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It’s People Like Us

About the Documentary

By the end of today, most of us will have checked our phones over 150 times; on the toilet, in the car, at the dinner table, even during sex. But, have we ever stopped to ask ourselves - is there a time and a place?

This documentary follows five real Australians who, just like us, have found themselves drawn into their screens, sometimes at the expense of common sense and self preservation.

Going Deeper

The complex relationship we have with our phones is more than screen deep. Hear these unique perspectives on the broader issue of phone use in society.

It’s People Like US - The Attention Economy

The Attention

Bjorn Nansen

Media and Communications,
The University of Melbourne

A senior lecturer in Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne, Bjorn researches digital media and communications technologies, computer interaction and network culture in the social contexts.

It’s People Like US - The Introduction of Rabbits

The Introduction
of Rabbits

Mike Arnold

Historical and Philosophical Studies,
The University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Michael Arnold’s on-going research activities and interests lie at the intersection of digital technologies and our society and culture.

It’s People Like US - Phone Etiquette

Phone Etiquette

June Dally-Watkins

Etiquette Expert and Coach

A former fashion model and TV personality, June Dally-Watkins used her notoriety as Australia’s first ‘it’ girl to establish the Southern Hemispheres first school of Deportment. Today she is the nation’s foremost etiquette coach and expert.

It’s People Like US - The Fog

The Fog

David Strayer

Cognition and Neural Science,
University of Utah

David leads research and studies a broad range of studies that range from assessing the limits of human multitasking ability while performing complex tasks such as driving, to studying how attentional capacities can be restored by interacting with nature.

About the Director

Eva Orner is an Academy and Emmy Award winning film maker who brings cultural and political issues into the public consciousness. Her films have taken us within the walls of Guantanamo Bay (”Taxi to the Dark Side”) and Nauru and Manus Island detention centres (”Chasing Asylum”). Eva's films stimulate debate and inspire social and political action.

While no one was watching

A Photo Essay

By Cory White

Project Synopsis

My brief was to understand and capture how we use our phones in our daily lives. I worked alongside director Eva Orner on-set and then followed my nose to create a suite of images that feel democratic and observed. I documented the pervasive use of phones in private and public situations; I boarded trains at peak hour, followed drivers texting in cars on highways and was invited into a few living rooms. I spent extended periods just watching and photographing our overwhelming and omnipresent fixation with our phones.

‘Man using phone camera,’ The Shrine, Melbourne.

‘Man with phone,’ City Loop, Melbourne.

‘Woman Snapchatting,’ Eid Festival, Williamstown.

‘Woman texting,’ Flinders Street, Melbourne.

‘Woman text driving,’ St Kilda.

‘Man Facebooking,’ Whittlesea.

‘Girls Snapchatting,’ Albert Park.

‘Man texting,’ National Gallery of Victoria.

‘Men on smoko,’ Chisholm TAFE, Frankston.

‘Men on phones,’ Eid Festival, Williamstown.

‘Man taking selfie,’ Whittlesea.

‘Man using phone camera,’ National Gallery of Victoria.

Artist Bio: Cory White

Cory’s approach to photography differs little between commercial and personal. White brings his vision through layered observation or by finely tuning choreographed authentic moments. Whether shooting local or global content, he remains true to his irreverent Australian style, driven by colour palette, light and atmosphere. Cory is particularly interested in the nuanced observations of modern life.

He currently lives in Melbourne.