Inspired by real events, To Trend on Twitter follows the journey of struggling single parent Susie Jenkins as she desperately attempts to look after her terminally ill son, Tim.
After a series of events place her in the public eye, Susie is offered a string of exciting, life-changing deals including perfumes, TV shows, record deals and more, and takes them in order to support her child. Will she succumb to the glitz, glamour and glory of celebrity life or stay grounded in her newfound fame?
To Trend on Twitter evolved out of a collection of observations, passions and confusions I experienced.
Working in the entertainment industry, I observed first-hand the strange fascination that fans and showbiz professionals have with celebrities. They are humans with beautiful qualities and flaws, like the rest of us, but the tip-toeing, the obsequious laughter, the sycophancy and the fear their platform can breed – whether they want it to or not – is truly something curious, confounding, hilarious and eerie to behold, in person. And such behaviour gets all the more intriguing when those fanfares, palavas and dramas circle a truly ordinary person.
As the internet, and social media, rapidly grew into the bastion it is today, I also noticed a tendency towards extremes on the internet. A person is evil, cretinous, disgusting or scum, or beautiful, genius, God-like or perfect. As tweeting, statusing and commenting became a part of daily life, the grey areas, the balance and the civil conversation seemed to evaporate into the ether, as word wars and Twitterstorms became the norm. Were we always like this? Did we always feel so strongly about everything?
Has the internet lifted the lid on what we always were, or has it added a new, disturbing, digital complex to the human psyche?
Have we lost sight of what is truly important to us and, instead, found ourselves drifting in a wonder-less whirlwind of white noise?
Can’t we just stop arguing and fix things together?
Beyond making the film, I also wanted to contribute towards helping with the terrifying situations that real life Susie Jenkins’ face. As a child, I was in and out of hospital after being diagnosed with Perthes disease and later, luckily, escaped death from Meningitis B. When faced with such traumatic circumstances, the aid and love of family, friends, strangers, doctors, nurses and charitable institutions is so important in feeling cared for and looked after at what can often feel like an incredibly lonely and helpless time.
Whether you think Susie does the right thing for her son or not – you’ll have to watch the film to find out! – To Trend on Twitter‘s premiere will act as a fundraiser for CLIC Sargent, who do brilliant work for young people with cancer and their families. All of the film’s online and broadcast profits will go towards them fighting the good fight.