Making of The Backpack Challenge

Making of The Backpack Challenge

Hi everyone, I’m Jeremy Strohm, welcome to “Backpack Challenge Behind the Scenes” go watch the movie first before watching this! In this short bonus video, I will tell you how we made this short film, why it was shot in English, what real facts were used for the story, and I do it with a voice over, like we did in the short film… … which is a bit cooler than mine. For this short film I wanted to try another genre, so I decided to make a psychological thriller based on true events. I was interested in the Blue Whale Challenge, it’s a real game on the Internet, where teenagers participate in increasingly morbid challenges to show that they exist. They are in a period of age where they are lost and vulnerable, so they will play this “game” where they need to find a tutor, a complete stranger. It’s often an adult. They will give the teenager 50 challenges to complete and each time they have to send a proof picture to their tutor. A simple photo to show they did it. Should we really worry about this phenomenon? This is not a game. It’s a challenge where you have to kill yourself… … so we need to worry about it. We need to care about it, because it’s extremely dangerous for teenagers who are psychologically vulnerable. This game always starts with « easy » challenges, for instance they have to wake up at night and listen to sad music, it’s something we kept in the movie, and theses small challenges will condition the player in a depression, once they are trapped in the game, the tutor can ask them anything he wants to do. It could start with scarification… and leads to suicide, the last challenge. A friend wanted to play the blue whale challenge, to impress people in his class, he took a blade… but he doesn’t know how to draw a blue whale, so he made some incisions. In the Blue Whale challenge, if teenagers want to quit the game, they are threatened the tutor says he could hurt their family,
friends, pets… so those who start to play can be afraid to stop it, because they believe the tutor can come to their house and hurt them. BLUE WHALE CHALLENGE VICTIMS To go further, I asked myself if a stranger could program a teen to do whatever he wants, until death, could he push someone to become a terrorist and kill people unconsciously? That’s what the end of the film suggests, and it has already happened… The pictures we saw on the TV at the end of the film are some images from the Boston marathon bombing attack in 2013. Young boys hid bombs in their backpacks, and made them explode at the finish line of the run. It was two terrorists, both 25 years old, they were certainly conditioned or endoctrinanted in a different way, but the result is the same : they were programmed to do what they were asked, no matter the consequences. So I tried to mixed these two new items, to show that they could be linked, that kind of Internet challenge could lead to the same result… All video challenges you saw in the movie are real, People film them to show how far they are willing to go to increase notoriety or just to get Youtube views. People can risked their lives with theses challenges, because to be popular they have to be dangerous. During the movie’s post-production, the real « backpack challenge » was born. You have to run as far as you can while others send you their bags loaded with books. Now I’ve covered the real news stories used in the film, I want to speak more about the movie production. This film was made after a meeting during a festival, where I met James Snapko who helped me make the film. We made a deal with James, if he helped me to make a movie in the US, I would do the same for him in France. So it was the perfect occasion to shoot my first English movie, and believe me you can make it even with a school English level! One more, more shy… Like your voice can’t… get out? It’s hard for you to speak, ok? Just like you! James helped me a lot to direct this movie, I came with my first script version, He helped find equipments, locations, and organized the casting. That’s where I met Chelsey and Abby, who were very professional and were able to act exactly like their characters. We also re-worked the lines together, because they sounded too « French » on my first script, so we changed it a little bit with the cast. James also does the tutor’s voice. *DUBBING OUTTAKES* I will end with directing details, that will certainly interest filmmakers, I wanted to share a few artistic choices. At the beginning of the movie for instance, I make believe that Leena will be the main character, because she’s a Youtube star. But our real character is Kate, who’s been hidden in Leena’s shadow, because she shoots her videos. That’s why we saw her back in the beginning, and discover her face when Leena’s shooting is over. In a short film we don’t have time to identify the characters, so we need to visually understand their personality. On one side, Leena is a tall blond-haired girl, smiling face, with colorful clothes, On the other side, Kate is a small brown-haired girl, with dark clothes. Because there only ten minutes to tell the story, we need to see who they are quickly. In the first version of the script, I had written how Kate met the tutor. But it was too long so I assumed that they already know each other. Maybe it’s a friend she met on a tchat, They already know each other quite well, because she can tell him about Leena. To play with the sound, the tutor’s voice over is a little bit different between the tchat and the phone. Kate has never heard his real voice before, so the voice-over in the beginning
is the one she imagined. This voice is sweet and calm. In reality, the voice she discovers on phone is deeper and pitched. It suggests that they never talked before,
only by internet. In this film we also play a lot with the screens. Leena lives through her Youtube channel, Kate lives behind her camera and her computer; She watches videos on her phone while her mum is watching TV… All of this shows that character’s lives are affected by their screen addictions. You might have noticed, we never see the parents. It strengthens the idea that Kate is alone and she will manage all these conflicts herself. Thanks for watching this bonus video! I hope you learned some things,
especially to not play this kind of stupid game! See you in the next video! ENGLISH SUBTITLES: Beth Jervis

100 thoughts on “Making of The Backpack Challenge

  1. for anybody not knowing what’s up with all the number commenting, it’s the amount of comments that they are commenting. so if you wanna join in.. 😛

  2. The videos comments are recycling when I was on the video I scrolled through the comments and saw comments went up to comment sort by and put newest first some of the comments I saw that were 10-20 min ago posted said 1 sec ago. This “glitch” only happens on this video which is wierd…. it maybe he has comment bots and view bots spamming woah why is everyone commenting creating a creepy illusion that everyone is commenting at one time🤭😭🤔🤔

  3. I came to check if this vid was also blowing up. If anyone came back here from the future, tell me if theres some type conspiracy theory.

  4. I'm gonna sound childish af but here we go:

    I've been looking at the comments and I noticed a bunch of "numbers" typed and spammed. What I found sketchy was that there were videos of disturbing and strange content with the videos titled with the numbers "0110010000100011" and on and on. I wouldn't recommend it, but search up on YouTube: 010001010101011100
    And you'll see what I'm talking about.

  5. This reminds me of Poppy… everyone remember her? They made an experimental series of videos to see how far people w/o blow up their theories, even though the videos meant nothing. Plus the numb are just the amount I comments

  6. 00100111000101110000111100010101000001110111010110111011010001110111001101011010101010110100101101010101010101101010100000111110010101010101010101010100101010101011000011101010101100101010101010010101010101000011010101001011101010010101010000000000010101010101010111111111100110101010101000110101100101010150010101010101101101001010101010101011100101010101

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