London Filmmaker Monique Needham’s CASHPOINT to Display the Reality of Online Dating

ATM: Why do you believe the female character picks the guy?

MN: It is because she is trying new things. The online dating experience is new. You do not know anything about anyone. You only have a photograph and some information they have decided to share. I believe it was necessary for choosing this person because of how she met him. She was not able to figure out the type of person he was.  

ATM: What is the reputation of online dating in London?

MN: It is a bit of a mixed vibe. I have met married people who started through online dating. I have heard some horror stories. They met someone and it was not the same picture they used. They seemed to look younger. Cashpoint is based on an actual experience of someone going on a date with someone. This story always made me think about what they did when going on the date.

ATM: Online dating is instant, but there are a lot of people who use it for the wrong reason. Some people use it to find their soulmate. This is strictly up to an individual. People should be cautious and aware of the bad influence of online dating and not just the good impact.

MN: Right. I know people who had great experiences. One of my closest friends met someone online and they are engaged now. This was the best intention.

ATM: It is also space for people to hide behind. A lot of times when meeting someone it will not be them. People tend to fake who they are. They portray a different persona than who they are.

MN: Online dating does get a lot of stick in the sense people can use it to give a false representation of themselves. However, people can also do this in real life. In real life, they can say what they want. They can say their profession is a doctor, but they are actually working in a hospital. They can make up a persona to impress you. It is easier to do this with online dating because you are not face to face with someone. People become brave behind messages to oppose to meeting face to face.

ATM: Give an assessment of online communication vs in person communication.

MN: In person communication, you have more time to think about what you are going to say. You can structure your opinion on things. You have time to pair it. It is like how we are talking now. The questions you have now, I could have spent two days preparing for it. But you are asking these questions right now, it makes me think on my feet to respond instantly. This is the same with communicating with someone online. In some cases, when communicating face to face you are getting a purer response. You are able to not only hear what the person is saying but also read their body language. You can read their face and look at them. A lot of communication comes from looking at the person than what is being said. This is what is lost with online dating. You are not able to capture the essence of the person like the facial expressions they make.

ATM: And this makes a lot of things get interpreted the wrong way because you are not face to face. A person can read it as you are irritated or continue flirting.

Image result for cashpoint film

MN: It is the same when you have a conversation with friends on WhatsApp. You can read a deep conversation on WhatsApp wrong because the tone is lost. You can interpret a person saying something completely different than what is intended.

ATM: Some people do not communicate with emoticons or gifs. Online dating can make flirting very confusing.

MN: Right. With flirting, the interaction comes with physical interaction. It is always requiring touching, but it is also being able to respond to the combination of body language with what they are saying.  

ATM: A lot of times when people laugh, they could be laughing at a different level than what is intended. This could send a mixed vibe. The person on the receiving it could think the person is attracted to them. The person could have given the phone to someone to respond.  

MN: Exactly.

ATM: What are some phases of understanding that your main character goes through with online dating?

MN: She is quite naïve to it. In the beginning, it is something she did not know quite what to do but was encouraged to do it. She is going into multiple phases. She goes through not wanting to do it. Then she goes into wanting to do it. Then she thinks it is not so bad. Up until she pays the bill, it is thinking less about the app and more about the person. She is not about to put up the whole bill. By the end of it, she goes back to the feeling of not wanting to do it. Not only has she paid for the bill, but she gets duked. She goes through a series of phases only to return back to her initial feeling. The film takes place within a span of a week.  

ATM: How does online dating play a role in someone’s identity?

MN: You can create an identity. You can create any identity depending on your intentions. If you want your identity to be serious and marry someone, then you can shape yourself because on who you are. On the other hand, you could have someone who has motives or who wants to just have sex with someone.

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