Jon Stewart identifies one of the same pet peeves I have when watching movies: like a bucket of cold water, the “555” phone number jerks me back into the realization that the film I am watching is fake, that the whole world I’ve been settling into in order to enjoy the story has suddenly fallen apart.
Walken then suggests a solution, which jives pretty darn well with the R.E.D. / I.R.E. approach: real, working phone numbers which people can actually call, blurring the line between fiction and reality and making it easier for us to enjoy the story.
Remember Mission Impossible 3? A slip-up by the director left a fake academic degree peddler’s phone number clearly visible in the film. Masses of game-hungry people, thinking they were tapping into a secret spy network, called the number. Click on the image for more: