‘Missed Call’ explores the relationship between Royal Holloway, University of London filmmaker, Victoria Mapplebeck and her teenage son as they work out how to reconnect with his father who’s been absent for a decade.
Shot on an iPhone X, it explores the many ways in which our lives are lived and captured through the phones we hold so close.
‘Missed Call’ begins with the last message the father sent before disappearing abroad in 2006 and ends with the first phone call to him 11 years later when the son reaches out via his mother.
Jim is now 14 – he last saw his father when he was 2. He has reached the point where he needs to know more about where he comes from and work out once and for all if he is to have any kind of relationship with his father who is back in the UK.
Victoria Mapplebeck a Reader at Royal Holloway, University of London, said: “I’m fascinated by the secret life of teenagers. There are so few films that look at the difficulty of family life from an adolescent point of view.
“Missed Call is a real story with real lives. Squaring the circle of being both filmmaker and parent, made this one of the most challenging films I’ve ever made, but I’m very glad I made it.
“For many years, I shot with a much larger kit, but now with 4K video, the iPhone in my pocket has become my camera of choice
“As the camera technology on each new generation of iPhone evolves, many directors have begun to experiment, Sean Baker's Tangerine was shot on an iPhone 5 and recently, Stephen Soderbergh's Unsane was shot on the iPhone 7.
“Missed Call is one of the first films to be shot on the iPhone X. For Jim, a smartphone was a lot less intimidating than a larger camera and I find the increased access and spontaneity of filming with the iPhone X completely liberating.”
The film has been shot on a phone because its story derives from a text exchange on a phone – one that captures the whole of the relationship, from the first encounter to the parting message, which brought about Jim’s very existence. It is one of the first professional documentaries in the world to be filmed on the iPhone X.
‘Missed Call’ is also one of the first original productions from Real Stories and has the uplifting quality which is part of what characterises this fast-growing documentary channel. It was directed by Victoria Mapplebeck and produced by Amanda Murphy at Field Day Productions for Little Dot Studios.
Watch the film here.
You can also read all about the background of the film here.