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This surreal horror short explores the following issues related to cell phone technology: personal health, impact of microwave towers on the environment, privacy, and our dissociation from nature brought on by technology. It was created to meet the requirements of my Activist Video Making course, as part of the requirements of my Master in Environmental Studies Degree at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Below I have included both the proposal I was required to write and a reflection paper.

Proposal for Activist Video:

Cell Your Soul

By: Cameron A. Straughan

January 28, 2003

 

I propose to write, produce, direct, and edit a 3 to 5 minute black and white, silent, digital video film entitled Cell Your Soul. The film will explore the following issues related to cell phone technology: personal health, impact of microwave towers on the environment, privacy, and our dissociation from nature brought on by technology.

The film will have a retro, b-movie look. The intention is to distract from the fact that it has been shot on digital video. This look will help create a unique, original take on the subject. The music will be industrial / electronic, to compliment the rather experimental visuals.

Using surreal imagery, the film will make visual connections between cell phone technology and the impacts on our shared environment, health, and privacy – the invasion of public and private space. Accordingly, the film will make implicit the ties between cell phone use and cells, tissues, organs, and – finally – cancer. Through its shocking visuals, the film will strive to provoke a strong response in the viewer. Depending on your tastes, the ultimate effect of the film may be black humour and/or a horrific warning.

My perspective throughout this film will be that of a biologist, writer, and film/video maker. By making this film, I hope to raise awareness regarding the adverse impacts of cell phone use. It seems to me that cell phone companies are making every effort to dispute, or even conceal, research that suggests adverse health effects. Thus, I think that the alternative point of view I am offering deserves to be heard. However, perhaps the main reason I want to make this film it is that I strongly dislike cell phones. I find them at least annoying, and at the most an invasion of my privacy.  I hope that this film’s unique look and soundtrack will stick in people’s minds. If they never let their cell phones go off in a theatre again, then I’ll consider my film a major success!

Tentative Timetable

Activity Approximate Time Range (2003)
Script Writing Jan. – Feb. 12
Shooting Feb. 14, 15, 16
Editing Feb. 24 to March 4
Instructor Review March 5
Screening at EcoArts Film Festival Mid March

My reflections making the film are available in this paper:

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