Simon says you can watch him on video

Boston Globe – CYBERSCENES

Simon says you can watch him on video

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff | April 9, 2006

”Simon Richardson” is 23 years old and, rejecting the advice of his
parents, left home and found a place to live on his own in
Watertown. He has been documenting his early postcollegiate years on a
blog and a video called ”hello simon.”

So far, it’s been pretty depressing. In the episodes, his parakeet
dies, he loses his job, he fights with his parents, and he misses the
bus after his car dies.

”This isn’t college anymore,” the narrator says. ”There are bills
to pay, Simon. The day lacks a serious amount of play and your car is
now a large lawn ornament.”

Like the best blogs, though, it provides the voyeuristic thrill of a
peek into someone else’s life. And it has the added attraction of
video.

So 15 episodes, each about 3 minutes long, have been released on a
weekly basis.

The episodes depict him drinking beer on the couch, walking around
Watertown streets, and laying on his bed having terse conversations
with his parents. He has problems getting over a former girlfriend,
who remains in his life because she wants back her paperback copy of
”Animal Farm.”

”Simon” is really based on the life of Vatche Arabian (who plays
Simon’s best friend, Harry, in the episodes). Arabian, who grew up in
Watertown and recently moved back after graduating from Fitchburg
State College, said in an interview that most of the scenes are based
on actual events, though he has taken some poetic license.

He said part of the thrill is making a film that makes it difficult
for the viewer to determine what actually happened and what did not —
a technique used best in the movie, ”The Blair Witch Project”. After
an episode in which Simon loses his job, a woman in Framingham
contacted Arabian to see if she could help. He had to tell her that
he actually has a job in marketing.

The ”hello simon” clips can be viewed at Arabian
also has made other films, some based in Watertown, that can be found
at

. . .
bewest/

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/glo
www.hellosimon.com.
www.arabianproductions.com.

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