Four-time Academy Award nominated director, Jason Reitman said that making his latest film “Men, Women & Children,” about how Internet has influenced human intimacy in the year 2014 was almost like filming people using their cellphones half the time.
“If I’m going to sit here and make a movie about romance and the interconnectivity of human beings, half the movie is going to be people sitting looking at their phones,” Reitman said in a phone interview.
For Reitman, Internet and human intimacy are inseparable.
“It’s silence with tapping,” he said. “That’s what our lives are about now.”
“Men, Women & Children,” adapted from a novel of the same title, dissects the lives of a handful of teenagers and their parents. While some teens have overprotective parents who monitor their Internet use, others spend hours updating their online blogs about dieting. The film stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, Rosemarie DeWitt, Dean Norris with narration by Emma Thompson.
Reitman used the example of the surpassingly large number of hours logged in the usage stats of our phones and how much time we spend just staring at our cell phones, let alone other devices, to illustrate his point.
“I’m trying to make a movie about life, but life is half cellphones at this point,” he said.
With a younger cast on set, Reitman said there was a lot for him to learn too. Actors including Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever, and Elena Kampouris would tell him how they use social media and whether they’re active on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or other apps.
“I would just challenge them on whether the things in the screenplay were real,” Reitman said. Although he did instruct them not to Instagram or Tweet their experiences on set.
Reitman doesn’t shy away from technology himself, he has a ton of apps on his iPhone, owns an iPad and is often on his computer, but says he’s not that fond of social media.
“I’m a geek when it comes to the equipment,” he said.