Insider elites once controlled Hollywood film production. Thanks to the likes of Kickstarter, that’s not always true. Happy days are here for artists who have less capital than their ideas can take them.
Remember the 2013 film,“Her”? It revolved around a man in love with his new operating system. Along comes “Creative Control”, a 20-something think piece on augmented reality, funded by over 300 Kickstarter believers.
The script came out of writer/director Benjamin Dickinson’s brain. An experienced music video producer and NYU grad, Benjamin’s debut feature “First Winter”, premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. “Creative Control”, recently acquired by Amazon Studio, was the showcase film of SXSW.
The setting is New York, 5 minutes in the future, a future where we still have existential crisis. This film isn’t Woody Allen’s personality-driven New York angst, rather, it represents the wish-fulfillment of an entitled class, dependent on connectivity and boredom busting devices. David, (Benjamin Dickinson), is an overworked, tech and alcohol-addled advertising executive, developing a high-profile marketing campaign for a new generation of augmented reality glasses. Feeling stuck in his relationship with yoga teacher Juliette, (Nora Zehetner, BRICK, IFC’s “Maron”), he envies the charmed life of his best friend, fashion photographer Wim (Dan Gill, THE WEDDING RINGER). David is entranced by Wim’s girlfriend Sophie, (Alexia Rasmussen, CALIFORNIA SOLO), so he creates a Sophie hologram. Fantasy and reality begin to blur, passions and drinking escalate, things get increasingly out of hand, and David and Wim are forced to deal with the impending collision of public, private and imaginary life.
To paraphrase the actor Reggie Watts who spoke during the audience Q and A, people are getting tired of all this tech. Current social media sets a low bar. Reggie gives the example of Alicia Keys performing with Bonnie Raitt at the Grammys.
People believe what they hear, always saying “oh Alicia, she’s so good”. Everyone believes it, then Bonnie sings and blows everyone away.
I share Reggie’s hope that this is just a blip on the way to creating something meaningful.