Ordinarily I write blogs about making films.
However, just recently I’ve been moved to write how I feel about the growing use of phones and other electronic devices during cinema screenings of movies.
However, i don't think it stops there.
When i look online I see people tweeting and talking about TV shows as they are aired.
Whilst i get the shared experience idea of reality and competition-based shows I fail to understand why someone would do this during drama shows.
Why does it wind me up so much?
The reason is two-fold.
Firstly, its just bloody distracting.
Take the cinema. Its dark, and quiet and the whole experience is all about watching a movie.
Not talking or texting or checking Facebook or Twitter or Perez Hilton’s latest gossip.
Smartphone screens are much bigger than they used to be and are really bright.
Cinemas just lately have become like Bon Jovi concerts with lights being waved around all over the auditorium. Its REALLY distracting when you’re trying to watch a film.
But the reason i get so mad about it, is that as a filmmaker I work really hard to tell a story visually. i pour over every moment to make sure it looks as good as it can and communicates the story and characters as well as i can. I also load the design with clues about the plot and information about the characters. i know many other directors do the same.
Should we now just not bother because we know people are too busy with their heads down looking at their phone?
As a movie-lover myself, I cannot fathom why people cant turn their phone off for 90+ minutes.
After all, it costs £8 or more to watch a movie. Surely you’re wasting that money?
Has phone addiction become a reality?
Or are people not so bothered about the movie experience?
Does this problem actually begin at home?
Many people watch the television with a laptop or phone in front of them and think nothing of chatting online or browsing whilst watching a TV show.
Maybe this habit migrates to the cinema?
Maybe people nowadays don’t/cant immerse themselves in the movie experience?
For me, this is worrying.
If the film or programme maker has intended to make a complex drama full of twists and turns, how can they hook a viewer that is only half-watching?
Does this mean in the future films/shows have to be packed full of noise and incident to try to wrestle a viewers attention to the screen?
What does this mean for slow-burning drama?
Do people of the future even need these kind of films or television dramas anymore?
If you happen to be reading this blog in the cinema then I suspect you’ve missed my point.