Branden Kramer, director of RATTER - Narrative
Emma is being watched by a stalker who has hacked into all of her personal technology – laptop, cell phone, and other web connected devices – to record her most intimate moments. Eventually the video feeds aren’t enough and the stalker moves from the virtual to the physical.
Tell us about your film, but not in a plot-centric way, please…
One of the main themes in the film is privacy. The devices we use - cell phones, tablets, laptops - store our whole lives. We use them constantly, and yet we barely think about how safe they are. We know about hacking - there’s a major corporate hack almost every month - but do people think about what it could mean on a personal level? Imagine a hidden camera inside your home, which strangers around the world can tap into, without you knowing. We found countless stories like this researching for the film. Groups of hackers trading webcam video feeds in underground “Ratting” communities. It was very unsettling and we knew we needed to wrap a bold narrative around it.
Share with us a pivotal cinema related experience or moment from your childhood/adolescence
I was a little older but I distinctly remember the feeling I had after seeing The Matrix in the theater. It hit me on a philosophical level. The film was a powerful reminder of how this medium can engage us with complex questions. It can ripple out into culture and spark debate. The Matrix made me think for weeks and I was inspired by the existential ambition of it all.
We’re lucky to be part of The Slamdance Film Festival. It’s relatively small but incredibly selective and they really focus on bold indie films. I think they have a very brave, unapologetic attitude about what they showcase. Slamdance is the perfect fit for Ratter.
What does the notion of a sustainable film industry mean to you?
Original stories. And paying new writers fairly for them. I think it’s great what organizations like The Black List have been doing - elevating writers in an industry that’s very hard to navigate.
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