What the heck is ASMR? According to Wikipedia:
Autonomous sensory meridian response, sometimes auto sensory meridian response, is a tingling sensation that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. A pleasant form of paresthesia, it has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia and may overlap with frisson.
Tingle Monsters is a short film starring, written and directed by Alexandra Serio. After sweeping the film festival circuit and being screened at Cinequest, Final Girls Berlin and the Cleveland International Film Festival and accepted into Oxford FIlm Festival, FilmQuest, Montclair Film Festival and more, this short film is poised for National release.
The film features an ASMR vlogger with a devoted fan base who returns from an extended absence with a livestream that spirals out of control. Through this context, Serio explores her belief that violence against women truly starts with words.
Using the vehicle of an ASMR livestream, Tingle Monsters shows how what people say and think about women affects their real-world treatment. Audiences will witness the consequences of harassment turn dangerous both on-screen and off as her fans, who are watching it unfold from their own screens, comment live.
“I firmly believe that through gender parity and telling women-driven narratives we can begin to change the world,” says Serio. “But we must start by taking a sobering look at where we currently are. Tingle Monsters aims to do that.”
The most common form of stalking is unwanted phone calls, text, and internet messages. The unconventional format of the film plays on this. Shot in screenlife format with no extra score or sound design, the film is designed to transport viewers into a scenario they are already familiar with—the harassment of women on the internet—ultimately inviting the audience to examine the link between what we say and think about women and their real-world treatment.
In 2014, Alexandra Serio founded Nameless Network, a production and media company that makes educational content for the smartphone generation. For Tingle Monsters, Serio was heavily inspired by her own experience making female-driven content and seeing the abusive comments that the female hosts received. They were attacked for everything from their voice to the way the looked.
Serio also drew inspiration from an Amanda Hess piece called Why Aren’t Women Welcome on the Internet for Pacific Standard. In the piece, Amanda shares her own experience with online threats of rape, death, and stalking. Says Hess, “None of this makes me exceptional. It just makes me a woman with an Internet connection.”
Look for Tingle Monster to peremiere online on May 20th, 2020.
Are you excited to check out Tingle Monster in May? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.