In our highly digitised era things can go wrong even when you want to try to make a simple phone call for a simple request. In Riley Weston’s short film ‘Hello Phone‘, a man who is trying to contact a vacuum company is intercepted by a kid who is trying to sell him all kinds of black market and illegal products.
This comedy has something very ironic about today’s society and the unregulated or insufficient regulated spamming phenomenon which reflects personal data and identity collection. This can be, of course, very annoying not necessarily because of the data collection itself but because of the frustration of not being able to achieve what you really want – especially when it’s about an extremely simple thing – but being guided instead to buy what others need to sell (even if you don’t need it).
The way Riley Weston puts it in ‘Hello Phone’ short comedy is indeed humorous and tasty, but sad at the same time. The title itself ‘Hello Phone’ points towards the lack of control that people and consumers themselves have on their own purchasing process and decisions.
Beyond being funny this film is a little scary: as a customer you don’t get to speak to a real person anymore, one that cares about your needs and desires, but to an ‘impersonal phone’ that will harass you until it convinces you that you need to buy whatever he has to sell. Choosing to fight against it might not be the right choice because there is nobody to really care about it and to take care of regulating it; so the best solution to survive it might be to simply learn how to control your frustration and ignore it.
We can’t say the same thing about Riley Weston’s short comedy: it was not simple at all to ignore it.