By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
While Science Fiction has been anticipating developments in technology ever since it sprang into being as a genre courtesy of Jules Verne, it’s not usually focused on those relatively minor leaps forward that shift the paradigm of our day to day lives.
Fuck, this would have been SciFi in 1994.
Creative Control is about one of the potential next leaps forward, a augmented reality interface that would allow you to create your own VR experiences. Advertising exec David (Benjamin Dickinson, also the director) is tasked with finding the best way to pitch this technology, but instead uses it to obsess over the girlfriend (Alexia Rasmussen) of his photographer buddy (Dan Gill). Predictably, his own girlfriend (Nora Zehetner) isn’t okay with that.
Dickinson manages some great world design on a budget, full of just this side of futuristic technology which feels like the next logical extension of our own world’s, like clear phones that are all screen with an open-air tactile interface.
Black & White is an interesting choice, but it works out well, complementing the Apple-ization of this near future world. When bits of color do come, it’s logical and interestingly deployed. This is what I thought that weird Al Pacino vehicle S1m0ne was going to be.
I forgot that it involved late-career Al Pacino…
Beyond his usage of color, DP Adam Newport-Berra DP has a great eye for framing, putting a lot of information into the background of a shot or approaching it from an angle you wouldn’t have expected. The acting as well is good, with Dickson and Gill’s interplay in particular a deadpan joy- their confrontation scene at the end is weird and great.
Creative Control is also totally right that first application of this new technology will be sex, like practically every video enhancement of last four decades. It has more insights than just that into the ways in which technology can complicate out lives, though- how it makes them worse as well as more convenient. At one point David juggles a business call (with a delightful Reggie Watts!), playing around with this new VR technology, and viewing and ignoring his girlfriend’s and business associates’ texts. The only part of that which is unfamiliar is how convenient it as for him to do all of that at once.
Often the banter is a bit cutesy clever. The title places this story in ‘near-future Brooklyn’, and it certainly is that in every way you’re afraid of.
Future hipsters are even more insufferable.
As cool as the execution is, at the bottom of this story all you have is shitty people being shitty to each other, just in new, probably not terribly far off ways. Ain’t the future exciting?
Creative Control presents a vision of the future of personal technology that already feels familiarly attractive and disassociating. On the plus side, Reggie Watts!
Creative Control (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever a text displays onscreen
Take a Drink: whenever the glasses are used
Take a Drink: for pills or powder
Take a Drink: for cheating in any context
Take a Drink: whenever anyone mentions or goes to the Hotel
Do a Shot: for Reggie Watts, baby