What if our nation’s enemies finally got smart? What if, instead of spending billions on religious fanatics, they hired a team of battle-hardened mercenaries to do their dirty work, and maintained for themselves a deniable position from the comforts of their own homelands?
This question, posed by film-maker Chris Ross Leong, jump-starts the plot of his contemporary warfare film, Predator One. The film explores the latest technology available to modern military forces and, specifically, the increasing use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
A new technology demands a new skill set, and Predator One reveals that warfare is becoming less about soldiers risking their lives for their country, and more like a highly-advanced video game. It’s a technology that allows military personnel to sit back, hundreds of miles from the frontline, and operate UAV’s via a screen and a ‘game’ controller.
Being able to identify and destroy the enemy remotely, with no danger to the operator, seems to be the perfect military solution. That is until your very own technology is used against you.
Predator One sees a sharp but ageing U.S. Air Force pilot and his sensor Operator completing their final work shift at a remote base. They hand over the last of America’s first generation UAVs, Predator One, to their replacements — a team of irreverent, game-playing youngsters. America’s new generation of ‘Remote Tech’ soldiers come with third generation long-range stealth combat drones. These guys are out to ‘squash the bugs’ that are today’s enemies.
But soon after hand-over, the base is assaulted by an unidentified combat unit. The newly-arrived team of Tech soldiers, with only basic training under their belts, don’t stand a chance against battle-hardened veterans. The advanced weapons are seized, and turned against the United States.
A band of U.S. combat veterans, previously posted on the base, have escaped the carnage. Together with the newly-retired USAF pilot and his sensor Op, they must combine traditional tactics with their superior technological knowledge in a desperate last-ditch attempt to stop the enemy. They must fight the old fashioned way; on the ground, up close, and very personal.
In Predator One, Chris addresses the central issue of how technology distances soldiers from the battle and how that has a significant negative impact.
On the ground, troops are able to judge a situation, and make decisions based on immediate information.
But a soldier sitting in front of a video screen with a controller in his hand has a completely different perspective.
How are strategic decisions now made? Can a situation be fully understood and correctly assessed? Do conscience, morality and the rules of engagement shift when a Tech solider confronts a ‘bad guy’ on screen? Is traditional warfare itself a relic of the past, or will it always be with us?
These are just some of the questions Chris Leong asks in Predator One.
This exciting project is still in its early stages but here at WatchReadReview I will be following step by step and keeping you updated. Watch this space people.
Written by Oliver Willis