amir bar lev arms crossed

Hey, Amir Bar-Lev, director of the upcoming Dead documentary. Whatcha doing?

“Wishing stuff.”

What kind of stuff?

“That I was a bird.”

Wanna fly away?

“So far.”

You look skinny. Are you eating?

“I had a fruit roll-up.”



Not good. Cherry?


Not good.

“Tomorrow begins production on the ocean set.”

The what now?

“We have built a set on the ocean. Filming the Egypt scenes there.”



Oh. Isn’t shooting on the water almost impossibly difficult and time-consuming and expensive?

“It is the Grateful Dead way.”

Oh, no. Do not start doing things the Grateful Dead way. Money disappears and people die.

“Yeah, we’ve lost two keyboardists already.”

Why does a movie crew need–

“We have waterproof cameras, and jet-skis, and a giant reef built out of shipping containers.”

Wow. Where is this?


What? No. There’s Micronesia and Macronesia and Polynesia.

“There’s also a Nesia. How else would you know if a nesia was big, or small, or many? Gotta have something to measure against.”

Okay, whatever. This is a terrible idea. The ocean doesn’t cooperate.

“No, no: the ocean is our friend.”

Frenemy at best.

“We’ve already done some test shoots. They went wonderfully.”

Oh? How much footage did you get?

“Camera boat sank.”


“People died.”

Sure. Ocean’ll do that. Plus, you know: how much is this costing?

“Not as much as you’d think. Guess.”

A hundred million dollars.

“Okay, exactly as much as you’d think.”

Holy shit, man! A hundred million? Why? How? No, wait: the question is “who,” isn’t it? Who paid for this?

“Peter Theil.”

He is getting around.

“He’s already declared it a country. It’s called Seasteading.”

It’s called pretending you’re Robinson Crusoe.

“Either way. He also bought the robot killer whales.”

Why would you need those?

“I told you: this is the Egypt scene. I need killer whales.”