Synopsis: Ren Amari is the driven inventor of a revolutionary new drug. OtherLIfe expands the brain's sense of time and creates virtual reality directly in the user's mind. With OtherLife, mere seconds in real life feel like hours or days of exciting adventures. As Ren and her colleagues race around the clock to launch OtherLife, the government muscles in to use the drugs as a radical solution to prison overcrowding. They will create virtual cells where criminals serve long sentences in just minutes of real time. When Ren resists, she finds herself an unwilling guinea pig trapped in a prison cell in her mind. She must escape before she descends into madness, and then regain control of OtherLife before others suffer the same fate.
96 min


Do you want to go again?

Mmm. I think I'm good here.

Yeah? Just me then.

What, are we going to stay here forever?

Come on.

Okay. I'm ready to begin.

Exceptional academic record...

ending four years ago.

My brother.


I remember hearing about that.

My condolences.

Well, he survived, actually.

Oh, I wasn't aware.

That's okay.

Now, this technology...

We've read the literature,

classification is proving difficult.

Can you tell us how it differs

from other controlled substances?

To begin with, it's not a drug. It's...

Biological software.

You program new memories.

We create experiences.

Indistinguishable from the real thing.

As far as the brain is concerned,

fantasy and reality

are chemically identical.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Ren, there you are.

Take a look at this.

Oi! Get to work.

Why are you pulling out my designs?


Approvals. Clear your queue.

Yeah. I can give you 30.


The most published

expert on this technology

is your father.

He's been quite vocal

about the dangers involved.

He writes here, "Prolonged exposure

"could lead to a range

of physical symptoms,

"from arrhythmia to seizures,

even brain death."

That's right.

So there are risks.

Abuse of any substance is risky.

Your brain is already firing

billions of neurons a second.

We're just giving them a script to follow.

The software builds from

fragments of your subconscious.

It becomes part of you

like any other memory.

We tell you the story of a day, one day,

where everything happens

just the way it should.


No chance of it

lasting any longer?

None whatsoever.

Looking good.

Render it.

What's next?

Mmm. Shredding fresh powder, brah.




Damn it.

It's just code. It's just code.



Are you okay?

Six and a half days.

Welcome back.

That was a bad one.

Maybe we should drop the Alps.

- We've got bigger problems.

- No. Snowboarding stays.

Sam's counting on it being a seller.

Unpack it, back to code.

I will debug tonight.

- It's not a code problem.

- It's code.

- Some brains...

- I can fix it.

Okay, boss.

What are we doing with our lives?

We never have enough free time.

And when we do, it feels wasted.

So, imagine if we could buy more.

Sail the Caribbean before work,

snowboard the Alps over lunch,

free dive the Barrier Reef

that same night.

This is not a simulation.

This isn't even the "next best thing"

to being there.

This is a genuine experience,

delivered direct to the brain

by our patented technology.

Holidays, just the beginning.

Where do we go next?

Long-term, interactive...

Imagine the possibilities.

Training, rehabilitation, therapy,

years of experience added to your mind...

Like apps to a computer.

All you have to do is decide,

what will you do with your OtherLife?

To explain how, please welcome

the co-founder of OtherLife, Ren Amari.

- Where have you been?

- Working on our release, Sam.

Talk science. Go.

Breakthroughs in nanite technology

have enabled us

to accelerate

computer-brain communication.

We use our entire brain.

The pervasive myth that we only use 10%

is based on its division of activity.

Thank you for coming. It was great.

You've got my number.

- We need more testers.

- Nope.

- Two extra servers back of house.

- No! Not happening.

Ren, how many times are we going to...

A week to go and we're still finding bugs.

We need a reliable render farm.

I'm telling you, we're out of runway.

I thought that went well.

Yeah, they wanted samples.

I still couldn't give it to them, so...

You pitched both restrictions.

I knew you'd call me out on that.

- Long-term? Interactive?

- Oh, come on, Ren.

All the research says

that's the future of this thing.

We're only hurting ourselves

by holding back.

What was that about anyway?

It's a potential lifeline.

Whatever. I'll see you back at the office.



- You forgot.

- I have to work.

That's all right. Do you want

to get a bite at the office?

- I'm sorry.

- Oh. Okay.

Users can become

trapped by the fantasy

and disassociate from reality altogether.

I don't know about you,

but to me, it seems confining.

What do you mean?

A facsimile of an

experience you've never had

just feels... isolating.

There it is.


How do you do that?

It just looks wrong.

Really, we testing?


New PB.

What's your daily?

- About 400.

- Oh, bullshit. Give me a number.

Four eighty-two.

Twenty days in a day, f***ing goddamn.

Are you working on base code?

Nothing to worry about.

- Hey.

- Hey.

Sam asked me to finish

the report on long-term use.

- He did?

- Yeah.

I assumed you knew.

You a part of this?

It's just research.

He asked, I thought it sounded cool.

Plus, that recursive glitch

that we've been getting

could work to our advantage.

Maybe that's the key

to prolonged simulation.

Don't go behind my back to Sam.

Okay, well...

Talk to him about that, I just work here.


You want to get a beer,

b*tch about the boss?

He's not my boss, he's my partner.


- Danny...

- You know what?

- Hey. Yo, yo!

- Yo!

- Let's do it.

- Thirsty, man.

What about these papers

coming out of Europe and China

discussing medical applications,

Alzheimer's, ALS, dementia?

In theory, you should be able

to patch a damaged brain like software.

But ethically complex.

You're quite literally putting

ideas into people's heads.

Is that a question?

You have no other

applications in mind

for OtherLife?



How's our boy doing?

Yeah, he's good.

Jared, big sis giving you any trouble?

You let me know if she does, buddy.

Good to see you again.

His eye moved.

Yeah. Yeah, he, um...

tricks me too sometimes.

See you again tomorrow?

Good night.

Hey, didn't want to call

in case you were working

or sleeping, but, uh...

Thought you deserved to see how much fun

you're missing out on down here.

Remember fun?

Such a romantic.

Definitely should have

joined us. This is not you.

Didn't expect

to see the real you.

You'd rather do it by email?

No, I wanted to talk.

I simply presumed that you'd be too busy.

Now? Of all times?

Will you at least come down here?

We launch Monday.


Even the name suggests

some sort of opiate.

Products need commercial

application to get funding...

Regardless of what you have

to sell to get them there.

Bringing joy to people

is a worthy ideal, I grant you.

But then again,

heroin was invented

to cure morphine addiction.

I made progress.

- Behavioral awareness?

- Maybe.

His eye moved.

It's just a twitch.

- It doesn't sound like much...

- It's not.

Okay, but if he's in there,

then all he needs is a way out,

- just something to hang on to...

- Oh, please stop.

Are you still getting that glitch?

It's just bad code.

Like addiction, PTSD,

depression, that's bad code, too.

Except the mind

is more than just a collection

- of binary switches...

- Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Here we go with your spiritual rationale.

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Kelley Eskridge

Kelley Eskridge (born 21 September 1960) is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. Her work is generally regarded as speculative fiction and is associated with the more literary edge of the category, as well as with the category of slipstream fiction. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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