ZOOMSHIFT

It is often said that constraints can fuel creativity. Well, the COVID-19 lockdown is a pretty big constraint.

Amid the sadness and death, it has been interesting to see the new art and culture that is already emerging. Creativity working up against the boundaries we have set for ourselves. Artists looking afresh at the technology we are using to communicate, and wondering what new modes of design and storytelling they might enable.

The most obvious example of this is video conferencing software. The grids of images that apps like Zoom use to display the other people in the chat have become part of our visual culture. I really enjoyed the Maltesers ‘Isolation Life’ series of adverts, and I love the video for ‘Phenom’ by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down (intriguing song, too).

Anyway, into this milieu I present a two-minute short film, ZOOMSHIFT, in which the Zoom app is both the subject of the film and also the medium through which it is presented. It has been written, performed and edited by yrstrly, like a low-rent Shane Carruth or something.

A man tries to video call his mother but has an unexpected encounter instead.

The script is here if you want to read it.

Acknowledgements

The glitch titles were created in HYPERSPECTIV and the glitch sound effects were created by Debarup Mukherjee.

The film’s aesthetics owe a debt to Causality, a puzzle video game for iOS and Android created by Loju.

The structure of the story is inspired by Robert A. Heinlein by way of Stephen Moffat.

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