The concept for the film began as a question: Given that we all film each other all of the time thanks to the availability of smartphones (hanging out with friends, on nights out, at parties, at gigs, out shopping or eating) – everything from the mundane to the exciting, the faked to the intensely private – could you tell the story of a group of friends by cutting together their collected footage?
#STARVECROW begins as a telling insight into the lives of a group in their late teens told though their compulsion to film themselves and each. However, this quickly becomes a compelling story of love becoming obsession as sharable footage gradually mixes with clips that were never meant to be seen. As a result, moments they want to share become corrupted and moments they wouldn’t want seen by anyone are taken for the world to see.
Presented as an assembly of random clips, #STARVECROW is like scrolling through a corrupted social media account, or piecing together a giant jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces (intentionally) missing.
#STARVECROW combines improvised footage, shot entirely by the actors on phones and handheld HD cameras, with real footage from the actors own lives. The actors/characters turned the cameras on themselves and each other to capture around 70 hours of footage that was then mined for stories and edited together to create multi-streamed narratives in an 85-minute feature film.
TECHNIQUE & GENRE
#STARVECROW is the first in a new style of low budget, indie feature films that use this approach to look like they really happened. We call this style “hypereal”.
Independent and experimental, Hypereal films focus on story-telling through improvisation. With no crew, no script, no set design, no stylists, no make-up department and no red tape Hypereal films are shot guerrilla-style, without permission, in real places.
Blurring fact with fiction, these films are assemblies of smartphone and CCTV footage. The results are dramas that bring audiences as close as possible to the characters.
During filming the actors collaborate and contribute to their characters’ story-lines and then film their their actions as if they were life-logging – filming pretty much everything they get up to.
Hypereal movies can be made with low or no budget and #STARVECROW is proof of concept.
STYLE & INSPIRATION
Inspired by Lars Von Trier’s DOGME 95 movement Hypereal films are all shot in the first person. This means the viewer feels immersed in the story and that they’re part of the action. Like they are physically there with the actors.
Hypereal is a reaction to the excesses of Hollywood budgets and emphasis on special effects and post-production.
Hypereal tells it and shows it like it is, warts and all. Using pre-existing footage adds to the realism of a Hypereal film. For example in #STARVECROW we see close-up footage of a birth and the protagonists as young children.
Unlike DOGME 95 films Hypereal movies use soundscape to full effect. Bespoke, original scores are created and recognizable, existing music or tracks are avoided.
Hypereal is experimental. A new form of visual and aural creative expression for the smartphone age.