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Davo Hardy’s fifth feature film, Public Eye, has wrapped principal photography.
The prolific and highly-accomplished writer and director has now started post-production, expecting to release this new film theatrically by the end of the year.
Written during the 2020 Covid lockdown, Public Eye is a dark comedy, exploring the far-reaching consequences of a children’s entertainer, when he uploads sensitive material online. What begins as a candid members-only video quickly spirals out of control, going viral and causing personal and professional damage to every aspect of the character’s life.
“It all sprouted from the idea that everything viral was out to destroy the world.” Hardy quips. “But that’s what many of us in entertainment are meant to aspire to, apparently; world domination and viral fame, right? But at what cost?” That’s the question that his new film poses.
The original concept came to Davo several years ago, when he began to delve into audiobooks.
“I’ve always been a sucker for a good memoir. I found Joel Dommett’s autobiography, detailing the chain of events that lead to him being catfished and recorded masturbating on Skype,” says Hardy.
“That video is still available on PornHub to this day, and always will be. The way in which Dommett coped with this humilation; first writing an apology blog on behalf of his own penis, to tracking down the model used in the fake account, before sleeping with her and sending a selfie with her to the original fake profile, struck me as an interesting idea for a movie.”
But Hardy didn’t like the antagonism coming from an external source.
“I wanted the main character to be fully responsible for his actions and wholly unable to shift blame on to another person. I think that’s a very honest reality of posting sensitive material online. Some of my own work has shown up in nefarious places. I did a full frontal nude scene in my third feature A Silent Agreement and that shows up from time to time with the hashtag #nakedcelebrity. I don’t know who out there would consider me a celebrity, but I have no choice but to embrace it. There’s no point trying to get this stuff taken down.”
During 2020, we all consumed higher volumes of online content. Many of us made even more content to keep up with demand.
As expressed in Public Eye, there is a lot of pressure to post every insignificant thing online. Photography platforms welcome us to document every single meal we consume, followed by workout videos and mirror posing to make everybody jealous with our metabolism and active gym memberships.
But the internet is a considerably lawless place, with rules and regulations varying from website to website and no overarching protective body to maintain law and order. It is truly a “wild world wide web” out there.