Billed as the world’s first “selfie” movie, #Starvecrow is the feature film debut of writer-director James Carver who, through assembled smartphone video footage and hacked CCTV, allows his actors to improvise and guide their own stories within a narrative framework.
Unsung Films critic Angeliki Coconi describes James Carver’s “selfie” movie as one which is “difficult to watch” for the right reasons. Improvised throughout, #Starvecrow takes relish in coining the term Hypereal for this version of found footage – improvised, low budget, Indie feature films that use smartphones to rapidly film and edit life like first person stories.
The actors, who each contribute to their storylines and character development, play their own names and film themselves using smartphones. It’s goodbye production designer, DoP, set builder and special effects whizz. The focus, the film’s makers say, is on “real life acting and story-telling”.
The plot follows the story of two principle characters Ben and Jess. Ben, who happens to film everything, is described as a “control-freak, charmer, abuser and warped product of the digital age.” Jess is vulnerable as she’s just come out of rehab and decides she needs some time apart. She’s invited to a friend’s house for a weekend of partying but things don’t go exactly to plan. People arrive, the party kicks off, but not everyone attending is a “welcome” guest.
Coconi says the film is “all about unkind under-layers, guilty secrets and happy cover-ups. It’s “intense and menacing” while being “completely different from anything we’ve seen”. Filmed across two years at various locations including London, Venice Beach, Geneva, Rome and Norway (as well as some very dark woods near Hastings) #Starvecrow features a mix of established actors and talented newcomers, including an appearance by Downton Abbey’s Jeremy Swift, who stars alongside RocknRolla’s David Bark-Jones and The Pillars of the Earth’s Skye Lourie.
#Starvecrow, billed as “a disturbing story of obsession, narcissism and complex relationships, where friendships and families are irreversibly broken”, will be released nationwide Feb 14. For more information visit its official website www.starvecrow.com