How To Deal With Change - Director Meyrick Tilley Discusses "The Day After" Short Film
"Issac has a cosy little life. He wakes up and has a refreshing cuppa in his favourite mug, shortly followed by reading a book at the park, with absolutely no variation or no changes to this structure. This mundane structure that Issac called 'life' has formed into nothing but a dull, mundane, repetitiveness.
But life is unpredictable, and so on what seems to be just any other ordinary Friday, his world begins to crumble to pieces all around him (in the most dramatic sense of the phrase) Issac must try to maintain control of reality, and while the events may seem soul-crushing at the moment, they just may be the exact thing that he needed. "
That is the general story of the film, and while it may seem a bit overdramatic, which is exactly the point, the sad reality of the matter is that in the current climate of 2023, what people seem to want more than ever is Structure. The only issue is that we seem to have a confused structure for repetition.
Everywhere we look, we are force-fed the notion that repetitiveness is the key to success, from the influencers we study to the Tiktok's we swipe. From the governments telling us to work harder to get what we want, even though we are working harder than any of individuals in those exact governments, to the creators telling us to wake up at 4:00am and work out every day without fail if we want to become successful like them. There is no wonder that thousands of people mistreat/are unfairly harsh on themselves when they can't achieve what some random self-made 'millionaire' told them to do.
We are vulnerable when we look for these videos when we seek out guidance from those we look up to, and while they could use the opportunity to actually benefit others' lives, instead they use it as an easy way to further the cash that they have in their pockets.
The current trends on current social media from influencers are the perfect example of this. They tell us to work out every day, without fail, or to wake up at 4am every single day and somehow this will lead to a more successful life. But as these are people in places of influence, we believe them. I have done so in the past, but over time, I realised, with the help of this film, that rather than being actual good life-changing advice, all this does is lead to people having a 'no slip-ups or else' attitude to life, and when they evidently do slip up, thanks to the fact they have exhausted themselves trying to recreate what strangers tell them to do online, it can become heart braking.
More people must come to the same realization that I have, and that is that you can not listen to those that say things such as, 'These are things you must do to become successful' because not only do they not know you personally, but also that 9/10, they are not giving you this advice to benefit you but rather to benefit themselves.
Think about it, you try to copy what they preach, but you struggle. What do you do? Well, you go back to their channel where you see that they have conveniently made a different video on how to manage the exact issue they have caused you. This cycle repeats. You keep going back, and in the meantime not only are they getting more and more ad revenue and watch time from it, but they may also chuck in some "product" that is a miracle product that will help you along the bogus journey that they have sent you on. It's all a lie to get milk the most out of someone's soul, both mentally and physically (in the base of your bank account).
I will point out here that I can in fact see the irony of this blog post. In a way, I am kind of doing the same thing, but just know that when I say these things, it comes from a desire to help others, not greed.
The whole system that the modern world has forced into will, shows us exactly what happens when the structure becomes too structured, that is it becomes repetitiveness.
Now, what does this have to do with the film I hear you properly not asking? Well.
While The Day After may just seem like just another silly little University project, our underlying goal for the project is the hope that is that in-between the changing of aspect ratios and a man literally having a temper tantrum in a back alley, someone may notice some similarities between the character of 'Issac' and themselves.
And while it also may seem that a full nervous breakdown over a few things going wrong is a bit over the top, as mentioned above, the ways in which we are taught success can be obtained can lead to self-abuse, when we can't reach these radically high and un-realistic expectations the world puts upon us. The repetitive nature that seems to be desired is not only unhealthy but can lead to a full mental collapse (once again, I know this first-hand).
We must disentangle structure and repetitiveness. The real thrill in life can come from those little bits of good chaos. Those moments that get your heart rising and your neurons firing until, once the moment has passed, you become grateful you experienced it.
The freedom of knowing that, not only can you change your mind, but that it is okay to do so can be exhilarating, and while structure can put you in the right place to make these changes, repetitiveness will make it near impossible to transition of your own accord, and will only lead to heart-brake when life forces you to transition, kicking and screaming.
- Meyrick Tilley