Short Film ?ocket?Builds a Strong Storytelling Using a Phone? Interface

Rig used on Pocket

3-D printed rig used to shoot Pocket with a phone. Photo from co-director Mishka Kornai’s instagram

Short Film “Pocket” Builds a Strong Storytelling Using a Phone’s Interface

It’s been some time I haven’t shared a short film here but Pocket feels like a short that would have been on the narrative short films that have stayed with you post, so here it is now, with some delays and alone.

Pocket is a short film shot on a phone that follows the e-life of an American teenage boy as he goes through his motions: from e-mocking a bullied classmate to developing a crush for a girl while scanning through soft-porn, porn and all the memes in between.

After a week only online, it’s already gathered over a quarter million views, been Vimeo staff picked and covered in the Atlantic and more.

Often compared to Noah, the desktop short film that made the buzz in 2013 and feels like an archive from past habits, Pocket is particularly interesting as it uses both lenses from the phone to move forward the action. In that sense, it embraces its fictional aspect and the audience is shown more than what the main character sees himself.

Use of the phone's cameras to create a fiction narrative on Pocket

This use of the phone’s cameras is one of the two things that made Pocket stand out for me and not just be another Cracked Screen another short film told through the phone of a young adult, using Snapchat as viewpoint.

Mishka Kornai and Zach Wechter, who co-directed the short “had to construct and 3-D-print a custom rig in order to simultaneously record the phone’s screen and the view from the front- and rear-facing cameras.” (source)

The other thing, much more important in a way as it’s what will make its impact lasts for me, is the realization that most teenagers now have their first sexual interaction alone. Or e-accompanied. They have sex with themselves and their brain, which is something I could only grasp when verbalized by Kornai and Wechter:

For the majority of kids growing up today, their first experience with intimacy happens online, not in person, which represents a seismic shift in what it means to be a young person with a developing sexuality. The film is not seeking to make a moralistic judgement about Instagram or pornography, but when most kids are spending six hours a day in a space that includes this collision of soft porn and their yearbook, sexual objectification and commodification seems like a worrisome possibility.” (source)

This is where the gap lies between the Gen Z and the previous generations. No skin. Just thoughts.

Watch Pocket below: