Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Short film pulls back curtain on social media star

“Trophy Boy” is your classic “riches-to-rags” story. It depicts the downward spiral of James – a spoiled, influencer and narcissist, who, based on his social media accounts, appears to have it all. But, just before his 30th birthday, his much older boyfriend (played by Gerald McCullouch), on whom he was financially dependent, breaks up with him. James now must face reality with no work experience and no idea where to start.

With his sex-addicted best buddy by his side, James takes a crash course in living and sets out to prove that he doesn’t need anyone to take care of him. He ultimately ends up alienating himself further from reality and comes face-to-face with the bitter fact that if he doesn’t learn to live as an adult in the real world, he’ll never be more than a washed-up, unwanted accessory.

“Trophy Boy,” written and directed by actor Emrhys Cooper, is a timely, juicy, short film that, in pulling back the curtain on a social media star’s #bestlife, reveals the pitfalls of living a social media lie–and in doing so, leaves viewers feeling a bit better about themselves.

But much as we enjoy the lip-smacking taste of schadenfreude at James’ expense, who hasn’t wasted hours staging and post-producing a lucky selfie or curating a dubious, glasses-raised “aspirational” post? Aren’t we all guilty of a little unhealthy #bestlife fakery?

Emrhys Cooper (James) and Gerald McCullouch (Mark) on the set of “Trophy Boy.” Photo by Andrew Werner.

“Social media has created a generation of self-obsessed narcissists obsessed with self-obsessed narcissists,” says Cooper–himself with nearly 140K Facebook and 74K Instagram followers–on why he made the film.

“My goal for ‘Trophy Boy’ is to say, look up from your phone, breathe, observe, and think about what really matters: a sense of responsibility, progress, and self-worth. Enjoying the people you love, doing meaningful work. When we do this, we put ourselves on a path toward achieving the dream of living a truly satisfying life in the real world, our #authenticlife, as it were. Zero “Likes” given. Or needed.”

“Trophy Boy” will be released worldwide via Vimeo on October 22 and on on October 24.

The film is being developed into a TV series, the pilot and first episode of which have been shot and a distribution deal is in place.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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