With Kevin Spacey's "Social Network" movie about Facebook scheduled to start production later this year, was it any wonder that "Twitter, the Movie" could be far behind? The microblogging site that scaled from a podcasting company in the South Park suburbs of San Francisco to changing the world in a 140 characters or less will grace the small and large screens in March of 2010 as a documentary, aptly titled "Twittamentary."
Celebrated Singaporean filmmaker Siok Siok Tan, the 12-time Asian TV award-winning director for Discovery TV and the producer of "Boomtown Beijing" will produce the new Twitter documentary.
Siok Siok Tan, Producer of TwittamentaryIn an interview I conducted with Siok Siok, she indicated her motivation for embarking on a Twitter documentary project was based on many of her Twitter friends waxing poetic about how “Twitter changed their lives.” Yet when she started questioning what that meant, "it was almost impossible to explain what this ‘life changing’ experience was, as so many others still felt that Twitter was a ‘meaningless’ enterprise developed for 'narcissists' and 'micro-celebs.'" This sharp dichotomy of discordant opinion led Tan to believe this was the kind of material great films were made of. "After all," she noted, "film is the appropriate medium for making the seemingly inexplicable accessible."
When asked what types of people would be interviewed for the movie, Siok Siok indicated that she may or may not interview the founders of the company. "While it would be lovely to talk to Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey or Evan Williams, the film is really about the users of Twitter and their amazing stories. Tales that contain visual potential." As a filmmaker, Siok Siok doesn't think in terms of demographics or a breakdown of Internet netizens. "Instead, I am looking for real life experiences that deserve to be told to the world," she asserted. These stories will involve all types of Twitter users, from the casual user to social media celebrities, business men and women and politicians.
Unique to this project, the film will be created in the 'open' spirit of the Web. Labeled as a "do it yourself" movie, Siok Siok will rely to some extent on user-generated material that is crowdsourced. Tweeps and the Twitterati alike will be invited to contribute story ideas, rich media and video. It will be launched on the film festival circuit first, to be followed up with a release under a Creative Commons license that will be shared online with the global Twittersphere.
Traditional filmmaking expertise is clearly not enough for this project based on the fact that social media is so dynamic. So Tan has created a unique 'Tittamentary' web platform with the assistance of Lonnie Hodge, digital marketing expert and award-winning writer. She has also enlisted the services of Michael Slatoff, web developer and CEO of the Hong Kong firm Electric Brain.
Twittamentary Web site
While the Web site is still under development, Tan urges anyone who has a unique Twitter story to tell to contact her on Twitter @sioksiok. Also anyone who runs a popular blog, news outlet or technology platform and would like to become a media partner of the film should make their interest known to the production company.
Siok Siok Tan Twitter Account
As the production of this film advances, check back with me for updates regarding new Boomtown Beijingdevelopments and YouTube sneak previews. Tan's previous documentary "Boomtown Beijing" can be viewed at Snagfilms.com and provides a great chronicle of the lead-up to the Olympics as ordinary Beijingers pursued their dreams of striving for the gold.
So there you have it -- the making of Twitter, the movie! Let me know what you think of the idea and what you can do to contribute to this user-generated project? If we don't talk before March, see you at the premiere! I'll be front-row center...with the popcorn!