While Jeff Orlowski was very passionate about social media in “The Social Dilemma”, the producer of the film, Larissa Rhodes, questioned the importance of the topic. âWe thought we had some really big existential crises that we needed to tackle, climate change being one of them. How did this story and this post compare to any of these types of large scale issues, âRhodes told us in our recent online chat (watch the video above). But when she started to hear what former Silicon Valley insiders and industry experts were saying in their interviews, her point of view quickly came. âIt really became clear how damaging social media platforms and search companies were to our society. “
âThe Social Dilemma,â which is currently airing on Netflix, disrupts the way social media companies depend on people hanging on to consuming content through their platforms. The film further details how this business model has had a corrosive effect on society as well as on the mental health of users of the platform. The documentary has garnered seven Emmy nominations this year, including one for Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Special as well as nominations for writing and directing non-fiction.
Rhodes also wondered how everything would be communicated through the film. “I kept thinking, is this going to be a movie or are we just going to see a bunch of engineers and coders click and slam on their computers?” What is the visual quality of a movie? Orlowski threaded that needle by creating a side story of a family dealing with the negatives of social media and found several sources of inspiration, including “The Big Short” and “Inside Out.” âI think we were trying to find that kind of mechanism to use for storytelling. It really took a lot more to pull people in and really give them that visualization of how we really are puppeteers and manipulated.
The reception the film initially received was a lot for Rhodes, but nothing prepared her for the love TV Academy showed the film when the nominations were released last month. âI was completely speechless and so proud of this team. I think the seven nominations are just a very big testament to the entire team of almost 800 people working on this film. It was also a humbling accomplishment due to the sheer number of projects they competed with just to be nominated. “It’s been such an amazing year for storytelling as a whole, so we feel really, really honored and extremely excited to be a part of this cohort.”
TO PREDICT 2021 Emmy winners until September 19
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