They’re a lovey-dovey, sickly sweet couple just settling down for their regular movie night. But someone (or something) in the room has had enough.

In September 2014, a few months after our first long form video collaboration, we started brainstorming ideas for our next video project. We sorted through various ideas ranging from mockumentaries to scripted acts, but we knew there were a couple film techniques we wanted to try differently from last time. Namely, the previous video was a single shot with some panning, zooming, and blur. And the motion graphics for the video game interface were done manually in Photoshop for each frame, and then imported into iMovie.

So for filming, we set a criteria of trying multiple shots, with multiple locations (ended up being an apartment, an office, and moving outdoor shots in Gramercy Park). This also meant playing around with Brianna’s lav mic and other types of microphones to capture uncontrolled sound environments.

Then for post production work, Brianna took on the video and sound editing process with Final Cut Pro, while Gordon took on motion graphics with After Effects (by learning the software entirely from scratch just for this project, eep!)

On the storytelling side, we also set some creative parameters within to work. Just as the video game film started out with a mix of Gordon’s taking of inspiration of game HUDs and Brianna’s concept of a date setting to experience the world through it – this one started out with a mix of Gordon looking at Tony Zhou’s take on how text messaging was depicted in film (something Sherlock and House of Cards were pioneering at the time) and Brianna’s concept of both humans and phones communicating among and across each other.

After a couple of draft scripts for different concepts from Gordon and Brianna, we landed on Brianna’s concept of a couple overly texting and their phones scheming amongst each other to pull a huge prank with that same texting medium.

Neither of us wanted to act this time around, and we needed two people to play a couple. So we asked Kate and Michael to play the parts (and they got the lovey-dovey direction from us pretty nailed down).

Long story short, life happened on both our ends in 2015, and after some pauses, we rendered a final cut in 2016. It was our most ambitious film collaboration to date, on all levels of direction, camera, sound, writing, and post-production. We hope you enjoy!

And now, this: