Are you a screenlifer? Write for us
We live online. It’s such a broad statement as to seem almost generic, even trite, but the ways in which the Internet has transformed everyday existence in the 21st century are so all-encompassing that it also feels demonstrably true.
Technology has overtaken countless jobs, while rendering others obsolete. We outsource information gathering to Google and Safari, and trust commercial e-giants to stock, sell and deliver anything that formerly would have required a shopping spree. Our friends, families, loved ones, and enemies keep tabs on us virtually; the marketplace of ideas has shifted online, monitored with dispassionate interest by big data and offset by personalized digital environments offering bespoke news headlines, environments that may be isolating us more with every new avenue for connection they open.
Entertainment, education, romance, communication – near every facet of our daily lives requires an Internet connection. “The future requires a new language,” says filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, and it’s not hard to see his reasoning.
To tell stories set within the approximately one-third of our lives being spent inside the screens of our electronic devices, Bekmambetov suggests “screenlife.” Consisting exclusively of video footage recorded from the vantage point of screens, both handheld and desktop, screenlife features offer a new cinematic language, built from the glitchy bones of found-footage but dedicated to immediate, hyper-modern storytelling.
Through Bazelevs, Bekmambetov has begun exploring screenlife’s potential as a medium. Unfriended and Unfriended: Dark Web found fresh nightmares lurking within the corners of friendly Skype sessions, telling of digital ghosts and sinister networks of Anonymous-styled sadists. In Searching, a father desperately sought his missing daughter with the help of her digital footprint. And in the upcoming Profile, a British journalist seeking to infiltrate ISIS strikes up an unnervingly intimate relationship with one of its members – from the questionable safe distance of her laptop.
Screenlifer seeks to explore not only these films and others like them, but to dig deeper into the ways in which they reflect our increasingly online society. Human history is being uploaded every day, and our entertainment reflects that in both narrative and technological dimensions.
Screenlifer’s mission: to cover the wealth of stories that exist in those intersections – between our lives, screens, and media platforms. What might the future hold for social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, or newer upstarts like the shortform mobile video app TikTok? What movies and TV shows are accurately speaking to what it’s like to live digitally in 2019 – and which are missing the mark entirely? Is Gmail’s predictive text function a helpful digital shortcut, a dangerous way of abandoning individualized word choice to assimilate with a mass precedent, or both? How do you live online now, and how do you feel about it?
These are the kinds of questions Screenlifer seeks to answer. We’re currently searching for writers who can thoughtfully engage with and analyze not only screenlife projects but broader matters of technology and Internet culture. We’re a young, evolving site interested in exploring a wide range of articles: interviews, pop culture analysis, cultural commentary, personal essays, unusual news stories relevant to our online lives, video tutorials, and more. Creative approaches are highly encouraged; if you’d want to read it, we want to hear it.
Please send pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we haven’t worked together before, also include up to three writing samples and a little bit about yourself. We pay for pieces, with rates ranging based on the scope and size of the piece, and are committed to bringing readers a spread of nuanced and individual perspectives from across the global community of which we’re all increasingly connected members.