Becky looks up from her phone and her world changes forever.

It’s no secret that these days many live their lives one reel at a time. In ‘Notice Me’, director Kurt Andrew Schneider captures the surreal flux of emotions of a young woman’s changing world. While this film focuses on Becky, played by Angela Wong Carbone (Sugar Land), we can’t help but feeling a touch of guilt at the impulse we get to check our phones when we hear that notification buzz. The film finds the perfect balance of subtle storytelling through visual and sound hints that places the audience in a delicate zone of despair. We checked in with director Kurt Andrew who told us a little more on the film.

Can you tell us what inspired you to bring this story to life?

In an era of relentlessly consuming and producing content online, people have become accustomed to curating an idealized “self.” In many instances, this “self” is immaculate, fun, and exciting. It’s a highlight reel that can impress and even lead to stardom. But over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a small shift towards vulnerability, authenticity, and openness in what we want from our social media. The gloss is still mainstream, but I think there’s a new desire for an emotional connection with other people online. Notice Me attempts to explore this idea of vulnerability online and question if it’s truly authentic and potentially a way to form genuine connections with a web-based audience or if just another way to commoditize our personal moments and curate how we are perceived. I don’t have the answer, but I think we should talk about it.

How did you go about casting Becky?

The casting process for this was probably the easiest one I’ve ever had. I was watching one of the Sundance short film blocks and I was completely stunned by Angela’s performance in the short film DOUBLESPEAK. The way she was able to convey such complex emotions through her facial expressions made her a perfect fit for our film.

As a writer/director are you open to changes or suggestions when you start shooting or do you like to stick to what has been written?

I go to set with a very detailed plan. I like to know exactly what shots we need and how much time I’ve got to spend on each. I find that the more thorough of a plan I have going in, the more free and open I feel on set. If I’m confident in my plan, then I love to hear suggestions because it’s either a better idea and we’ll do it, or it’s not and we move on.

What was the most challenging aspect in making this film?

The most difficult part of the process was nailing down the tone of the film in post. I knew what it was in my mind, but it was a very specific and nuanced feeling that was challenging to convey. The biggest aspect of this was the score. It took a ton of back and fourth and trying completely different approaches until we finally found it. Hats off to my composer Giosuè Greco for putting up with all of my notes and coming up with something I’m really proud of.

Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow filmmakers?

The process is grueling at times, but you have to find a way to fall in love with it. If you don’t enjoy the act of filmmaking then the outcome will never feel worth it.

What do you hope people will take away from ‘Notice Me’?

My favorite films are the ones that make me think, instead of telling me what to think. Everyone will watch the film through the lens of their own life experience anyways. My hope would just be that the film might cause people to reflect on their own relationship with social media.

What are your favorite short films?

It’s an older one but NEXT FLOOR (Watch on Film Shortage) by the master Denis Villeneuve is incredible. Also Craig’s Pathetic Freakout by Graham Parkes is another one of my favorites.