'WYSINWYG' by Repro - 48 Hour Film Project: Singapore 2009

Desperate times sure seem to bring about desperate means.

A film narrated through the conversations between technologies and uses comic satire to highlight and question the actions of humans. By the end of the film, it leads the audience, at least myself, to reflect on our lives and our actions in the current world of technologies through the technologies’ opinions and audiences’ reflection on the actors’ course of actions.

There were two major scenes that highlight how humans were willing to achieve their end results by all means, even if it was to question personal integrity and crossing the lines of professionalism. Another point which the film highlighted was how humans failed to realised they are the fallen preys of technologies rather than owners of technologies.

In the first half of the film, it shows the lead actor, a successful journalist sourcing for interesting stories online so as to create ‘top stories’ to boost his falling readership. Just like most upcoming and inspiring stars, his refusal to conform to the society’s interest of “sex sells” affected his readership numbers.

His first “story” took place at a retail shop with the joint effort from his sympathetic younger sister. She created a commotion with the patient retailer within the nicely decorated retail shop where she demanded a cash refund on a shirt that she bought nearly a month ago. As things turned ugly with the retailer flaring up on this ‘innocent’ school girl, out pops the brother with his dependent video recorder threatening to broadcast the retailer’s bad service attitude while being dragged away by the embarrassed sister.

The film led audiences to the first questions of whether the siblings’ actions were morally appropriate when the scene unfolds in the room where the siblings discussed their next course of actions. Concurrently, the technologies were having a similar debate on whether their assistance in his videos were right or wrong. As the film develops, it slowly revealed the contrasting roles and personalities that the technologies represent; camera phone, the conscience one and the video camera, the “free spirited” one.

The use of humour in scenes was cleverly injected between conversations to hide the subtle sarcasm and critiques of the brother’s actions, a reflection on our current society. An example was where the scissors told the gadgets to be thankful for not doing a physical dirty job like his, trimming the nose hair.

Tension heightens when the brother decided to embark on his second story, a scandalous ‘making out session’ of his underage innocent sister and her adult boyfriend captured on video. A professional who used to value his integrity became a fallen man over night as he succumbs to the society’s interest by preparing to upload this captured ‘sex’ video without any sense of guilt.

The camera phone’s realisation amidst the twist in events led it to take the plunge. As he slowly edges to the end of the book pile, he reflected on how this journalist use to be a morally just man and wondered whether things were supposed to look like that now. Even as the video camera joked about the camera phone’s decision and asked him to take things as a joke, this highlighted one of the film’s messages, from my perspective.

The camera phone, which may not know the world’s ways of life, actually knew the difference between being morally just and the consequences of living a life of remorse for such despicable acts.

A witty mix and match of every day’s technologies, use of subtle sarcasm and mockery to criticise our human ways in this film brought a refreshing change of perspectives. Highlighting of how hum

ans could stoop this low to satisfy society’s demands in order to achieve something for own personal gain without considering the consequences that comes along with it allowed audiences to do a personal reflection.

Personally, this short film is more than just a simple and slight humorous film. It has managed to subtly highlight the serious issues currently in our society by cleverly integrating them into the technologies’ conversations.

Some times a person who observes these issues will feel a pang of pity and sadness when they observe how these talented people have no idea that they have been blinded by their goals and failed to know which actions are right or wrong anymore. Eventually, they fell prey to these helpful technologies without being aware of it.

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