Update: Here's the film in it's entirety... Loren opened it up for free viewing - If you dig it
you should buy it
Disclaimer: Loren Feldman is a friend of mine and my dogs and I are featured briefly in the film.
What Is #SoMe?
Social Media, it's the rage. It's the future. It's different. It's special. It's community. It's crazy.
#SoMe, a Loren Feldman film, attempts to tell that story and does so in an interesting way.
Puppets, 1950s Public Service Announcements and marketing archival footage, interviews with social media luminaries, dogs, and good old fashioned film making, are jammed together in a distinctly non-seamless fashion - much like the social media stream we all gobble up in our day to day interactions online - to tell a story about humanity in the fast moving world of bits and bytes that we call social media.
Inside Baseball and the Scrolling Stream
Watching the film is like scrolling through your facebook page or Google+. it It's a bit too deep for twitter, although Twitter is highlighted for the cacophony of real time 'breaking news' with Waltr Kronkyte.
Some things don't quite fit together, again like the media we consume on various social media sites. A war photo is followed by a pic of sandwich. The sandwich is followed by a pootie pic. And all of that is sandwiched between a deep commentary on society and a callous marketing pitch. The transitions are jarring, incoherent at times. It's a little hard to follow, but I think that's the point. WTF is social media anyway, but a bunch of disparate ideas all jumbled together?
The film is definitely made in an inside baseball fashion. Geeks will get it. Super geeks will get it all. Non geeks will miss out on a bunch of the satire, but fortunately this film is about much more than just social media idiosyncrasies .
Puppets? Oh the Humanity!
I mentioned above that the film is about humanity in a sea of bits and bytes, and that is really where this film shines.
Loren and his rockstar puppet buddy, Shel, have made it big. They're successful and happy. Then something terrible happens and we all get to watch it go down in the film version of our social media stream. Haters, trolls, friends, all of them play their bit part to make this film a believable representation of reality.
The film focuses on Shel and how he deals with bad news received through social media channels. Shel, the puppet, is the human part of the film. Something that is pulled off, surprisingly well (especially if you know Loren and Shel).
Shel becomes a real live character; he's quite human. This is a part of the film that is really special. As human beings, we can identify with Shel, and we get a glimpse at the raw and dehumanizing nature of social media that is never spoken about in the media or by marketing gurus. It's pretty amazing that a puppet with a jaundiced eye and grating voice can be portrayed in such a human manner. I loved Shel and felt for him by the end of the film, something that I never felt for Shel before watching the film.
More Than Puppets and Humanity
Outside of the human aspect of this story, there are a couple other notable places where the film shines.
The social media luminaries (myself not included) featured in the film offer prescient and interesting commentary on the state of the institution and on social media's future. It's nice to see these guys on film and get their take in a relaxed and open manner.
Then there is the 50s marketing and PSA footage. What a trip! We all think our camera phones, social media, and the 21st century is so new, but then you see this old footage and you are left with one striking conclusion,"Same as it ever was..."
Liked, +1, Tipped and Recommended
#SoMe is a nice little film. It's a breeze to watch, coming in at 1 hour and 20 minutes, which is a good thing. The jarring nature of the social media stream put to film (with zero screencasting!) might be hard for some people to follow, and the depth of the tech commentary by experts and the social commentary of Shel's experience might be too much of a drain for a 2+ hour film.
I recommend this film (not just because my dogs are in it) for anybody who likes buddy films and is active on social media. It's smart and it's human. Unlike much of what we scroll through day in day out on social media sites.
If this sounds interesting, you can (and should) purchase #SoMe at Loren's site: http://lorenfeldman.com