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onscreen texts and I'm so Happy I'm Ecstatic

20 Aug 2014

People have been linking to this terrific video by Tony Zhou about how film and television depicts onscreen text messaging:

(I saw it on Kottke which has some additional context)

The video brings up some memories for me, from when I wanted to make movies, and used a similar technique1. My short film “I’m so happy I’m Ecstatic” was uploaded to Vimeo in May 2010, just two months before Sherlock debuted on BBC.

Zhou isn’t the first to notice this trend. In April 2013, Rachel Dodes Whortman wrote an article about it for the Wall Street Journal (“From Talkies to Texties”). When I saw the article I felt the need to reply:

I think I’m less petulant now than the nerd who wrote that tweet2. I definitely don’t think I was the first to do that (Zhou’s video provides a few earlier examples, most embarrassingly 2008’s Sex Drive which I did totally see) and I definitely didn’t do it as elegantly as Sherlock.

But some small petty part of me wants to be in videos like that or to maybe keep making video things.

  1. I think I wrote it into the screenplay for the short, but I want to give credit to my friend Sarah Mayo who co-edited it with me and made it work – the few times I’ve seen people watch it, that’s their favorite part by far 

  2. (but then, I am writing this blog post)