He said it was good and that he was going to add some of his own jokes (I will forever treasure that email). All we had left was to tinker with the dialogue for Keanu's voice over work (which was recorded before Paul's part was filmed). We were working through the evening the day before his recording (on the 7th of January).

My friend, Spyridon Michalakis (Spiros) is a quantum mechanics researcher at Caltech and in charge of outreach. I had met him through volleyball though (He's quite great at it, by the way). We're both really competitive, intense and cerebral so we just clicked.

Anyway, Spiros had consulted on Ant-Man with Paul Rudd (who co-wrote the blockbuster) and they hit it off. Over the last year Spiros had been developing this quantum chess game with a USC grad student, Chris Cantwell, and Spiros, excited by its prospects, somehow got Paul on board to help promote it. Spiros already had an ongoing conversation with Stephen Hawking - who frequently visits Caltech. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were suggested and by Ed Solomon - the godfather of this whole operation (the writer of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, etc.).

Spiros had created a narrative for Paul Rudd but it soon got to the point were a screenplay was required to go any further. That's how I got involved. I have been training to be a screenwriter for some years now. Once I handed over my version (and that's a whole story in an of itself) then it was a race against time to pull together something virtually impossible. It was a freaking fun and stressful and overwhelming and fulfilling and educational, and on and on and on, ride.

Talk about connections! Can't wait til we start seeing your work on the bigscreen my man.
 

Iceman

Member
albeit I still dont understand quantum chess nor entanglement^^

Would it have been possible that paul rudds real king was the one that he went through with his bishop? (and by that, I mean even after the fact)

Yes, it would have been possible. By chance, the bishop had passed through an empty square. The bishop's fate depended on where the king was actually located - but the location of the king could not be determined unless it was attacked. If the king was actually in the way of the bishop, then the bishop would have reverted back to its original position and Hawking would have won the game (by toppling Paul's king).

Great job man!!
Edit: Holy crap you made Keanu say he doesn't age. You win life, sir.

One of my greatest achievements.

To think that this stuff that I was coming up with at home, or at my friend's apartment.. that Keanu would have no reservation saying it. Wow. He was so into it, so enthusiastic, so professional. It turns out Keanu is a huge chess fan (he came up with the "Shāh Māt!" at the end - that's what would have been said in 6th century Persia when the game was in its infancy, completely playing into the idea that Keanu is ageless) AND is well studied in quantum mechanics. It was actually intimidating being in conversation with him on both topics because he actually knows more about both topics than I do.
 

Tetraeon

Member
This is super cool. Great job on the video!! I've always thought Keanu was a class act and it seems that's definitely the case.
 
That's really cool! I watched that from a Facebook link this morning, and then saw my wife watching it, too. It's blowing up. Congrats!
 

Iceman

Member
That's really cool! I watched that from a Facebook link this morning, and then saw my wife watching it, too. It's blowing up. Congrats!

That's really cool to hear.

We are (well, Chris, the game designer is) working on putting out a version of the game that loads up the final scenario between Rudd and Hawking, so people can toy around with superposition and entanglement. I'll post a link to that as soon as its available. It think there will be both PC and Mac versions.

Here's a link to Chris' website if you're curious, and also to check for updates and progress on the game: www.quantumrealmgames.com
 

Doodis

Member
Thanks guys. It really is a ridiculous opportunity.. and I'm glad I didn't faceplant.



From the moment I got involved, December 6th, it took another month and a half to get all the individual pieces done and the final film edited. We had a hard deadline of January 26th to reveal it.

I wrote the first draft in one day, then revised it over the next three days after the other three story/game creators chimed in. Then we handed it over to Paul Rudd to look over and make any changes. He said it was good and that he was going to add some of his own jokes (I will forever treasure that email). All we had left was to tinker with the dialogue for Keanu's voice over work (which was recorded before Paul's part was filmed). We were working through the evening the day before his recording (on the 7th of January).

My friend, Spyridon Michalakis (Spiros) is a quantum mechanics researcher at Caltech and in charge of outreach. I had met him through volleyball though (He's quite great at it, by the way). We're both really competitive, intense and cerebral so we just clicked.

Anyway, Spiros had consulted on Ant-Man with Paul Rudd (who co-wrote the blockbuster) and they hit it off. Over the last year Spiros had been developing this quantum chess game with a USC grad student, Chris Cantwell, and Spiros, excited by its prospects, somehow got Paul on board to help promote it. Spiros already had an ongoing conversation with Stephen Hawking - who frequently visits Caltech. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were suggested and by Ed Solomon - the godfather of this whole operation (the writer of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, etc.).

Spiros had created a narrative for Paul Rudd but it soon got to the point were a screenplay was required to go any further. That's how I got involved. I have been training to be a screenwriter for some years now. Once I handed over my version (and that's a whole story in an of itself) then it was a race against time to pull together something virtually impossible. It was a freaking fun and stressful and overwhelming and fulfilling and educational, and on and on and on, ride.

Saw this film online this morning. Very cool to see it was written by a gaffer. I was curious how in the hell these big names were involved in what seemed like a smaller project (no offense).

Seems like it just came down to "I know a guy." ;)
 

Iceman

Member
Saw this film online this morning. Very cool to see it was written by a gaffer. I was curious how in the hell these big names were involved in what seemed like a smaller project (no offense).

Seems like it just came down to "I know a guy." ;)

Ha! Yes, you are not wrong. When I first met Spiros, years ago, he wasn't even involved in movie consultation - he was *just* one of the top quantum theorists in the world that just so happened to like playing volleyball. Even then I was pretty open about trying to break into the movie business. It never would have occurred to be me that he was the one that was going to grant me the chance to provide lines for three friggen legends.
 

Doodis

Member
Ha! Yes, you are not wrong. When I first met Spiros, years ago, he wasn't even involved in movie consultation - he was *just* one of the top quantum theorists in the world that just so happened to like playing volleyball. Even then I was pretty open about trying to break into the movie business. It never would have occurred to be me that he was the one that was going to grant me the chance to provide lines for three friggen legends.

Glad things fell into place for you, and awesome that you were on top of your game enough to pull it off. Well done.

*game comment is not a chess reference*

*or maybe it is*
 

SeanC

Member
Congrats, it's great to see the fruit of labor in final form.

It's weird in the entertainment industry - either things move super fast and all of a sudden you have something, or it takes years and years to get anything done. It looks like the pieces just fell in place at the right time and your super awesome short got made.

Alex Winter is a really good director by the way. If nobody has seen his documentaries they really should.
 

AlphaDump

Member
Watched all of it, did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The cameo from Alex Winter (Bill) was hilarious.

Really well done.
 

Doodis

Member
So, question:

Did you actually license the Ant-Man Footage? I'm curious as someone who occasionally deals with licensing hassles.
 

Iceman

Member
So, question:

Did you actually license the Ant-Man Footage? I'm curious as someone who occasionally deals with licensing hassles.

When I was handed the reigns - to write the script - I was told that Marvel/Disney had already agreed to let me use anything from the movie. I'm sure that was arranged by Paul Rudd as well as Spyridon Michalakis - but I don't have all the behind the scenes information to answer this question authoritatively. It's definitely going to be one of my questions as I find out more about how this thing actually came together.

Can you believe what I had to work with? Rudd, Reeves, Hawking, and anything from Ant-Man. Wealth of riches. My limitations were considerable though: make a game based on quantum chess reasonably simple to follow, I only had three actors that I could us, all three actors would be in different cities across the globe, and they each only had brief windows of time to contribute. The funny parts wrote themselves though. The premise was funny and the combination of personalities was intrinsically eclectic.
 

Doodis

Member
When I was handed the reigns - to write the script - I was told that Marvel/Disney had already agreed to let me use anything from the movie. I'm sure that was arranged by Paul Rudd as well as Spyridon Michalakis - but I don't have all the behind the scenes information to answer this question authoritatively. It's definitely going to be one of my questions as I find out more about how this thing actually came together.

Can you believe what I had to work with? Rudd, Reeves, Hawking, and anything from Ant-Man. Wealth of riches. My limitations were considerable though: make a game based on quantum chess reasonably simple to follow, I only had three actors that I could us, all three actors would be in different cities across the globe, and they each only had brief windows of time to contribute. The funny parts wrote themselves though. The premise was funny and the combination of personalities was intrinsically eclectic.

Very cool. It's not every day you get that kind of access.
 

Iceman

Member
Awesome! Any idea when that game is available?

There's a push to make the game available soon (I can't make promises on behalf of Chris Cantwell), but there should be a playable scenario available shortly. I'll update this thread with the link.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
So I got the chance to write a script for Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, and ... Stephen Freaking Hawking. It was produced by my friend Spyridon Michalakis at Caltech to promote a game called Quantum Chess which invites people to experiment with some fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics. It was directed by Alex Winter (Bill of Bill and Ted fame). The game was invented by Chris Cantwell (of University of Southern California). To see our goofy ideas and lines come to life on screen is an experience I won't forget any time soon.

Thought I'd share this with you guys, and particularly with creative writing GAF, with whom I had cut my writing teeth for years.. all in preparation for this moment. (It's a little over 10 minutes long, including the credits)

https://youtu.be/Hi0BzqV_b44

Awesome short! I loved it :)
 
Thanks guys. It really is a ridiculous opportunity.. and I'm glad I didn't faceplant.



From the moment I got involved, December 6th, it took another month and a half to get all the individual pieces done and the final film edited. We had a hard deadline of January 26th to reveal it.

I wrote the first draft in one day, then revised it over the next three days after the other three story/game creators chimed in. Then we handed it over to Paul Rudd to look over and make any changes. He said it was good and that he was going to add some of his own jokes (I will forever treasure that email). All we had left was to tinker with the dialogue for Keanu's voice over work (which was recorded before Paul's part was filmed). We were working through the evening the day before his recording (on the 7th of January).

My friend, Spyridon Michalakis (Spiros) is a quantum mechanics researcher at Caltech and in charge of outreach. I had met him through volleyball though (He's quite great at it, by the way). We're both really competitive, intense and cerebral so we just clicked.

Anyway, Spiros had consulted on Ant-Man with Paul Rudd (who co-wrote the blockbuster) and they hit it off. Over the last year Spiros had been developing this quantum chess game with a USC grad student, Chris Cantwell, and Spiros, excited by its prospects, somehow got Paul on board to help promote it. Spiros already had an ongoing conversation with Stephen Hawking - who frequently visits Caltech. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were suggested and by Ed Solomon - the godfather of this whole operation (the writer of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, etc.).

Spiros had created a narrative for Paul Rudd but it soon got to the point were a screenplay was required to go any further. That's how I got involved. I have been training to be a screenwriter for some years now. Once I handed over my version (and that's a whole story in an of itself) then it was a race against time to pull together something virtually impossible. It was a freaking fun and stressful and overwhelming and fulfilling and educational, and on and on and on, ride.

This is really cool. Thanks for sharing a little of the background. It was a fun little short that definitely felt right for Rudd. Good work!
 
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