Please Wait for the Next Available Angel

Please Wait for the Next Available Angel

by edenxiii on 29 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

A demon working in a heavenly call center doles out terrible advice until she receives a prayer unlike anything she’s ever heard. Created as an undergraduate senior film at SCAD Atlanta. Rendered in real-time in Unreal Engine 4.

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Please Wait for the Next Available Angel is about a demon working in a heavenly call center, doling out terrible advice until she receives a prayer unlike anything she’s ever heard.

A few words from the director -

This film began as a private thought in 2011 while watching friends celebrate or despise the end of the Super Bowl. Emotions were high, and people were very invested in the outcome of the game. There were drunken fights, prayer, joy, sorrow...all of the things you would expect to see at the end of a season with two very popular teams in the final game.

But why?

Why was a game so important? Why were my friends so deeply invested in something that had no meaningful impact on the world or the lives of anyone beyond a few obscenely wealthy people? The Arab Spring was well underway on the other side of the world at that exact moment. People were fighting and dying for causes with generational impact. On my phone was the image of a Syrian woman holding her dead son and crying to God; in front of me was a Steelers fan holding a football and doing the same. An obscene caricature of real tragedy.

It's unreasonable to think that every person is at all times aware of the struggles of others, or that each of us should only ever be as happy as the most miserable person on Earth, but there was clearly a gap in perspective. One person was calling on higher powers to end despotic oppression that killed people daily, and the other person was asking for divine intervention to change the outcome of a sporting match.

Please Wait for the Next Available Angel is a refinement of that observation. It's an easy thing to lose perspective and weigh the vicissitudes of our lives with an increasingly narrow lens, to the point that someone being rude to us while in line at a Starbucks or missing a yellow light because the person ahead drove too slow can define the rest of our day. In the film, Lilith also falls into this trap, as do the callers she interacts with. Everyone is wrapped inside of their personal narrative, heroes of their own story.

Breaking out of that is uncomfortable, and necessitates some misdirection. The first half of the film feels like something we've seen a thousand times.

There's laughs.

There's broad archetypes.

It's safe and familiar to both the audience and our protagonist. It's only when confronted with a clear example of genuine loss and grief that Lilith is able to see beyond the horizon of her own ego and, with that clarity, connect to another person on a genuine, human level with raw empathy. My hope is that this mirrors the viewer's journey as well.

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