'HASHTAG NOFILTER' Plays on Instagram Clichés Just in Time for Halloween

South Africa native Matthew Rycroft creatively combined creepy music, a creepy-looking dude, and some dark, chiaroscuro lighting techniques to create a video that brilliantly mocks the cliché Instagram accounts with which we're all too familiar. The final result is a well thought-out piece that's short and sweet and definitely leaves room for more.

From shaving knuckles so his fingers look more like propped-up legs laid over a beach-scene backdrop printed on paper, to dangling paper cutouts of someone's legs and feet over a birds-eye view skyline printout, the character in "HASHTAG NOFILTER" has a number of tricks up his sleeves to create great (even if completely staged) Instagram shots with equally typical life quotes, such as the annoyingly common: "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."

In an email earlier today, Rycroft explained that the entire video was shot with just one Broncolor continuous light (brought in by a friend, Leo Rosas) with a grid attached to help narrow the light into a harsh beam, giving him his desired chiaroscuro effect. Placing the light high up and pointed straight down gave Rycroft the flexibility to move around as he shot without needing to adjust lighting, saving time and headaches, while also creating a contrasty, moody spotlight. And the fly buzzing? That was real. Rycroft explained:

There was also a small part where you can see a fly buzzing and walking around. At first, I tried to shoo away the fly, realized I was being an idiot, then let it roam because it fit perfectly in the scene.

Rycroft's release of his short and the timing of Halloween is complete coincidence — he is currently based in Austria, after all, where Halloween isn't exactly as popular as it is here in the U.S. Rycroft simply wanted to make a statement:

I wanted to poke some fun at these generic 'lifestyle' accounts; so, 'Jenny Wanderlust' was born, a creepy dude with the perfect online life. Creativity gets quickly diluted through copycats, such as the 'follow me too' trend and awful inspirational quotes. Jenny just represents rock-bottom. 

Nevertheless, the timing of yet another creepy spoof is perfect for our timelines. We'll take it.

Images used with permission of Matthew Rycroft.

Adam Ottke's picture

Adam works mostly across California on all things photography and art. He can be found at the best local coffee shops, at home scanning film in for hours, or out and about shooting his next assignment. Want to talk about gear? Want to work on a project together? Have an idea for Fstoppers? Get in touch! And, check out FilmObjektiv.org film rentals!

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