Documentary: Selfie (Every) Time

By Simona Angelova and Aisha Ditta

With the evolution of technology and social media, communication methods have also changed gradually. Nowadays there are hundreds of tools accordingly adjusted to different types of communication – through messaging, sharing videos and photos such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc. We can hardly imagine our lives and picture ourselves outside the boundaries of the social media. When talking about picturing and representing we can find these two main denotations within the new ways of expressing ourselves through communication methods such as the ones stated above. What would be the most common way of expressing emotions, sharing memories, showing different places? Of course, the new trend called “selfie”. It was awarded the word of the year in 2013 and put in the Oxford Dictionary as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”

But how do selfies influence our lives? Can a simple image actually determine our behavior, our perspective, and our perceptions? Do actually people like selfies? Why? And what does a good selfie look like? Are there really different techniques that tend to be used when taking a selfie? That is the approach in the two-minute documentary presented. It has the task to get the most truthful answers possible – from small children that still need to get to know the social media world to people using their phones, cameras, applications for taking selfies quite often. The title of the project interrelates with the notion that wherever we are “situated” (country, city, clubs, bathrooms) we normally tend to take as much selfies as we can. There is no doubt, why the phrase “But first let me take a selfie” that was spread across the social media, became so popular.

Selfies have turned into a trend that argues with our perceptions of living. It appears to affect our psychological state. It can cause harm, but most of the time it is fun and really addictive. This project highlights the way we are taking selfies making the experience exciting and at the same time a little bit ridiculous (for people watching) because behind the perfect selfie sometimes stand hours of preparation and choosing best locations, lights, effects, etc.

The short documentary follows a more journalistic approach on the theme of selfies representing characters from different ages ranging between 4 months – 21 year olds. The intention was to interview the younger generation because they are involved in the popular culture of the selfie.  The characters have been interviewed from an angle they would usually take a selfie, with their preferred filters and edits – which adds to the whole conception of the storyline. The music in the background is inevitable part of the whole story. It adds the high spirits connected to the experience of taking selfies.

In addition to the short documentary, a gallery of selfies is presented. That builds up on the whole idea of the project showing the final results of the different angles, places, and effects that one will choose. The gallery shows a different perception of the world where the characters are part of the laces and events, creating memories and sharing moments. And this is what makes selfies so special! They might be (every) time images of a lifetime.

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