Logline: As we soar to unchartered technological heights, connection breeds disconnection.
Length: approx 20 mins
Director: Zev Howley
Producer: Zev Howley
About the director and producer: (25 words each)
Integrating his strong theatre and documentary production background, Zev Howley has directed and co-produced numerous award-winning shorts. After having an integral role in documentaries sponsored by the Australia Council, Zev directed a documentary of his own entitled, ‘Who is the Sonic Manipulator’ (2005), which screened at The Big West Festival and the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. He pushed his passion for directing further and dove into short fiction film by writing and directing ‘Sarah's Jihad’ (2009) which won numerous best short awards and appeared on the Channel 31 television show titled 'Underexposed.'
Zev wrote and directed “Broken Superman” (2012), which won best film at connect film festival in Melbourne and also screened in Los Angeles. Zev’s most recent short film, also as writer and director, 'Walkman' (2015) won Best Film of the year at Comfy Shorts.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): - All of the above!
Funders: Myself/ Self funded
Release date: 2015
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I wanted to do something a bit different and challenge myself a little more than my other short films. So I began working on the concept of Walkman. I wanted also to make a statement about technology and asking the question, is all the social media and fancy smart phones making us more connected than ever before or is it actually doing the opposite.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
As an audience member I try to take them on a bit of a journey, by examining the lives of different people who are not really connecting with one another. I would like people to see this because it asks questions about our relationships with people in the age of social media. I really think it’s making an important statement.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
This film does both it explores personal and universal themes together. By showing how technology affects us in different ways in everyday life. By exploring the direction it’s heading in the future. The personal theme of the film is the effect of being disconnected with one another. The Universal theme is exploring the idea that technology is becoming a safer substitute for being connected with one another.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
I worked through many drafts over the course of 12 months with my friend Maurizio D'Alessandri and also I had a script editor friend of mine Anne O’ Hoy go over it as well. The main challenge was the length and trying to keep it short as possible without compromising the story too much. I had the initial idea for the story but through brainstorming sessions a lot more concepts were introduced.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been very positive so far. A lot of people said they could relate to the story and it made them think a lot about these issues. It won film of the year at a local film night in Melbourne called Comfy Shorts. It also was screened at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Yes it has. As a director you worry that your message or your story would not resonate with people or they might find it too complex, but I was surprised to find that a lot of people completely understood what I was trying to say, which is great, this is why I want to reach a wider audience with this short film.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I want to reach a wider audience and let people know about this short film because I believe in my heart it has a lot to say.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
As many people as possible, anyone that is interested, ideally I would love to have more screenings of this short film, and any avenue possible for it to be promoted and seen would be great.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want people to go away and say Wow that touched me, that had meaning for me. I want to see it again!
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
The key question would be: Are we becoming more connected with one another with all the technological changes in our society or is it driving us further apart.
Would you like to add anything else?
Yes I wanted to tell this story because of the observations I have made over the years for example, people are all the time on their screens whether it be phones or ipads etc. People have literally stopped socializing with each other on a one on one basis and I have read articles about how depression is rapidly on the increase and people are feeling lonelier than ever before, and I thought to myself, I need to explore this idea, I need to tell this story to help people be aware of this.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
My team and I are about to launch a crowd funding campaign for my next short film called LOVESAND, a science fiction film. We are all very excited by it. The story is a bit like Del Toro and Steven Spielberg film but it’s a completely an original concept. Casting also has begun and a lot of very talented and creative people are involved with this project.