Ritual ft Emily Warren 'Using' by Sophia Ray
Lili_dreams only has 17K followers. It’s high time she fixed that. Sophia Ray directs this sumptuously photographed story about a wannabe influencer for Ritual.
Real life influencer Cailin Russo gives a heartfelt performance as Lili, a young woman on a mission for online validation. She experiments with different smiles, products and filters, and initially she finds success. But ultimately, there seems to be nothing she can do to stay relevant and raise her profile. As she loses followers and friends alike, her online world becomes impossible to differentiate from reality.
You’ve seen this story before, but rarely with this much flair. The video has a close relative in Nosedive, the episode of Black Mirror in which Bryce Dallas Howard pays the price for her obsession with social media and interaction-based credit. But where Nosedive was all pastels and nihilism, Ray’s video is a more sympathetic portrayal.
Alexandre Jamin’s photography is a delight, rendered in all the jewel tones and honeyed glow of an Instagram fantasy. And VFX artist Leanne Pletersky has done great work with frame-jumping texts and 3D graphics that look both realistic and absolutely part of the world they’re helping to depict. Ultimately the biggest credit goes to Sophia Ray, who achieves a great balance between her characteristic visual polish and narrative drive. She really shows what she can do.
|Executive Producer||Mayling Wong|
|Production Manager||Jack Bristow|
|1st AD||George Nelson|
|Director of Photography||Alexandre Jamin|
|Focus Puller||Max Beauquesne|
|2nd AC||Leon Frind|
|Art Director||Benny Casey|
|Post production company||Glassworks London|
|Post Producer||Chloe Ensor|
|Lead actor||Cailin Russo|
|Director's Representation||Claire Stubbs @ Partizan|
|Lead actor||Felix Spooner|
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