No One Knows I'm A Dog On The Internet, 3min., USA, Animation
Directed by Nate King
"No One Knows I'm A Dog On The Internet" explores digital taboos, kink subculture, and ideas of privacy in an age of twitter porn and onlyfans. Referencing the 1993 New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner, King performs and composites an online identity of puppy play, a popular underground kink expression in LGBTQ+ spaces. King questions if we are able to share ourselves online while still retaining a sense of privacy. Despite being out as a gay and queer man over a decade and having explored pup play and other kink for years, King highlights a his own self-consciousness toward others finding out about his sex life. The piece is a way to unabashedly claim that space and recon with his own self judgments.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I've been thinking a lot about performance, specifically on the internet, but also ideas of privacy, and how we engage with online spaces in both a very public and private way. The queer community uses the internet to connect and find each other in unique ways, and this film acknowledges that, but growing up in the 90s it was drilled into my head that the internet could be dangerous. I think my ideas fall between that spectrum of the internet as a playground, and the internet as threatening. There was a cartoon published in July of 1993 in The New Yorker that says "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog", and this film really just pushes that to a literal level in a humorous way. Mostly, I just wanted to have fun. I've been exploring green-screen and using my own body and I wanted to see if I could composite some weird videos together. And of course I wanted to express my own queerness.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I worked on various parts of it over 6 months not fully knowing it was going to become a short film. First, I was just experimenting with the 3D mask in a 3D software and warping it and twisting it. After that came green-screen and compositing video footage within a digital collage-like space. Then it finally clicked to mix it all together. The primary film production took about two weeks, followed by composing the music and sound, but I would say the work was floating around in my head for a long time waiting to come together.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Probably sound and music. I don't really consider myself a sound artist or musician so knowing that I was going to need to add sound to the film was intimidating. I pushed it off until basically the end. So it's quite exciting to be the winner of Best Sound and Music. I knew I wanted to use a lot of synth. I wanted to create a sense of nostalgia. It's very 80s and 90s.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It was great, it really made me smile. I don't think I've ever received anything like that before, so it's quite unique.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I've been interested in the arts all my life. I studied filmmaking for my undergrad and then became more interested in animation. Later I moved to New York and studied digital art and animation in grad school. I would say animation, not filmmaking, is my art practice. But combining animation and video really excites me. I think the filmmaking industry is currently in a hybrid space of video and animation.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably Alien by Ridley Scott
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway was quite easy.
9. What is next for you? A new film?
I have new films currently in pre-production and production phases. I've just finished an artist residency where I was able to animate a lot. I'm feeling good about that.