Triska Hamid | January 7, 2014
The internet is abuzz with Transformer producer Michael Bay’s abrupt walk off stage during Samsung’s presentation at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
He had been invited by the South Korean company to have a conversation with an executive from the firm about the importance of Ultra High Definition (UHD) TVs and chat a bit about how great his movies would look on a massive 105inch curved screen TV. But he barely finished a sentence before he gave up. The autocue was not working and he had no idea what to say. So he walked off.
What this proved was not a lack of imagination on his part, nor his dislike of improvisation, but the ridiculousness and forced joviality of these “conversations”.
The entire presentation is staged and rehearsed. The conversations, written by the PR team, are nervously and mundanely read off scripts. It is always the same, mindless claims.
Every time an executive gets up on stage, they seem to lose all sense of self and reality. Instead, they develop a Messiah complex, spreading out their arms, set on spreading their message to the audience and converting them to their way of technology. They ask everyone to switch off their phones and listen, as they guide you through the future.
“This,” they claim smugly while holding up a gadget, “is the future”. This is the gadget that will complete you. It will help you achieve your goals, desires. It is essential to life and all that is necessary.
You find yourself drawn in as loud funky music plays in the background, happy people using the gadget light up the screens in a video montage of a life you wish you had.
But then the video ends and you come back to the executive who remains on stage standing with the gadget in hand and you realise in that moment that it is just a phone he is holding. It is just a phone, nothing more. It probably has a terrible battery life and is filled with apps you’ll never use.