The internet. It has provided many avenues for content creation by everyone. No more is video a format saved only for professionals. Your next door neighbour could be a budding camera person and you would never know unless you found their channel of travel vlogs. Influencers and internet personalities are the new celebrity, but what is it really saying about us as a society? When we can pick and choose parts of our lives to immortalise on the internet it shapes a warped view of how people are really living and what they’re really feeling on the inside.
But Black Mirror does a good job of turning the camera the other way to analyse whats going on behind the screens. What if there was a relatively normal, light hearted take on how the internet has become part of lives? Well People People aims to do just that. Written and directed by Lizzie Logan the film tells the story of Kat, an agoraphobic YouTube star who falls in love with her delivery guy.
I asked Lizzie where the idea for the story came from. “At the end of college, I was playing around with the idea of a story that took place entirely in the main characters apartment, trying to see how much of a romantic comedy plot I could fit into that setting,” She explained, “If this is a girl who doesn’t leave the house then what does she do all day? Well, she goes on the internet. And who would she meet? Well, she would meet a delivery guy.”
One of the big plot factors is the use of the internet. It sits at the centre of the story, but Lizzie was careful not to turn its use into a moral slap on the wrist or an advocation for technology either. “One of the things I kept in mind while writing and shooting…is that it’s pretty non-judgmental. It’s just a relationship with a lot of internet-y elements mixed in, because thats how people interact with the word these days.” That being said the concept of having a media personality, or a version of oneself that is projected online, and then the contrast of who we really are is something that is explored through the main character Kat. “There’s no moral value to having a social media personality! But do you fear being caught in that lie? and thats what happens to Kat. People expect her to be friendly and easy-going because of how she talks about herself on Youtube, but she’s actually anxious and kind of snarky.” Lizzie said, “I think Kat has an extreme version of what a lot of us feel, with or without the Internet”
As a small production with one main location it would seem that it could be easy to get the film up and running, but even smaller features require time and money to get off the ground. “I just did not budget any time or money for reshoots” Lizzie explains, “After the rough cut was assembled, everyone…agreed that it was missing this one crucial shot. And I just had to shrug and say, sorry! The crew went home, the actors changed their hair, I have a full time job now, we are just going to have to not ever get that shot.” A few other smaller obstacles appeared during filming and for the time and budget allocated it just became easier to back down than fight. “This makes me sound very lazy, like every time I encountered an obstacle I just said ‘okay lets not do it’, but honestly its a very effective way to get things done! Skip the hard parts! I’m only partly kidding”Lizzie said.
But even the obstacles couldn’t tarnish the fact that Lizzie made an entire feature film in her mums apartment with no previous credits, and got a crew and a cast to trust and follow her direction and vision. “I really had no idea if i would be able to pull it off. I was inviting them (David and Natalie, actors) to come live in my mums apartment and shoot for twelve hours a day…and basically put their lives on pause to make this thing based on my zero credits and just the fact that they liked the script,” she said, “But then…everyone was lovely! I will bring this up again and again because it makes me so happy: we made a feature film and no one yelled, ever.”
Fittingly the film is available via the internet on
Vimeo on Demand right now and you can go and watch it here.