Missed Call

Victoria Mapplebeck (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


Missed Call is a 19-minute smartphone documentary, I wrote, filmed and directed. It was commissioned for the [Physical Output = False]and SVOD app. A sequel to my award-winning short film 160 Characters, Missed Call documents my conversations with my teenage son, as we discuss if and how we will reconnect with my son's absent father. Beginning with the last email message Jim’s father sent in 2006 and ending with my first call to him over a decade later, it uses digital data from my own and my son's mobile phones to continue my ongoing exploration of affective technologies, digital archives, and smartphone production techniques.

It is rooted both in my personal experience and in a body of research on how affective technologies such as mobile phones mediate the experience, expression, and communication of feelings (Blackman 2015, Fuller 2009). On the one hand, Missed Call explores the changing nature of family relationships in a digital world and the role of the mobile phone as an archive of the self. On the other, it involves an investigation into everyday and creative uses of mobile media -- not just as a ‘memory tool’ for creating and archiving life stories, but also as a medium for expression and agency that provides exciting opportunities for low-budget film production.

The first commissioned work, and one of the first documentaries, to be shot on an iPhone X, Missed Call has won several awards, including the Best Short Form Programme award at the 2019 BAFTAs and the AHRC Research in Film Award for Best Social Media Short Award in 2018. It has also received extensive international media coverage including features on ITV News, Broadcast Magazine, The Conversation and The Sunday Times.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationReal Stories’ YouTube channel
Media of outputFilm
Size19 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2018

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