(Lack Of) Authenticity?

Bente Milton’s and my own film, ”My Avatar and Me” (2010/11), has now been showed at quite a few TV stations and at a number of festivals of which I’ve had the privilege to attend most of them. It is really a pleasure getting to show the film to people and discuss it with local audiences and colleagues from around the world. As Hans Christian Andersen once said: “At rejse er at leve” (“To travel is to live”) and as a film maker I just have to live... so I can experience something to make films about… J

At the latest of the festivals – the small and lovely Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival in the north-western part of Ireland – a member of the audience first said she really enjoyed the film but then asked how the film could ever be selected for a documentary festival. Of course I couldn’t answer on behalf of the festival, but I completely agree that the film has many fictional aspects. And the reason for that was that we as filmmakers chose to blend different modes of film making since the film takes place in different realms of reality. Personally, I don’t believe in a “documentary truth” – only a “cinematic truth” – since all films are subjective regardless of how much just a fly-on-the-wall you want to be. Also, I really want to push the boundaries of so-called documentary films.
That being said – and the following is a ultra-short interpretation of the Danish blog post below – I felt that we blew the chance of making a much more authentic and truly unique film, and I felt that the project made a change into being a much too fictional and a bit too contrived film. Also, we somewhat lost  focus on the most interesting theme on how technology and a virtual metaverse can change how humans interact. There were many reasons for that (my co-director suddenly wanted to make another film, the commissioning editor demanded more fiction in order to finance, time and money issues…), but I must emphasize that I totally vouch for the film as it came out, since I find it has many qualities (myself notwithstanding).

Just to show you what I mean:

This scene (which was omitted in the final film) holds in my opinion the authenticity and feeling of truthfulness which I think the finished film lacks a bit. In this scene Rob and I has only met very briefly and this is the first time I really slow dance and make out with Helena. The Second Life footage is being shot right there while we had the real life camera crew looking over our shoulders.

I initially wanted to make the whole film like that; to move in and lose control and take a lot of chances instead of trying to make a dramaturgically “correct” film – which in the end made the said member of the Guth Gafa-audience post the question.

Also the original 10 min. demo (including the above scene) is closer to that than the finished film
But judge for yourself: Watch the clips above and then the whole film (91 min., for a small fee) here as VOD.


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