COVID 19 BLOG SERIES: 

Staying Motivated

 

It is no secret that COVID-19 has shaped the world’s 2020. In the entertainment world, many were gearing up for pilot season, in different stages of production, or just getting their foot in the door when COVID put a halt to everything we have ever known as an industry. There has been some movement from Hollywood hubs regarding finding ways to start production back up with new guidelines. Instead of a full crew, we’d be down to a skeleton. Instead of freely roaming the set, there are strict zones you must adhere to depending on your role. However, even that seems to be somewhat unrealistic as we see states like California shifting back to phase 1 since the acceleration of new COVID cases. We must ask ourselves: is it worth taking the risk when we can’t seem to get through this first wave? The answer depends on a number of factors and in which state you live and work. 

 

 

As we transition into our new normal and navigate what filmmaking looks like, Film Connx wants to be a source of valuable information for you and the rest of our community of creatives. We want to share ways to stay motivated and inspired – both inside and out of the home. For this week’s blog, we are discussing ways to stay inspired from the comfort of your own home.

 

 

 

 

Remote Short Films

There has been an interesting trend of films being made entirely remotely. Recently, it was announced notable actors Zendaya and John David Washington were part of a secretly made  film during quarantine called Malcolm & Marie, but they are not the only ones. Other smaller productions have followed suit all over the world. Here are a few examples:

“Shadowed” by David F. Sandberg

Shadowed, made by acclaimed filmmaker David Sandberg, director of Shazam! and Anabelle: Creation, made a 3-minute short at home. Unlike Stuck, the film itself does not have much to do with current events, however, it is a perfect example of putting one’s creative skills to the test and creating a suspenseful film on little to no budget or even crew! There is an insightful 18- minute behind the scenes video into how Sandberg made this film as well.
 

“Stuck” by Maria Leon

Stuck, a film made for a Belgian production company called Fledge, provides a vulnerable look into the struggles many people are feeling during lockdown all over the world. The production itself was entirely made remotely from the comfort of these filmmakers’ home. This film showcases that you do not have to sacrifice creativity and quality during quarantine to make a short that is simple and effective in grasping how the world feels now.
 

“Afrocontigbo” by Rachel Knoll

Afrocontigbo is a short film that is part of Vimeo’s “Stories in Place” series where filmmakers had to make a story within a 2-week window, all the while adhering to social distancing requirements. Each filmmaker had their creative liberties, and Knoll decided to focus on a woman whose business model completely changed due to the pandemic. Looking at Knoll’s work, you can see her out-of-the-box method of creating a well-rounded story with multiple characters.
 

Quick Ideas to Change Your Routine

 

As the days start to blend and work-life to home-life no longer has a healthy boundary, it is easy to fall into a negatively impacted routine. Of course, we could recommend getting fresh air or taking time to meditate…but considering that most film industry professionals rarely follow that advice when there isn’t a worldwide pandemic, we want to recommend some more tangible things.

 

1.    Focus on Personal Projects and Branding Yourself: As filmmakers, we are constantly networking and advertising ourselves for the net gig or new connection to get us to our goals. While you’re at home, why not think of new and creative ways to come up with a new and improved pitch for yourself? What did you do with your time during COVID-19? What skills have you learned and how are you engaging with the industry?

 

2.   Clean your workspace, computer, and hard drives: During pre-pandemic times, did you normally put off organizing your workspace and the plethora of files located in several different folders that you can’t even remember why you named “SHOOT DAY 1?” Now is that time to finally commit to a day to do it!

 

3.   Document, Document, Document: Take time to document this time that you are in. Video what is happening around you or how you are feeling during this time. If filming isn’t your forte, then write or audio record. Taking the time to document this period can spark inspiration in stories you wish to tell in the future. While most people will likely want to forget COVID in a year, there are universal themes that we can experience during this time that are outside of pandemic problems.

 

4.    Work on a New Reel: Updating your creative resume never hurts if you are someone who requires a reel for your role. Use your stay-at-home time to revisit your footage and see if there is anything you could improve on to make it that much sharper. You could even use this time to shoot new footage for your reel.

 

5.   Breathe: Now we know we said we wouldn’t be cliché, but it is important to take some time out of your day to focus on you. As people who are part of the entertainment industry, we are encouraged to keep going and think about ourselves later.  During the pandemic, the lines are blurred even more and that’s not helpful. Set a reminder on your phone or laptop to take a few moments to check in on yourself. It can make all the difference.  

 

COVID-19 Care Package

 

Desktop Documentaries very kindly curated a list of resources for people in the entertainment industry to check out. The list includes grants, emergency relief funds, free software, online events, and much more. COVID has created free access to more things than we usually have, and it is imperative to utilize it.

 

Take time to build a skill you felt you never had the time to before, get more in-depth with editing software, actualize that screenplay idea that you have in your head. Take action.

 

Our COVID-19 blog series here to help you realize that there are things you still can do while the entertainment world tries to figure itself out. During this time, we will get to take an in-depth look at how Hollywood is taking steps to start again, create a curated list of free resources available to you, and much more. We are excited to be on this blogging journey with you all, see you soon.

 

-Film Connx

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