Far Out (2019)

Director: Jessica Eu & Daisy Stone
Writer: Daisy Stone 
Director of Photography: Jessica Eu

In an era when young people spend hours scrolling through social feeds, watching YouTube videos, and tuning into livestreams, traditional media seems increasingly irrelevant. The question then is: how does storytelling adapt to this shift?

The web series FAR OUT sought to address this by meeting viewers where they are—on social media. The series was published on IGTV, Instagram’s first foray into long format videos. It utilized traditional web series episodes, with episodes running 1-2 minutes each, individual Instagram accounts for the characters, and a Tumblr blog. The story unfolded over five weeks, with filmed episodes, scripted Instagram stories, and character interactions happening in real time and mingling with the audience’s personal social media feeds, blurring the line between reality and fiction. This transmedia approach explored how stories can integrate with our lives and critiques how social media shapes personal narratives.

Narrative, the series focused on a college student navigating love and friendship, with isolation as a central theme. To emphasize this, the series used the 9:16 aspect ratio, native to mobile phones. With the intimate and handheld nature of viewing on a phone combined with the narrow frame, the characters were brought closer to the audience, increasing the sense of intimacy and, with multiple characters in frame, an intensified feeling of claustrophobia.

The project emerged from Buzzfeed and Instagram’s incubator program, #VerticalU, and was also a part of my Senior Fall Media Studies project (for Honors). Among fifteen projects selected to receive funding from both companies, and of the fifteen, FAR OUT was one of three projects highlighted at Instagram’s New York #VerticalU premiere with industry leaders. It premiered successfully on Buzzfeed’s IGTV on May 2nd.

︎ Watch all episodes on Instagram

*best viewed on a phone

Teaser Promotional Posters

Character Instagrams of Grace, Nick and Mallory

Using Instagram accounts to deepen character portrayal in the digital era, the web series featured authentic accounts posting scripted content weekly. Each character's aesthetic was meticulously curated across their feed and stories. Even seemingly minor details like the celebrities each account followed, how Instagram stories were stylized, and the emojis used in comments were carefully integrated into the narrative.

The Instagram account @FarOut_TV (above) was used as a main hub to catch all the weekly content and create a timeline for easy viewing

More details including
(1) Instagram Stories on the main account, @FarOut_TV, created in-app
(2) Stylized text messages between characters
(3) Announcement posts
(4) The character Nick’s Photography Tumblr account