Hot Docs 2019: The Pickup Game

The Pickup Game (2019) 1h 36min | Documentary | 30 April 2019 (Canada) Summary: The Pickup Game is an inside look at the emergence of the 'pickup' industry - an business where self-styled seduction coaches travel the world, charging a small fortune to teach men skills ... See full summary »
Countries: UKLanguages: English

The billion dollar industry of seduction is explored in The Pickup Game. In 1992, Ross Jeffries released his self-published seduction guide “How to Get Women in Bed.” This kickstarted an industry of self-described seduction gurus, who now generate over $1 billion a year teaching how to pick-up women. However, the question must be asked is these pick-up techniques truly work or if this is simply a practice of misogynistic behaviors that treat women as stimulus response machines.

With The Pickup Game, filmmakers Matthew and Barnaby O’Connor dive headfirst into the world pickup artists and the billion dollar seduction industry, which operates just outside general public knowledge. The film talks to various pickup artists from past and present, including Ross Jeffries, Robert “The Beckster” Beck, “Mystery” Erik Von Markovik, and Marcus “Justin Wayne” Nero, and breaks down their methods. However, the first also talks to anonymous former expert “Michael M” and dating coach Minnie Lane, who warn against the darker side of the seduction industry.

Most of the general public today would be familiar with the seduction industry through the highly successful 2005 book “The Game” by Neil Stauss. The Pickup Game strives to go headfirst in this industry, which features everything from hidden camera pick-up videos to highly expensive boot camps. While ultimately, I feel this documentary is meant to expose this industry as one that promotes unhealthy and misogynistic behaviours, the filmmakers do this while also giving this pickup artists a platform to promote themselves. If anything, The Pickup Game can be seen as a demonstration of how awful men can be.