TED 2023 is a 2012 promotional short film directed by Luke Scott and starring Guy Pearce. Written by Damon Lindelof, it shows Peter Weyland giving his influential talk at the 2023 TED conference and laying out Weyland Corp's plans for the future.
The film was created as a marketing piece for Prometheus (which was written by Lindelof and directed by Ridley Scott, father of Luke Scott and producer of the short film) and features Pearce playing a younger version of his character from the movie. It was released through the official TED website.
After drinking a glass of whisky, Peter Weyland steps out into a huge arena packed with people here for the annual TED conference. After narrating a scene from Lawrence of Arabia, in which Corporal Potter asks Lawrence about his habit of extinguishing matches with his bare fingers, Weyland goes on to explain the myth of the Titan Prometheus, who gave the secret of fire to mankind and was punished by the Gods as a result. Considering fire to be man's first invention, he goes on to list various other breakthroughs throughout the course of human history, including the wheel, gunpowder, the automobile, television, spacecraft, terraforming and the curing of most cancers, before concluding that mankind's technological prowess now makes them akin to gods. However, he laments that the almost limitless potential of the technologies humanity possesses is currently being squandered by overbearing rules and regulations. Finally, Weyland introduces himself to his audience, before promising, "If you'll indulge me, I'd like to change the world."
The short film was made in collaboration with the TED organization, and was made available through their website. The project arose partly because Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof wished to introduce new audiences to the conference itself. Regarding its setting, Lindelof explained that the scene takes place in a futuristic stadium rather than the smaller locations of real TED conferences because "a guy like Peter Weyland — whose ego is just massive, and the ideas that he's advancing are nothing short of hubris — that he'd basically say to TED, 'If you want me to give a talk, I'm giving it in Wembley Stadium.'"
TED community director Tom Rielly helped gain approval for the use of the TED brand in the short film, which had not previously been used for promotional purposes. He was involved in designing the 2023 conference, preparing an "extensive briefing on all the visual and audio aspects of a TEDTalk circa 2012 and a corresponding speculation on how things would work in the future", that included flying video cameras and "live Twitteresque feedback". Rielly claimed that the association generated millions of new visitors to the TED website, many of which were from users who had never visited the site previously. The short film's release was accompanied by a fictional TED blog about the 2023 conference and a tie-in website for Weyland Corp. On March 6, 2012, the Weyland Corp website was updated to allow visitors to 'invest' in TED as part of a game to reveal new Prometheus media.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "TEDBlog - Writing a TED Talk from the future: Q&A with Damon Lindelof". Retrieved on 2016-01-05.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Bloomberg Business - TED Goes to the Movies with 'Prometheus' Promotion". Retrieved on 2016-01-05.