Webbed (2012) – By Misty Layne

In today’s society, if you don’t have an online presence, are you actually even real? Webbed, a short film by Zack Windheim, poses this question as his main character, JoeTheLegend323, is not only ignored extensively online but also in his everyday life. Joe lives alone in his apartment and constantly uploads videos to YouTube – everything from movie reviews to how his day went to dance moves but no one’s watching. And at his job, no one even knows his name. Does Joe even exist?

Webbed starts with an exterminator taping his philosophical bug show from the back of his extermination van where he states that flies are just trying to be heard with all that buzzing and that they’re trying to speak to us. Next we switch to Joe, who is doing his own buzzing and trying to be heard via YouTube. Alas, there are never any views of his videos and he never has any new messages. Until, one day, a girl takes great offense to his offering up gift cards in return for people uploading videos of themselves partaking in his dance moves. She records and uploads a scathing video calling Joe out as lame and troll-like and insists that he’s ruining the YouTube community.

Meanwhile, Pierre, our exterminator from the beginning of the film, is going around the apartment complex where Joe, and coincidently Annoyed Girl, both live telling everybody of an upcoming fumigation for termites.

Joe sees Annoyed Girl’s video reply and promptly starts making his comeback, saying that she’s a loser and that he is now going to choreograph the rest of his dance and dedicate it to her. And he does. And then…well, let’s just say that Joe, Annoyed Girl and Pierre, the exterminator, end up meeting in real life under unusual circumstances.

Webbed is a quirky and fun short with some deep underlying questions about online presences, vlogging and real life interaction vs. online interaction. The film is shot in a way where most of it is being played as if online (as YouTube videos). Highly enjoyable and just this side of weird, Webbed makes a serious point in a not so serious way.

If you’d like to learn more about Webbed, check out JoeTheLegend323’s site here.