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“ME AT THE ZOO” | directors, Chris Moukarbel & Valerie Veatch

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Saturday , January 21 9:00 pm – Temple Theatre, Park City]

Our film Me @ The Zoo began in another form entirely. We were making a long form art video for the NYC-based arts organization Rhizome. The artwork was about exploring the ways that technology mediates our lives as a generation comes of age watching reality television and using social media. It seemed like what is considered to be performance has shifted and “acting” was losing ground as a popular medium. Video technology enables us to turn the content of our lives into a kind of show. If you grew up watching reality TV, there are so many representations of young people performing their own identity as if they are characters. We even spent a few months shooting at the New York Reality TV School, where you can be trained to become a reality star. The school would help the students get cast and succeed on shows by teaching them how to redefine themselves as “reality” ready characters.

Making an art video about performance and technology had us thinking about online video blogging and eventually lead us to Chris Crocker. His experiences seemed to embody so many of the themes we were trying to get at. We came to understand that Chris’s life story was actually available for public consumption. In a way it already exists as a type of film that is written on the Internet. Our process involved connecting the dots between bits of online artifacts and imagining a film that explores the cinema of social media.hifted and “acting” was losing ground as a popular medium. Video technology enables us to turn the content of our lives into a kind of show. If you grew up watching reality TV, there are so many representations of young people performing their own identity as if they are characters. We even spent a few months shooting at the New York Reality TV School, where you can be trained to become a reality star. The school would help the students get cast and succeed on shows by teaching them how to redefine themselves as “reality” ready characters.

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