Film-maker Katherine Brooks recently postulated some very compelling questions about technology, Facebook and online “friends.” And she’s decided to make a movie about it.
After pondering compelling questions such as, “I have 4,987 friends on Facebook, but are we really friends?” to “Is technology hurting us or helping us?” and “Are machines taking over? Are we losing our ability to connect with each other?” Brooks posted on her Facebook wall a short time ago that the first 50 Facebook friends to contact her would be the 50 people she’d meet with in-person and film for her new film project, FACE 2 FACE.
The distinguished move director of hit films Loving Annabelle andWaking Madison has created a FACE 2 FACE fundraising page on Kickstarter and her friends, fans and the general public have donated over $33,000 dollars of her $50,000 fund raising goal in under two weeks, which is quite an accomplishment in today’s economic climate. Brooks has also created FACE 2 FACE pages on YouTube, Twitter, Zazzle and Facebook, of course.
In my recent interview with Brooks, she dishes on her love of Facebook, how needing a hug inspired her and to making new “real” friends.
You are currently gathering support and selecting interviewees for your newest film project, FACE 2 FACE, a film where “a film crew will follow you around the country as you journey into the homes and lives of 50 strangers who are your Facebook friends.” How long have you been a member of Facebook and what has your experience been like so far?
I’ve been on Facebook for over 2 years and I’ve loved it. I’ve met so many amazing people and made so many great connections for my work in the industry. Sometimes it can be a bit like high school. People getting mad at you and blocking you or having crazy stalkers that post all over your page. But, all in all it has been a good experience for me. But, I did start to find myself connecting more with people through Facebook than actually face to face. And that got the wheels turning.
How did the idea for this film come to you and when did you first realize that this would make a great film?
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. It first started when I was in a coffee shop one morning and I was watching people around me. Everyone was on a computer and people who were sitting at the same tables were on their phones tweeting or emailing or texting or whatever. IT really hit me hard. And then I started noticing everywhere I looked people were on their phones or computers. That was the seed of the idea.
That evolved into me being home one night and I was really sad. I had just had surgery and someone sent me “virtual flowers”. All I wanted was a hug and I felt so lonely and so I went on Facebook and noticed I had hit my 5,000 friend limit. And I thought to myself…I have 5,000 friends and I haven’t had a hug in almost three weeks. And I wondered if anyone ever felt like I did in that moment. ALONE.
And so I made a post (and I must have known by then I was going to do a project because I got my flip cam and started shooting) and I status updated: THE FIRST 50 PEOPLE WHO SAY YES, I AM COMING TO YOUR CITY AND SPENDING THE DAY WITH YOU AND FILMING IT. And it spread like FIRE. I had over 150 people in less than 20 minutes. People from all over the country. And that’s when FACE 2 FACE began.
Visiting and filming 50 friends in their homes sounds like a huge project! How long will it take you to not only visit each Facebook friend, but to also coordinate travel arrangements and a film crew? How much time will you be able to spend with each friend?
I have started to prep now and will prep the month of May. I am shooting everything on the flip cam with ONE documentarian. It will just be her, myself and one producer. I will spend one day with each person and plan to shoot over the entire summer. We are building a website which will stream small clips live during my adventure so people can be involved. After everything is done, the best footage will be made into a feature length documentary. But I am shooting and sharing along the way because people have been involved from the “concept” of the idea and I want to include them all the way through “completion”.
Have you made any selections yet, and if so, can you share any information on some of the friends you’ll be visiting?
All 50 people have been selected from the first random people that said yes when I posted the status update asking who would be game for a documented visit with a virtual friend. I will be visiting one woman who has less than 6 months to live so that will be intense. One person HUNTS! And I am a PETA spokesperson…so that will also be intense. I’ll be going all the way from Californiaand ending in Maine. Each person can take me to do whatever they want for the day (I told them nothing sexual and no hunting LOL)
In order to get your new film project off the ground, FACE 2 FACE is currently raising much-needed financial support on Kickstarter. How is the fund raising going so far? Do you expect to meet your $50,000 goal within the 30-day time period?
Absolutely. In only 3 days we have raised over $8,000 with another $10,000 coming on Monday from a pledge. (Currently) we are at $33,619. I believe we will make OVER our goal, which in return will allow us to involve even more cool stuff for the project. Maybe even an International visit.
What are you hoping this experience will be like for you personally?
I’m already a VERY open person. But, I’m not very vulnerable. I can talk about a lot of heavy topics, but I don’t necessarily “feel” it when I talk about it. I’m hoping to keep my heart open to a buffet of different types of people. To have my eyes opened to different ways of living and open their eyes to who I am. I am hoping to make “real” friends.
For your 50 friends?
I am unsure what to expect from them. And really don’t have any. I’m sure that many are nervous because they know I am a very deep person from my Facebook posts and that I like to talk about and ask questions that “matter”. I’m also quite fun at times so I know they will have a good time as well.
For the film-goer?
An adventure for sure. A crazy roller coaster of emotions. And I hope to inspire people to get out more and interact with each other. Also they have watched me form an idea and will watch me manifest it, so I want them to make their dreams come true as well. To inspire their own ideas and creativity and show them it can be done if you BELIEVE.
It’s also a message about connecting. We need each other. We need human interaction. Not just human interaction through a machine. We need to laugh together and cry together and give hugs. You can’t hug your iMac. I mean you can, but it won’t feel very good.
What would you like FACE 2 FACE to accomplish overall?
To show how connected we all are. To show that 50 RANDOM people from different walks of life can connect. And I plan to prove that one stranger at a time.
(NOTE: You can donate to FACE 2 FACE at Kickstarter through May 4. Click here.)
For more information: www.face2facemovie.com