Definition November 2021 - Web


more immediate and impactful visual design. There is, again, plenty of air at the top of the frame to allow the post- production team to project the screens in a way that he compares to Minority Report . This method is more effective in communicating the inescapable and suffocating experience for our protagonist to the audience. The team that executed these graphics had previously worked on BBC’s Sherlock . Wareham remarks that he felt that had been the first show to represent text messaging on screen successfully. He also explains that it took a long time in post to get it right – they understood the importance of well-made graphics to the overall effect of the show. The team behind Clickbait chose to embrace technology with open arms, including the parts that can often be a sure-fire way to instantly dissipate a viewer’s immersion in the story, when improperly used. Screens, social media and text chat have already become integrated into our personal narratives. However, their use in entertainment is often still clumsy or poorly planned. This production took the best examples from the past and used unique solutions to provide an authentic, but stylised and heightened experience – exploring the dark side of the modern world. The series provides the new standard for urban noir aesthetics, enhancing the thrilling, roller-coaster ride it presents. Watch Clickbait now on Netflix

glare from the green screen on the actors’ hands, which would ruin the illusion. EXPERIENCING TECHNOLOGY Crime programmes and cop shows often employ the use of handheld light sources, such as torches, and Clickbait is no exception. There is, however, a scene that uses devices to turn this convention on its head, somewhat. As stated, the looming presence of the anonymous internet masses feature heavily throughout the narrative. During the hunt for Nick, Pia and Detective Amiri (Phoenix Raei) find themselves surrounded. A gang of vigilantes crowd them, all holding up the torches from their phone cameras. This is, in part, purely practical – of course, any civilian searching in the dark would have their phone handy – but also clearly serves a narrative purpose. The light is oppressive and jarring to Pia and Amiri, like the proverbial spotlight shone on them due to the hysteria about the case. But it also casts shadow on the individuals around them. This is the perfect personification of an online collective – silhouettes shrouded in mystery and free from personal accountability. Clickbait crafts an ultra-modern narrative that’s inextricably linked to the use of instant messaging, online video streaming and screens as a whole. This meant that the team had to tackle something that’s proved quite challenging

for filmmakers for the past few decades: representing online messages to the show’s audience. Portraying the internet and texting on screen is integral to the progression of the story, but Wareham made sure they weren’t artistically compromised within the series. “We didn’t want it to look too formal... I love that style, but we preferred it to feel like it had a little bit of edge, like an indie film.” It’s clear that the on-screen graphics were not an afterthought, but were carefully planned by Dean, Wareham and the team. In episode one, for example, we see a low-angle shot of Pia, positioned at the bottom of the screen. This leaves room for the troll comments to pop up all around her – trapping her and preventing any escape. “We had mock-ups, meaning we knew that if the shot was written to be text-on-screen, we would always give it air.” Later in the episode, Pia enters her workplace and sees that the whole room seems to be watching the hostage video. For this, Wareham explains, they didn’t want to do a plethora of shots of people looking at screens, so they opted for a

REAL LIFE Clickbait explores the dangers of social media – and the chasm that can exist between in-person and online encounters

“Screens, social media and text chat have become integrated into our personal narratives. However, their use in entertainment is often clumsy”

23. NOVEMBER 2021

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