Swerve is a three and a half hour feature film serialized in ten chapters. Each chapter is released online in streaming and downloadable formats, free of charge. Each chapter is approximately 20 minutes long, ideally meant to be watched in cinematic conditions: on a TV, with lights off, on a good sound system. The entire film is a nonprofit Collaborative Media Commons project based at the University of California, Santa Barbara. An interdisciplinary team of graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and film industry professionals collaborate to produce Swerve. The project was started in 2010 and will continue through 2013.
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In a future post-apocalyptic California, the new frontier is a vast nano-contaminated Zone cut off from the all-connected Grid and the ceaseless flows of bodies and information outside its borders. Only the insane or criminal would venture into this low-tech, body-corroding backwater: that’s what Kaja has been told. But when her best and only friend Adelle disappears, apparently kidnapped and taken to the Zone by an anti-nanotech revolutionary group, Kaja is forced to enter this bizarre and alien world. There, where even fundamental matter and individual identity are up for grabs, as a virtual assassination team moves in for the kill, anti-technology cultists plot a takeover, and a mad cyberscientist prepares a vast mind-harvesting experiment, Adelle will begin to suspect that her entire brain is an elaborate organic computer program... But what, exactly, does it do?