Twittamentary the Movie

Twittamentary is a documentary film about the everyday people who use Twitter; from a travel journalist to a porn star who uses Twitter to stay in touch with her fans; from a stock trader who tweets from the world’s largest exchange to a homeless woman who uses Twitter to find a place to live.

 Filmmaker Tan Siok Siok set out on a quest to uncover why the platform has such die hard fans. She leveraged Twitter to crowd source stories before setting out on a whirlwind tour across the United States to document the effects of Twitter. The result is a movie that mirrors the zeitgeist of Twitter and her exploration of technology as the means of our connection and alienation.

In 2009, I met Tan Siok Siok when she filmed Heather Meeker, Mark Horvath and myself as we brought new clothes and dignity to Ann Marie Walsh - who was homeless at the time. She came cross country with the Twittamentary crew and was about to speak on homelessness at Jeff Pulver's #140 Conference.

Some quotes from the producer:
"I came to Twitter in December 2007. I had befriended a few prominent bloggers in Asia and the US on Facebook a few months earlier and I followed these early adopters on to Twitter soon after. Since I was an outsider to the internet industry then, I saw tweeting as my means of discovering how the web works."

"It is a huge challenge to visualize a film about Twitter. I believe people half expect the film to be full of computer screenshots and talking heads. I sought to find a way to make the film as visceral and visual as possible by developing story ideas around an exciting visual ... I was also on the lookout for stories that are universal, stories about our search for love, meaning and significance."

"We somehow presume that internet friendships are less authentic and hence unlikely to lead to heartfelt connections. In my experience, that has not been true. Time is a crucial factor. We built our trust in people over time as we accumulate granular knowledge of the person's thoughts and behavior, 140 characters at a time."

"Technology and alienation is familiar trope in literature and film. But the desire to overcome alienation is equally strong. The web allows communities to be configured along lines of shared interests and not just physical location. On Twitter, you can convene a community simply by starting a hashtag or joining a conversation."
Learn more about Twittamentary here.

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