Shudder is a short film by film makers Rob Ride (writer/director) and Tom Booth (producer) - not-for profit project funded by kickstarter.
Shudder tells the story of a surreal world where the only inhabitants are war photographers, hunted by an unseen army determined to kill them all. Following the pack of photographers heading into the depth of the carnage, our film plays without dialogue, using only collected ambient sound accompanied by an orchestra of gunfire and camera clicks.
With no care for their surroundings or their safety, they document their downfall. One by one the photographers are shot down and as they drag themselves up the street taking photos as each new casualty is wounded. From a group of eight until now, a single soul is left to take photos of his own death as he too is gunned down.
Shudder does not aim to pass judgement on the work of war photographers. It only seeks to highlight the absurd within their situation. Is it right for an individual to throw away their life for the good of their work? If this was everybody's attitude then what would it say about the meaning of life? If the fruits of this work are worth dying for, then surely there must be benefits. Who benefits?
What is the value of individual human experience in the context of a society? If a photographer's life is worth destroying for the greater good then surely so is the subject’s. Shudder aims to shed light on these moral questions without offering a firm solution. It deliberately leaves a gap of ambiguity that the audience can leap into, and build resolutions of their own.
With the advent of new media technology like cheap personal camera phones and social media, the absurdity of our story has permeated modern life. In countless experiences at scenes of concerts, tourist attractions or accidents people now choose to first document a remarkable event rather than live it. Has there been a change in the value of personal human experience? What happened to living in the now? We all live life through the lens, only ‘really there’ if we can prove it to our friends.