When Creative Control was being sold to audiences, the emphasis was on the technology at the heart of the story. Augmenta was a Google Glass-like product that opened up an augmented reality display to wearers, allowing them to access information about the people they were interacting with and the places they were visiting as well as view emails, texts and other media all within a single environment. The campaign showed that this technology was going to be misused and that it was going to lead to some morally questionable behavior but it didn’t show why.
The movie itself, on the other hand, hinges on that question. It’s all about the choices we make and how we make certain decisions every day that all have consequences both immediate and delayed.
In the story, Benjamin Dickinson plays David, an ad agency exec who’s frustrated by the lack of autonomy he’s given at work as he’s forced to deal with yet another pain-in-the-neck pharma client instead of being given work that will really let him express his creativity. One day he’s given his shot, though, with Augmenta. So he works with Reggie Watts (playing a slightly exaggerated version of himself), a poet-artist-philosopher to whom he gives the glasses to create something new and unique. At the same time David is increasingly dissatisfied with his yoga-instructor girlfriend Juliette (Nora Zehetner) and infatuated with Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen), the girlfriend of his best friend.
With so much pressure and the feeling that no one understands his problems or his genius David dives into pills, booze and fantasy, using Augmenta to create something that blurs the lines between an unhealthy porn addiction and having an affair. The faux reality the glasses create is heightened by the substance addiction to bring David to the point where he doesn’t know what has or hasn’t actually happened, even while his behaviors push everyone in his life, especially Juliette, away from him and into destructive or other behaviors of their own.
It’s the question of why people make the choices they do that’s the most interesting part of the story, moreso than the issue of technology taking over our reality. Technology allows for a broader range of choices that people can make, but the rationale and reasons for doing so remain the same, in this case selfishness and dissatisfaction. David’s reasons for his choices are no different than those that have been made by countless others, but the technology has grown to provide a whole new set of options for him to pick from, allowing him to make all sorts of new mistakes that are still achingly familiar.
That kind of character development wasn’t clear at all in the campaign, which was more interested in the flashy visuals of Augmenta. But it’s at the core of the story and