Finding Face Time: A Glimpse into the Digital World of Dating

With the explosion of dating websites and mobile dating apps such as Tinder and OKCupid, it seems that relationships nowadays are moving towards a digital platform, aided by technology such as Skype, Snapchat and FaceTime.

In the midst of this boom, the new musical film Finding Face Time provides a hilarious insight into the evolution of modern relationships in this technology-laden world. With catchy tunes and a hilarious plot, the 10-minute YouTube musical examines the trials and tribulations of online dating and using Skype to communicate with people around us.

Directed and produced by recent UBC graduate Deborah Vogt and Sarah Harrison, Finding Face Time follows a couple who have been dating only long-distance for a year. The day the musical takes place is the day of an intended proposal, but connection issues ensue and provide an escalation of problems for the couple.

From the camera freezing to the sound not working properly and the dropped calls, the light-hearted musical showcases multiple communication errors with more than a generous dosage of wit and humour.

Finding Face Time was the winning selection from In Tune 2015, a musical theatre event run by the Arts Club Theatre and Touchstone Theatre.

“In Tune asked for pitches for a 10-minute musical for any ideas that have to do with YouTube, rather than theatre, that are appropriate for the internet as opposed to being live,” said Vogt.

Swiftly after the winning announcement, the talented group of artists, including recent UBC graduates, embarked on a month-long race against time to make the musical come to life. Bringing their different strengths forward, producers Harrison and Vogt, composer Kerry O’Donovan, actors Erin Aberle-Palm, Erik Gow, Natasha Zacher and Naomi Vogt and graphic designer Braden Neufeld collaborated in the production of the musical.

“It was such a fun collaboration between people from different schools. In the Vancouver theatre community, it seems that people often stick to their own program, so it's really fun to bring people together from different schools and backgrounds,” said Vogt.

However, the creation of the musical was not without its challenges.

“We had three days to write the music and one day to learn the music, and over that time we had a couple of days to edit the music and two days to film everything. Most of us also come from a theatre background, not a film background, so when we started it was a collection of us trying to figure out how to do it all." said Vogt. "Thankfully, we had a couple meetings with filmmakers and a lot of generous people lending us their equipment and providing us with their time.”

What emerged is a brilliant, refreshing musical film that provides us with a glimpse into the struggles of online dating through Neufeld’s own version of Skype -- FacePlace.

“You get to peer into these people’s lives, their secret lives essentially, and there are a lot of inside jokes and humour that goes with these personal relationships," said Erin Aberle-Palm, who plays Annie in the musical. "What was really appealing to me was that the musical is super relatable in this technologically advanced age where people are using dating sites like OKCupid and PlentyofFish to date and find people and I think that that’s relatable to everyone who is just so busy in everyday life.”

Added into the mix are energetic contemporary tunes inspired by the Skype digital sounds. Prepare to watch the video, download the soundtracks and listen to the songs over and over again.

Watch the YouTube video of Finding Face Time here.