- Name: Memories of a bartender
- Type: Video
- Campaign: Reality shock
- Status: Ideation
- Affiliation: Unofficial
- Original idea: micheleminno
- Coordinator: TBD
- General discussion: This forum topic
- Github: original proposal
Short video about the evolution of social relations in a shared space (a bar).
Offer a glimpse of how we used to relate each other in the past (from the 50’s onwards, to now). Especially valuable for the younger generations, who never experienced anything of that.
let the viewer get the impact of the situation now. Done by contrast, after having seen how we used to relate during the past decades.
Each generation has their own language, style, music and - most of all - their own ways of getting in touch with each other and express themselves. In private as well as in public spaces. Through the eye of a neutral observer - the bartender - we show the different generations expressing themselves, taking actions and having fun in a bar. At the end the actual situation - silent people smiling, gazing, waiting at their phones - will result in an environment that gradually gets ever more strange and creepy.
The message posed to the viewer is “Watch how we used to have meaningful, funny, troublesome, creative interactions and how these changed over time. All this ended up like this today, cooling down to people sitting one near the other but far on their screens. If you are one of them (we are all in a way or another one of them) you can feel now all the emptiness and sadness of this actual condition”.
- This deliverable does not require additional strategy. Please refer to Reality Shock campaign strategy.
Mockumentary-style video about the incredible story of a bartender who witnessed the passing of decades (social, cultural music changes) since ‘50s.
The whole scene takes place in a bar, ideally located in Europe/US main west world trendsetter cities (New York, San Francisco, London, ..). An old bartender (75 years old or so) speaks about his memories at his work place, that bar, where he worked since the 50’s and now he owns too. He speaks to an interviewer on the other side of the bar that we never see. He would ideally look like him.
Here’s the drafted storyboard.
- Music: Closer, The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey (soft music, like that one played in supermarkets or waiting rooms, enjoyable but not too disturbing).
We see the face of the bartender at his side of the bar (we don’t see the front bar, only the back, with bottles etc.), who says: “I’m here since 1956, this place has been my life”.
We see some old pictures at the wall behind him. Camera zooms into the first one (from the ’50s) and then scene passes to memories of the bartender relative to that picture. The still image comes to life and turns into the live scene. Each time a scene ends, camera zooms out and shift to another picture (black/white for ’50s and 60s, color for the others) and zooms in. Scenes are always color scene also for ’50s and ’60s.
Scenes of the bar during the passing of decades, starting from the ’50s. Each time a year is superimposed at the bottom of the screen. There’s no stage in the bar so there’s no scene with a band playing live. Also because it would be a cross-decades situation and not characteristic of a specific time.
- The bottom line says: “1958”.
- Music: Rumble, by Link Wray.
A boy laughing and surrounded by his friends is pushed, blindfolded, to go to all woman in the bar asking for a date, because he had lost at a game of pool.
- The bottom line says: “1968”.
- Music: White room, by Cream.
Boys and girls are animately discussing (we can’t hear their voice), with flayers, posters about some protest activity on the streets they are planning. Someone shows a manifest, all agree on it. Someone else screams: “Let’s go outta here!”, the others screaming with excitement:”Yeah! Yes! Let’s go!”. People go out on the streets and the bar remains full of smoke and empty.
- The bottom line says: “1977”.
- Music: How Deep Is Your Love, Bee Gees.
People is warmly dancing in couples of all kinds (man-girl, man-man, girl-girl, ..), with all extravagant fashion and hairstyles. Someone is dancing alone John Travolta style in the “Fever of Saturday night”.
- The bottom line says: “1987”.
- Music: Welcome to the jungle, Guns N’ Roses.
A discussion between two people at the front bar turns into a big fight among all people in the bar, with broken glasses, chairs, etc. The two people initially fighting one against the other, realise that behind them all the others start fighting too and they join the big fight together.
- The bottom line says: “1994”.
- Music: Loser, Beck.
One girl is singing the song at the karaoke, followed by most of the other people in the bar, singing the chorus together (grunge clothes: flannel shirts, jeans, cheap clothes with no specific care). Someone else is playing at arcade videogames, surrounded by small groups watching and commenting loud.
- The bottom line says: “2003”.
- Music: Rap game, “8 mile” movie soundtrack
There’s a rap battle going on between two guys and all public inciting them. Someone is playing at DDR.
Present times scene
- Music: Closer, The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
Camera zooms out from the last picture and the face of the bartender comes back (same music as at the beginning). He says with a sad face: “Now it’s all so silent and creepy.” And after two seconds he shakes his head and says: “It’s time for me to sell this place”. The camera broadens, flips slowly and we see the bar now, full with silent people, each one seated and looking down on their phone screen. It all looks strange and creepy (sounds of tapping on screens). Screen black with white writing: “Are you one of them?”.
Insights about old bartender’s feelings
The old man feels the sadness but with words he tries to justify the situation. Maybe he doesn’t understand the new situation because he’s old (he thinks naively). He feels peace but also sadness, that’s why he want to quit. He is not against technology, in every decade he used technology to attract customers and make them feel good. I.e. karaoke in the ’90s, arcade videogames, etc.. It must be evident by the images that all these technology generate sociality among customers, instead of repress it. At present time he’s doing all it’s needed to please customers (soft music, wifi, recharge points, ..) and he should be happy to have satisfied clients, silence and peace. But nevertheless we can see he’s sad: there’s a conflict inside himself between owner’s goals (to maximize customers and keep the bar clean and safe) and human being’s goals (live among people who relate to each other, socialise, express themselves). So he decides to quit. It is too much, and the place is no longer the place he loved to work in for decades.
- Music: Tired boy, Joey Pecoraro
We see the same bar, with even more aseptic furniture (all white), with people seated on their phones and a new young bartender, a young woman, herself on the phone, silent. Music continues during credits on black screen.
Each decade has its own furniture, games, lights, etc.:
- present: wifi signal, recharge points for phones.
- ’50s: pool tables, jukebox
- ’60s: posters on the walls, flags, smoke.
- ’70s: strobe lights
- ’90s: arcade videogames and karaoke
- ’00s: DDR
- final scene: white walls, phone rechargers on the walls
(see first part of Black Mirror episode ‘San Juniper’ for inspiration of same bar in different decades).
About 2 minutes:
- The initial scene is about 10 seconds long.
- Each decade scene is between 10 and 15 seconds long.
- The present time scene is about 10 seconds long.
- The final scene is about 5 seconds long.
- present time scene: Closer, The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey.
- ’50s: Rumble, Link Wray.
- ’60s: White room by Cream.
- ’70s: How deep is your love, Bee Gees.
- ’80s: Welcome to the jungle, Guns N’ Roses.
- ’90s: Alive, Pearl Jam.
- ’00s: Rap game, “8 mile” movie soundtrack.
- final scene: Tired boy, Joey Pecoraro:
We would need to find a professional video producer. They will have to propose and arrange a shooting venue (the bar) and secure actors.
Otherwise we should have to find different bars with the same structure, at least similar (i.e. same placement of the windows). In this way we can shoot a scene in a ’80s bar in London, another in a ’50s bar in New York and so on. Viewers would automatically think it’s the same bar with different forniture.
- Funding requirements should still be determined.
- To be determined
- This deliverable has no additional resources. Please edit or comment to add your relevant links.