In an age where the perception of perfection seems warped by ideas presented through social media, a dystopian sci-fi story set in a universe where being perfect is illegal, feels like a timely wake-up call for those of us constantly striving to reach unobtainable goals. A quirky tale which takes place in a pastel-toned world where imperfections are surgically added to those in need of them, Gary Roberts’ 14-minute film The Problemless Anonymous is an entertaining think-piece that’s looking to challenge peoples views on their ‘ideal self’.
First introduced to the narrative of The Problemless Anonymous when having coffee with writer Samuel Barber, the story stuck with Roberts for a few years, until the prospect finally arose to adapt it to screen. “When I was given the opportunity to be able to make a short…I knew I wanted to work with Samuel”, Roberts explains. “I asked him if he’d allow me to tell his story The Problemless Anonymous to which he kindly agreed and we worked out together how the original version of his idea would work in a short film format…With some immersion into existentialism and moral philosophy Samuel inverted the idea that perfection is the problem itself, and in doing so crafted a story which was provocative, entertaining and intellectually stimulating”.
Commissioned by Talkies Community Cinema and Short Sighted Cinema as part of a London-based funding scheme which offers local filmmakers £500 to make a short utilising the local area as inspiration, Roberts set out to make a “non-standard sci-fi” that challenges how we perceive imperfections. Shot over just two days, Roberts took Barber’s inventive concept and developed it into a short with a completely plausible universe rocking some impressive production design
With a number of short scripts already completed, director Roberts is now looking for “like-minded producers to collaborate with”, as well as keep an ear out for any other great stories he might get a chance to adapt to screen.