TUF holds a tale long before its actual release. The power of marketing and media is without a doubt a force that can feed the population absolutely anything and in effect cause waves of information (false of true) pouring around the world. TUF is a true testament of how to manipulate the system and generate some serious attention for a film.
The story starts in 2009, where a group of affluent New Yorkers (Blake, Will, Taylor and Devon) are seen leaving a nightclub with a woman, never to be seen again. In 2010 a video hit YouTube, it was titled "Socialite Overdose" it showed exactly that, a young pixel-faced girl dying in a bathroom of a New York apartment, the footage was pulled. A year later more clips were uploaded of that very night which depicted young 'celebrities' partying with Blake and co with enough cocaine to hold one hell of a party.....or to overdose! At this point the media goes into a frenzy, I'm sure they didn't actually know what they were reporting on exactly but they certainly took the bait. Were we in the presence of an actual cover-up? A real overdose video on the net? Who knew what was real or what was coming but the media threw out enough stories and connections to make this one hell of a hot topic! October of 2011 brings another bread crumb when a message appears on the 'Upper' movie website stating that they now have possession of the footage.
So here we are, with exactly that.....the footage from that fateful night, is a life lost from a cocaine overdose? Is this concrete evidence that could prove who or why that girl died? Just watch to find out!
What can be said is TUP plays out like a real event, just watching the group interact is actually like watching some social groups interact with each other (obviously divert your attention from the extreme situation that they occur) but the footage of drink, drugs and women is one that can be seen by just having a night out on the town!
Now I do feel like I missed a bit of a boat with TUP, my internet naivety meant that I completely missed out on all of the hype that surrounded the film (impressive I know to miss something so major when most of our lives are spent on social media), this certainly could have added another element to the film for me.
Of course with all found footage films there are scenes that may grate the casual cinema goer, to add to credibility you can clearly see what direction has been taken with the footage, for example sometimes the camera can literally be facing at nothing and there can be extended scenes of nothing but dialogue. To the veteran found footage fans this is something of a common occurrence, again it was all about making the tape as real as it could be and little touches like this definitely played their part.
One only gripe I do have with TUP is the believability of the plot, granted I'm sure this scenario (maybe not to the letter) could most certainly happen. However the group almost instantly come up with the decision to try and get rid of the body!! Only one of the group suggests trying to call 911, which is immediately dismissed, personally this is something that I think is almost in our DNA, we see something life threatening or someone being harmed and it's a natural reaction to get help....not think 'Right she's used our coke lets dump her in the woods'. That's my only minor niggle with TUP, I think it just needed one other element to be able to justify why they were so keen to dump the body.
Overall The Upper Footage is one hell of a gritty film. It will always be remembered for the wave it made in media, well thought out execution of social apps and smartly planted pieces of 'evidence' if you like, that caused real reports to be produced.....not many directors can make that claim!