When a digital ad-exec receives a distress call from the very type of person to whom her marketing is directly aimed, she ventures to the seaside in search of redemption.
A 20 something digital ad-exec receives an innocuous call from a retiree. The retiree has one question -
'How do I turn off the adverts on the Internet?!'
Although laughable at first, this chance encounter with the very type of person to whom her advertising is aimed leaves our protagonist in a state of existential angst. In a bid to quell her angst she decides to travel to the source of the call: Margate.
This journey from the world of sushi lunches, member club benefits and co-working environments to the time capsule of Margate reveals the disconnects and conflicts that lie at the heart of modern day Britain -
Digital V Analogue
Old V Young
Urban V Rural
The real self V The imagined self
This is an ambitious short film and in order to bring it to life, we need your help. Any donation big or small means the world to us and we thank you eternally for any support you can give!
This story is based on a real event experienced early in producer Seth Whitfield’s career when he found himself working in digital advertising. One day he received a phone call from a retiree who wished to turn off her internet ads. This sparked an idea in Seth: Rarely do digital advertisers come face to face with the very type of ‘targets’ to whom their marketing is most directly aimed. If they did, what would they say? And how might it feel to experience its real life effects from the other side of the screen?
At some point in our live's we have all found ourselves sleepwalking through the daily grind without knowing which path to take. This is more apparent than ever in the digital age where it is so easy to be seduced by what we see on the internet rather than focusing on what we really want. Whilst we are sold the dream that social media helps us communicate more effectively, the opposite is often the case. This is evident in the growing divide between generations which I can’t help but feel is exacerbated by technology. In this film I want to explore what happens when a young woman escapes the hollow world of '10 best places to eat for Instagram' and breaches the generational divide.
London: Present day. Digital ad-exec CAROL (28) receives an innocuous call from retiree NANCY (60’s) who wishes to turn off her internet adverts. She complains of feeling like the constant target of click-bait ads for life insurance which upsets her as they serve only to remind her of her age. Distracted by an office party, Carol promises to call Nancy back later that day...
Carol's attempts to call Nancy back are unsuccessful. Thinking nothing of it, she goes about her daily routine, attending a spin class during lunch. While Carol pedals hard to hit her 10K target, she takes no notice of an older lady who faints on a nearby exercise bike, focused entirely on beating her personal best.
After a second unsuccessful attempt to call Nancy back, Carol retires to the office’s ‘ideation zone’ where she meets OSCAR (12), son of the managing director. Oscar unwittingly draws Carol into a conversation about her role in the company. What is illuminating about her explanation isn't the intricacies of her role, but how seemingly pointless it appears to someone who exists outside of her bubble.
Both the incident at the gym and this chance conversation with Oscar force Carol, for the first time, to stop and think. This, combined with further unsuccessful attempts to return Nancy's call, leave Carol in a growing state of existential angst. To quell these new feelings, Carol decides to do what she always does: get boozed up with her colleague and confidante, SASH (24). However, no amount of alcohol can numb the feeling she now has and, in what is perhaps the most decisive moment of her twenties to date, she traces Nancy’s call back to Margate and boards the first train she can.
On arrival in Margate, Carol receives a stark introduction to the effects of digitalisation in life beyond London. The time capsule that is Margate’s Victorian seafront is placed in stark contrast to the Silicon London she’s come to call home and, for the first time, she is using her eyes to look past a world of screens.
Carol knocks on Nancy’s door but when no one answers, she begins to fear the worst and, just as she is considering taking drastic action, Nancy appears at the garden gate. Full of life and adorned in glamorous attire, the presence of Nancy immediately defies Carol's preconceptions about what she thought a retiree haunted by the internet should look like. It is in fact Carol who appears altogether more worn out by the digital world than Nancy, who invites her to accompany her for a walk down the beach.
LOCATIONS / WORLDS
THE OFFICES OF HYPER-STRIPPED, LONDON EC1: Carol’s world would taste like rubber if you could eat it, but why would you want to when the only thing round here that people swallow is their weight in electrolyte-infused H2O? Nothing about this is natural. Bubbled co-working zones are rendered in perspex. Rainforest plants snake around bends to give the illusion of a tropical environment. Modular furniture is designed to promote circular gatherings. Fifty years ago, this would’ve been the stuff of sci-fi, only it’s not. In 2019, these places actually exist, and for every clever marketing campaign, there’s another Carol just dying to break-out.
THE EAST COAST OF ENGLAND, MARGATE, KENT: A Victorian seaside town that once served as the nation’s holiday retreat before cheap flights and trip advisor washed it into oblivion. As far as Carol is concerned, this is where people go to die. But oh how wrong she is. Here lies a perfectly preserved museum to the past, one where people say hello to each other on the street, and the monotonous hum of computer fans is drowned out by the great expanses of sea and sand. It’s where Turner painted his sunsets, a fact Carol only found out when she liked it on instagram.
These two worlds are about to collide, from a phone call, innocuous at first, life changing at last.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Carol’s world is narrow and claustrophobic. 'Round here the horses wear blinkers. Ceilings are low, but who cares when job prospects are so high? As Carol's journey extends beyond her life in London, the scope of the cinematography will funnel outwards, like a train shooting from a tunnel, widening to an endless expanse of ocean and the past. Everything is presented as a spinning roundabout of activity, until the wheels fall, and one is prompted to look beyond.
ART DIRECTION: To fall in love with our past, we are first going to present the synthetic nature of our present. All is perspex. Surfaces are clean. Any stain is noticeable. Borrowed from Scandinavian design principles, a pastel colour palette is inoffensive and minimalist, until it comes into collision with the brash, sun burnt skin of a world populated by people who wouldn’t classify as ‘beach-body-ready.’
Greta Griniūtė, Director
Born and bred in Lithuania, after graduating high school, Greta spread her wings and moved to England where she studied Physical Theatre and trained as an actress, later moving into directing. This passion for directing led Greta to move around Europe and work as an assistant director, scriptwriter and slowly start making her own shorts.
In the last two years Greta has directed four films. The first, Tickle My Pickle which was made independently in Los Angeles while she was completing a screenwriting scholarship at Santa Monica College and is currently being shown at a number of international festivals. Her second short, Sweet Craving, shot on location in Vilnius, Lithuania won the 72 hour short film challenge at the Odiseja 72 competition. Greta then joined up with the travelling film festival Cinema Da Mare where she wrote and directed her third short Giorgino's Bar on location in Italy. Most recently she has directed a fourth short, Rice & Bread, alongside completing an MA in Directing at Goldsmiths.
Seth Whitfield, Producer
Seth is an emerging producer with a strong commercial and development background in digital content and advertising. Having previously worked for Perform Media Group in their content distribution team as well as Yahoo and ITN, he is now focusing on the development and production of short films and is completing an MA in Filmmaking at Goldsmiths. He recently wrapped production on his first short Rice & Bread which will premiere at festivals later in the year.
Alejandra Lopez, Producer
Alejandra López Martín is an upcoming producer and director. She graduated in Film Studies at King's College London, and is currently undertaking an MA at Goldsmiths in Film Production. Her academic background allowed her to expand her knowledge in theories of spectatorship, and the relationship between the medium of cinema and the audience. Her first self-motivated projects, which include short films and music videos, explore the experience of the spectator and the immersive capabilities of cinema.
Luke Flanagan, Writer
Luke is a passionate and thoughtful writer/director best known for his debut short film, MIND THE GAP based on the true story of Margaret McCollum. The film firmly established Luke as one of London's emerging talents, premiering at The London Short Film Festival 2015, chosen as a BFI Postroom pick of the month, premiered online by NOWNESS, regularly broadcast on London Live and most recently winning the SONOS ReScored competition 2017 for which the prize saw Oscar-winning composer Steven Price and Grammy-winning producer Giles Martin write and record a new orchestral score for the film at Abbey Road Studios.
Luke's second film saw him experiment in the world of animation with a coming-of-age short titled Once Upon a Time at the Cheese Counter which is currently being submitted to festivals. He has just completed a successful crowdfunding campaign for his third short The Train Catching Championships which he plans to take into production this summer and will likely become a calling card to the world of feature filmmaking.
Rodrigo Mella, Writer
Rodrigo Mella is part of the MA Script Writing programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. After graduating with a BSc in Psychology from the University of Glasgow, Rodrigo dived into videomaking, receiving awards for his video-art – El Tercer Hombre (2017) and Jupiter, 5 o'clock (2016). Rodrigo has a background in music videos and experimental shorts, and is now heading towards narrative filmmaking.
Alex Magill, DOP
Alex has been working in the lighting department for some time and has worked on commercials for brands including Nike, Google, Netflix, Vogue, and Warner Brothers. He has also worked on music promos for artists such as The Streets, Ghetts, and Benny Sings. He has shot documentary films, both here and abroad, but his passion really lies in shooting narrative fiction. He has previously worked in this area as a gaffer but since entering Goldsmiths he has moved fully into the role of director of photography. The last film he shot will be playing festivals later this year and he is looking forward to collaborating with the same crew on this one.
Danyal Fox, Camera Operator
Danyal Fox is a camera operator with a background in fine art, analogue film and photography. He is driven by the storytelling power of composition, and is excited to frame the personalities of Carol and Nancy within the innate characteristics of London and Margate. He is drawn to authentic narratives and characters, and is eager to help bring this film to fruition
Daisy Rimmer, Sound
Currently based in London, Daisy is pursuing her artistic development within the elements of Sound Recording, Post- Production and Design. Previously studying dance, Daisy pointed her focus towards the relationship between sound and movement. As a film lover, this consideration progressed through the moving body onto the moving image. Enticed by realism, this film enables Daisy to "reveal genuine life events, bringing an authentic yet heightened sense of awareness for sound." Having produced many projects through the medium of sound and movement, Daisy is now concentrated on sound and picture, currently studying for an MA in Filmmaking at Goldsmiths.
Marlieke van Gestel, Editor
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Marlieke has had a passion for film ever since her early teens. Always interested in how films were made, Marlieke developed a special interest in film editing. As options in film education after high school in the Netherlands were limited, she decided to do a high school exchange year in the United States, where she found out and confirmed that editing is what she loved.
Back in the Netherlands, Marlieke started her Bachelor Degree in Communication (focused on the film and television industry) while also working on her editing skills in her spare time. Through two internships she developed her editing skills even more, resulting in her starting her own company in video editing, which gave her more opportunities to work as a freelance editor. After working for multiple companies, and editing videos of all kinds, it was time to go back and learn about her first love: film. As a self-taught editor it was time to learn from professionals, resulting in her now completing the MA in Filmmaking at Goldsmiths.
Marisa Mito, Production Design
Marisa is a Japanese-American production designer from Los Angeles who is currently studying at UAL Wimbledon College of Arts. Before moving to London, she earned a bachelors in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied film production at l’École Supérieure d’Études Cinématographiques in Paris.
Marisa has been enamoured with the magic of moviemaking for as long as she can remember, and for her, the thrill of seeing costumed actors step onto a finished set is like no other. She loves the process of elaborating character and conflict through the curation of objects in space, and admires cinema for not only celebrating the beautiful and refined, but for offering refuge to cheap, worn, and ugly as well. She is undoubtedly Marie Kondo’s worst nightmare, as even trash often sparks joy within her.
HOW THE MONEY WILL BE SPENT?
Every pound we raise will go towards making this project a reality. Below you can find a budget breakdown:
Pre-production has already begun, with principal photography set to take place in mid-May. We are aiming complete post-production by July 2018.
As young emerging filmmakers, we are aiming to have our film shown at prestigious festivals around the world. We will be aiming for the short film competitions in both Europe (Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Locarno) and North America (Sundance, Toronto etc.). Having our film selected for one of these festivals would mean the world to us and go some way to achieving our ultimate goal of having our work screened internationally and reaching a worldwide audience.
We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to view our page and hope that you can come on this journey with us!
Risks and challenges
The main challenge we face in making this film is funding. We have put together an amazing team of creatives who are compltely dedicated to making this project a success. All that stands in our way is the funds and for this, we need your help!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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