Sunday Shorts: Tech, Support

Written and Directed by Nic Barker
Co-written by and starring Jordan Barr and Darcy Kent

Amanda is just trying to get the internet working, but hits a roadblock in the form of a sexist IT support worker on the phone.

Article by Nic Barker

Tech, Support is a semi-improvised comedic satire about the micro-aggressions that sneak into our lives every day, sometimes without us realising. Through the microcosm of our protagonist Amanda trying to fix her internet, we gain insight into how SHE is perceived by not only her boyfriend, but how women in general are perceived by the unkind voice on the other end of the phone.

This film was created from scratch in a day of improvising, discussion and improvising again. We had no script – just a simple idea of two juxtaposed scenes about a woman experiencing condescension from an IT support worker, and her boyfriend instinctively siding with the anonymous man over his own partner. It’s a delicate balance to strike – how comedic/dramatic do you push these scenes? How over the top do you get?

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There were a lot of outtakes where we went really broad with the comedy, but ultimately I think we struck the right balance between absurdist comedy and grounded relationship drama. For this I give enormous credit to Jordan Barr and Darcy Kent, who so completely bought into this freeform filmmaking process and created from scratch these characters from the barest of frameworks. Without these two, the film simply doesn’t exist – without a script to speak of, they’re credited as co-writers because of how much of this material and direction came from them. There are times when shooting in this loose, improv style that you feel like an audience member, or at most a glorified documentarian – it’s very hands off at times and I love that as a director. You trust your collaborators so implicitly that you give the moment to them and them alone.

We had hours of extremely varied, long continuous takes once I got to the edit, and the final result really is as cohesive a Frankenstein’s Monster of these moments that I could manage. To fashion a cohesive structure out of these takes is challenging but knowing we’d be intercutting between the two gave me lots of points to jump to and from the strongest material from each scene without a concern for continuity. It moves so fast that I think I got away with a lot in that respect.

I’m really proud of what we achieved. This is a very small film, with a tiny crew and just two actors – however the result of this macro focus is an honest, sharp and raw conversation starter disguised as cringe comedy. I hope you enjoy!

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