Talent as a Horror Movie

Just in time for Halloween, independent sci-fi thriller Nightmare Code, an eerie and thought-provoking film about employees, computerized behavior recognition, and the future of the workplace.

horror 1Recently released and now available on iTunes and in select theaters, this is must-viewing for HR and talent execs — especially if you want to explore the dark side of the profession.

Nightmare Code follows a new hire (Andrew J. West of “The Walking Dead”). He’s a hotshot computer programmer at a troubled startup hired to finish the company’s product on a tight deadline in the wake of the murderous rampage and suicide of the previous programmer.

horror 2Nightmare Code takes workforce analytics to its furthest conclusion. It’s like The Shining, set in the HR department, as told by HAL from 2001. Considering the surge in optimized hiring through assessments, the film’s message is relevant as it asks: What if the network system, in this case at work, knew what you were thinking before you did? What if your seemingly innocent behavior was being analyzed and judged?

“Above all, we made Nightmare Code to open up a relevant conversation,” says Mark Netter, the film’s director, “asking how our mastery of computer code is changing our basic human behavior. Do we still control our networks, or are we willingly allowing our networks to take control of us?”

In the film, the company’s network can immediately uncover an employee’s apparent intentions. Eventually the program takes on a life of its own, with startling ramifications. Nightmare Code will definitely make you look twice at the employee assessment or innocuous surveillance cameras. Stylish and intelligent, Nightmare Code took the top prize at this year’s Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival.

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It’s on iTunes and Google Play. The preview’s below.

About the Author

As President of Persona Labs, Jim Wexler is revolutionizing Human Capital Management ​with games that predict talent. Persona Labs’ talent assessments have benefited millions of job applicants in over 10,000 organizations.

An original pioneer of games for business, Jim brought the concept of game-based recruiting and learning Simulations to Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson and MetLife.   Jim has been featured in BusinessWeek, Forbes, The New York Times and CBS News. He has a degree in Semiotics from Brown University.