Your upcoming movie The Nomophobe - in a few words, what is
it going to be about?
The Nomophobe is a short film drama about smartphone addiction and in
particular what this addiction has done to the personal life of its lead
With The Nomophobe being
about smart phone addiction, what are your personal thoughts on the
subject, and what caught your interest about it to such an extent that you
want to make a movie about it?
Our addiction to smartphones
has fascinated me for years, and I am as guilty as anyone
of checking my phone constantly. We have all become inadvertently addicted
to these devices. They control our lives to the extent that we no longer
call with good news, we type it to the masses on social media apps. This
addiction we have, our nomophobia, is everywhere. We see evidence of
nomophobia on every bus, train, and street - a society staring
down at devices. We brush past strangers in the street without a smile,
without an acknowledgment of any kind. We are too busy to talking to our
electronic friends. Our connections are now digital. The generation coming
through is even worse, for they have grown up with these smartphones.
Their manners are digital. This world in which we now live is one I am
very passionate about reflecting and exploring in The Nomophobe - to
show what we have become.
Other sources of inspiration for The Nomophobe?
earliest inspiration in film was Buster Keaton [Buster
Keaton biography - click here]. His ability to do
something unexpected, that hadn’t been done or seen before, has
always been a driving force in my storytelling. This is especially true
in The Nomophobe and its visually ambitious script. I am
very keen to bring sequences and images to the screen that have not been
seen before. Consequently, this means I have spent over a year on the
script, the longest I have ever dedicated to a short film write. These
very visual moments not only enhance the drama that is unfolding but will
hopefully entertain audiences when the film is released.
To what extent can
you actually identify with your lead character and her addiction - or any
of the other key characters for that matter?
write a character I inhabit them. I have to become them to understand
them. For weeks on end I can literally be having their thoughts,
forgetting my own. When I reach the moment that their actions outweigh
my own, I know they are now real and ready for writing. In the case of
Madison, I do not share her background or relationships, but I do
completely identify with her smartphone addiction and in particular
her ignorance to it. For her, she sees nothing wrong in checking her
phone, no matter the surroundings. I too, have been asked to put my
phone away in certain environments, not realising that etiquette is still conflicting
with our digital world. However, the character I most relate to is
Madison’s boyfriend, Stefan Tilford. His frustrations at being
treated like an app are ones I have also experienced. How we seem
fine in keeping relationships electronic. That the regular meet-ups
that used to occur between people is fading. It is all too easy to keep
them digital. To keep those close to us at bay. To make them feel like
they are merely electronic avatars with digital gestures. Through apps we
can talk to them by text or video call, so why make the effort to see
them? This is a frustration Stefan and I share. We long for a world in
which the smartphone stops controlling and ruining relationships.
The digital device is a relationship killer, because anyone can type
messages into a screen, it requires no effort, and very little time. There
is no connection stronger than the personal one between people. The look
in the eye, the touch of the hand, a smile, these are what we remember
about people. These are the gestures that matter. The ones we live for.
Stefan understands this. But Madison has lost her way, and The
Nomophobe explores that conflict.
you tell us about the movie's intended overall look and feel?
there is a drama at the centre of The Nomophobe, it is not a dark one. For
this is a sweet drama, with many moments to make the audience smile. It is
much lighter in tone than my current releases through my production
company Sunset Aperture. I am also keen, as always, to use lighting and
lenses to enhance the moments. I am very keen to make The Nomophobe a film
that audiences and filmmakers enjoy.
you can tell us about your key cast and crew yet, and why exactly these
I cast our lead Emily Haigh [Emily
Haigh interview - click here] as soon as the script
was locked. Having previously worked with Emily on my current release The
Inuring, I experienced one of the finest acting talents I have ever worked
with. What Emily brings to a role, her nuances and moments, are so
naturalistic and engaging. She is a phenomenal talent and I never looked
beyond her for the lead role. Furthermore, we also work together as producers, and we have produced two short films together,
Abstract and The Inuring which are now on the festival circuit. So after
casting Emily in the lead role I asked if she would have the time and
focus to join me once more as my fellow producer. Fortunately, Emily
agreed to take on the challenge, and she has already done some incredible
producing work behind the scenes. So The Nomophobe will very much be our
As far as I know, The Nomophobe is still
in pre-production as we speak - so what's the schedule, and any idea when
and where the film might be released yet, however tentatively?
We are working on crowdfunding campaign, but also speaking to investors
and funding boards, to explore all options to bring this story to the
big screen. We want to ensure that we plan this production properly and
have therefore not rushed into anything. It is too important to both of
us to ensure the entire production process runs smoothly. We are being
very thorough. The Nomophobe will hopefully shoot this summer and be
released later this year.
future projects beyond The Nomophobe?
I am always
working on projects. Along with The Nomophobe, I am currently working hard
on two other short films simultaneously. After which, I intend to
focus on feature films, and have been busy writing a few different ones,
the most notable one is the feature of The Inuring.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Yes, next time you stare at your smartphone and are about to type a
message to someone, make sure that message says ‘how about a
coffee next week?’ Let them know they are real to you. The smartphone
has an expiry date, real friendship does not.
for the interview!