Review and Interview by Carla Sanchez Taylor
My parents have New Year’s Eve parties every year, and as a teenager I thought that attending them was a defining marker of loserdom. But as an adult, I’ve found it to be a cornucopia of sheer delight. The steady flow of free wine gives possibility to anything. Did someone in the family acquire illegal fireworks? I will never say. Above all, the highlight of the event (and I’m not saying this out of some sort of post-Catholic self governance) is the company.
It was there amongst the drunken and the lively that I met David Fritzson. He was lively and only half drunken. After making niceties about the loudness of the room, we found our way into the topic of employment. “He just finished writing and directing an incredible short film,” my friend Michelle mentioned.(I have heard this phrase before.I have heard this phrase over 647,823 times.) Obviously though, I watched the movie.
In 14 minutes and 32 seconds, I felt an emotional stirring that doesn’t come easily, especially these days. It’s a simple enough piece about an older gentleman and his frustrating experience at a phone store. But somewhere in the dialogue and the thoughtful pauses in-between, the emotional intelligence reveals itself, wraps itself all up in your innards and gives you a big warm hug.
I had to talk to him to understand what magic tricks made it all come to be.
Carla: I watched the movie and then I decided to rewatch it three more times. I don’t know if I ever hit a point of diminishing returns because it made me happy every single time. What was the impetus that inspired this project?
David: I’ve always wanted to make a short film but didn’t know what to write about for a long time. I had known it since getting out of college. At the time, I was working at a cell phone store. People came in every day with questions about their devices but they all had their own story, their own thing to tell. Because of the personal aspect of what devices hold for us, it was always difficult to navigate. At the same time, I remember feeling that it was an aspect that consistently got overlooked in our world, the idea of trying to build a relationship in fifteen minutes or less, in a professional setting. The other aspect I wanted to highlight was the built in frustrations of technology and what happens when you don’t even know how to ask for help.
Carla: Did you produce your work with a particular viewer in mind, to help you keep a context or perspective?
David: I don’t know if I wrote it for anyone specifically. I wanted to write something that I knew was genuine. I wanted to be authentic to the characters, which would lend to the authenticity of the story. I wanted to make it as detailed and accurate as possible because the film itself centers around the two characters.
Carla: Do you think that the movement in technology threatens communication, interaction, and connection?
David: These days you can go on Spotify or Apple Music and you can shuffle through artist songs in an hour or two, not really retaining any of it because you’re also scrolling through Instagram, talking to friends, doing yoga, or running. But you take a record, drop the needle, flip through the artwork, read through the lyrics, and in that hour you’ve retained their story. Now you know what they’re about, what they’ve worked so hard on maybe for years, in that moment. The more technology grows, the easier it is to stop listening to what’s around you. The message that I wanted to come through in the film is that , it’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to talk ask for help.
It will have it’s Texas premier Saturday, Sept 22 at 7 pm at the Austin Revolution Film festival. It will be available online early in 2019.
Follow the journey on Facebook @wirelessfilm and IG @wirelessmovie