Short of the Week


In the near future, instant DNA identification has created an information grid that makes crime extremely difficult, and anonymity impossible. But, suddenly, the same ID’s start to appear in different locations. A pro-level and intelligent Sci- Fi piece about the genesis of a Big Brother State.

Ever since George Orwell coined the term ‘Big Brother’ in his seminal novel 1984, storytellers have become fixated with the notion of a totalitarian state where surveillance reaches total control. Written by Ryan Condal and directed by Dennis Liu, Plurality is the latest science-fiction film to focus on these Orwellian notions, as their 14-minute short explores where hi-tech policing allows for instant surveillance. Feeling like a cross between The Terminator and Minority Report, the plot of Plurality centres around a futuristic New York, where everything you do is traced through ‘the Grid’.

“The Grid takes all those things unique to you, your social security number, your passport, your debit and credit accounts and links them to one thing…your DNA. With just a touch, the Grid collects a tiny sample of your genetic material, ID-ing you instantly. Then a purchase can be deducted directly from your personal accounts, or you can unlock and start your car and it all works within a margin error of 0.001% ….the ultimate social network!”

Revolving around notions of personal privacy in a digital age,  the themes, ideas and even some of the technology that exist in the futuristic world of Plurality are not ones that seem implausible. With fingerprint recognition already in use with some automobiles, concerns about computer and phone privacy already spreading due to hacking and social media, hacking, some may even predict aspects of Condal and Liu’s premonition of society as inevitable.

Having cut his teeth on commercials and music videos, this is director Liu’s first foray into the world of short fiction film. Described as a tiny production with very little money by its creators, Plurality was 2 years of hard work and dedication from Liu and his creative team of friends. Featuring some assured directing, a well developed narrative and exceptional FX work, it’s looking like it was certainly time well spent.

With the film already picking up over 150, 000 views on YouTube, it looks as if Liu’s film might well be the next science fiction short to go viral. And while I can’t predict a future as detailed and convincing as the one in Plurality, I can certainly envision exciting times ahead for the films creators.

Editor on Short of the Week | Cohabiter on Directors Notes | Communicator at @kung_fuelvis
  • Honest Rob

    Hmm. “Minority Report” Meets Gary Sinise’s “Imposter”.

  • Andrew S Allen

    Love these tech + sci-fi shorts (viewers must watch SIGHT). An interesting story but a little weak on the acting.

  • junk

    stupid. get someones dna (hair, sweat, saliva) and you can unlock their life.

    the premise is undone after the first 30 seconds of explanation.

  • Henry Thong


  • Cleber Rebuitti

    ok, but twins share the same dna, so they’d have to sort the problem with biometric features such as digitals and iris…

  • Stu Willis

    Out of the recent wave of sci-fi shorts, this is actually my favourite. Sure, the acting is a little “television, but everything else works really well. It actually had drama and characters and I gave a shit about these people.

  • Guest

    Lets not forget that this is a work of fiction – if we were to write science fiction films off because their plots have holes, we would end up writing off a LOT of films. I actually found the narrative in Plurality pretty plausible.

  • Jeff

    One of the best short films I’ve seen. Acting, story, special fx, and pretty much everything about it.

  • Olao99

    This one was really good

  • Bryan Villa

    I liked it! felt very TV, but very good TV. Well done!

  • Evren De

    this is by far my favourite sci fi short i seen so far, besides it has huge crew almost liek a future film

  • Evren De

    this is by far my favourite sci fi short i seen so far, besides it has huge crew almost liek a future film

  • Anonymous

    I loved loved love this one. It feels like the beginning of a real feature film and I was hooked. I was sorry to see the credits roll. Awesome job!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome job!

  • Lazarus Long

    Which are both Dick stories.

  • A friend

    The grid will be, but not enforced by government but by the free market. The liberal government will struggle to protect us, we need to help and contribute, not bash. Because, for every bit of privacy, of personal context data, we will with rational choice provide all these data in order to get a discount or for fee on every service you possible can think of. As we in a world/community of growing co-creating service value most need to adjust to generate the highest service value possible. It is all, based on our big data, evidence based managed to improve our live and wellbeing. If we don’t help to utilize the service as best we can to enjoy the greates possible benefit offert, we don’t enjoy the offered discount. No problem as long as we can effort it. Be complied or rich.

  • William Barkley

    Did Nike, Starbucks, Audi and others pay for their product placement? Impressive use of the 5D and 7D. I like that reference to time travel as it definitely augments the story line. And Foucault, the next plurality target, will take plurality detection to a higher level. If the director can avoid formula scripting this could be a fascinating flick.

  • William Barkley

    “You haven’t seen what I’ve seen. We have to stop the grid.” It would have been cool if the short had led with a very brief glimpse (three seconds) of what that unseen future is. Is this in development?

  • William Barkley

    “You haven’t seen what I’ve seen. We have to stop the grid.” It would have been cool if the short had led with a very brief glimpse (three seconds) of what that unseen future is. Is this in development?

  • A friend

    The grid cannot be stopped, because it is us, our structures, systems, rules and conditions we recreate every day and are reality of live beyond our selfs. This short shows a brief glimpse of the unseen future. No more three seconds needed. The time travel concept is old, an assumption and might be turned down for good based on that. But how do “free” and “liberal” societies deal with such evolutionary developments of our selfs and our contextual reality? That is a powerful soci-fi / sci-fi branch of its own. This short gives true light on a tiny part of that vast landscape of life that lays ahead of all of us, hidden under a sci-fi cover of this short. Hopefully wonderful.

  • Simon