I recently sat through an entire movie, Socket (2007), about a man who survives a lightning strike and gets seriously addicted to electricity, but sitting through an entire movie is not the norm. Usually instant watch encourages quick perusals and scan-throughs... which is nothing like a real movie experience. It's more like channel surfing on only one channel until you realize "yeah, this movie is not for me." Then you change channels and start over. But you might be fooling yourself because that's no way to watch a movie. It's like dipping your toe in the water and calling it swimming.
I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite quotes.
"Instant gratification takes too long." - Carrie FisherI even bought the t-shirt.
All of this impatience is addictive itself. Movies are consistently spoiled for us by the internet and by their own advertising campaigns. And the faster things get, it's still never enough. We want it quicker. Or I do at least. Maybe I shouldn't speak for you. I even get antsy while Netflix is "downloading movie information... determining video quality... buffering... verifying content license" and that takes like 2 to 3 seconds. It feels like an hour.
What is wrong with me (us if you have the same problem)?
Well, at least I'm only addicted to movies and not electricity like the Socket cast because that gets nasty. Pretty soon you're surgically altering your body to "plug in" to your lover in whole new ways. Ewww. We're visiting the kingdom of body horror in this low budget affair... the kingdom where David Cronenberg rules with the crown grafted onto his head with much higher budgets.
I'm not sure how I made it through all of Socket --given the "next!" component of this instant watch addiction. While it's far from perfect, I appreciated that it was a gay film that wasn't even remotely about being gay. That's so rare. And mostly it held my interest by being consistently engaging, unusual in topic and employing sexy actors who get naked (Hello Matthew Montgomery ...to your left with the beard).
Don't judge. I'm only human!
Now, I'm not trying to be suggest that nudity makes a movie good because that'd be laughable. God knows Netflix instant watch (and straight-to-DVD bargain bins before it) is cluttered with horrifyingly bad movies that offer up plenty of skin but no reason to be staring at it. But nudity is one of a list of things like quality acting, unusual concepts, great dialogue/screenplay and interesting camera work or staging that don't add significantly to a film's budget and can make up for a lot of constraints in that department. At the very least any of these things, should a DIY movie choose to employ them, can distract the viewer (momentarily) from noticing how cheap the movie is.
If you're a no budget filmmaker, do you maximize the list of cheap good things?
Do you have a Netflix addiction... or anything comparable and if so, have you made any discoveries we should also check out?