‘Internet Story’ dir. Adam Butcher

A series of shocking events unfolds when a young man creates a public treasure hunt for his own amusement and a video blogger decides to pursue the riddles across country

Country: UK
Director: Adam Butcher
Producer: Ed Moline
Key Cast: Duncan Wigman and Shaun French

C8: ‘Internet Story’ and ‘Bradley Manning Had Secrets’ share a similar documentary style. What keeps you interested in this genre?

AB: I’m interested in using artefacts from the real world as jumping-off points for my films. It’s probably a result of me getting lost down Wikipedia rabbit holes and feeling provoked, moved, scared…

C8: Why did you decide to animate the Chaucer tale in the style of a cartoon?

AB: The film always needed a shot of quick fun humour to vary the tone. But it was also interesting to return to this imagery and lend it a darker tone as the film progressed.

C8: How important was the narrative voice to the film and how did you go about casting it?

AB: Very important - most of the film is Shaun’s disembodied voice. I put a posting on Casting Call Pro - it doesn’t always get the best results but really worked in this instance.

C8: The Internet seems to be about creating a presence online through social media, etc. Do you feel that filmmaking is similar and that your films must say something about yourself?

AB: I think that filmmaking should feel individual, and that I can’t help but show a lot of myself in my work. But unlike a Facebook profile, it should say more than just “Look at me!”

C8: What were the biggest obstacles you faced when making ‘Internet Story’?

AB: Getting screenshots to feel interesting *and* tell the story clearly, took a surprising amount of patience and experimentation.

C8: If you did the whole process again, is there anything you would do differently?

AB: I’d get a faster computer. Editing on a slow laptop cost me weeks and a portion of my sanity.

C8: The film went viral shortly after you released it. What do you think about the power of the Internetover modern filmmaking?

AB: It’s great that short films can now get such a wide audience, and that filmmakers can distribute and get feedback instantly. However, I’d worry if the pursuit of “going viral” came at the expense of people making good art.

C8: ‘Internet Story’ played at several film festivals. What has the reaction been like thus far?

AB: Okay - but nowhere near as positive as online. I think this story feels best being watched alone in front of a computer, as opposed to in a cinema.

C8: If you could give emerging filmmakers any piece of advice what would it be?

AB: Keep making stuff.