Film Assignments in Quarantine

In the beginning of this semester, back in January, I had a couple of plans for film projects. I had this one idea looming in my head (because people kept mentioning the topic) and I created a little script. Fast forward nearly 4 months later, I have only shot a couple scenes and have only released a mini trailer a few weeks ago.

I’m both optimistic and pessimistic. My sort of wholesome and happy behavior is completely contrasted by the dark thoughts and feelings I have. So what now? Well, it was hard to shoot scenes in the few small rooms in my home. I have my sister working with me sometimes but it’s usually just me.

In my directing class over Zoom, we had to film a few short subject projects. Well none of my family has really done any acting. (Side Note: I think all film students become a little comfortable with acting because we are all in each other’s projects) It was very frustrating because the last thing I’m going to do is tell my mom what to do.

I was really dissatisfied with the content I was creating for class because I always love to make my projects as perfect as I can make it and right now, it wasn’t happening. One project was shot in my room with my sister acting. It took so much time and frustration to shoot. I was watching my little brother at the same time and he was just having too much fun watching us attempt to film something.

But as much as things felt hopeless, I shot my final film project for class this week and to be honest I felt very satisfied with it. I filmed it in my kitchen and shot so many angles and versions. I waited till my parents left and rushed and set up my camera and outfits. I filmed and edited everything before my math class. I looked at it a couple times and I felt relieved that my creative streak wasn’t dead. It still had that flair that was in my other projects.

Click the image to see the short film on Instagram!

And besides that, I was experimenting with dramatic lighting this week. I usually just move some of the small furniture around my room and gather all the lamps around. There was a scene I shot for my larger project and I had applied water mixed with black mascara to create the effect of crying. That burned a little but it wasn’t too bad. In that little session, I tried to make the shots unnerving, but only others can tell me if I’ve achieved that.

There is a mixture of both good and bad things overall, but the thing that is the worst is me trying not to raise the suspicion of my parents. I try to be quiet and rush to do things while they’re away or not paying attention. I think that rushed and full of adrenaline scenario is what really has made creating films a struggle.

Now that the assignments are dying down, I’ll start writing a lot more. I have a little these past two weeks and oh my God how I’ve made myself cry. Writing from the heart is exhausting, but anyway…

This week I’m going to attempt once again to shoot a large part of this little project I’ve been attempting. Yes it has been hard, but I just can’t stop trying to work on it. I’ve been trying so much, it’s just bound to come out good some time! 😉

The time I escaped to see a movie

This is now probably the 6th week of quarantine. I mean I don’t know, it has felt like a long time. Every week I become more and more scared for the world and my pessimistic side doesn’t see a great outcome when this finally is over. Besides that, being at home is becoming a little more annoying by the day, but its not as bad a being at home in summer vacation.

While here in quarantine, I’ve been trying to shoot more short films. It’s difficult because between school and taking care of the home while my parents work, there isn’t much opportunity.

But this week, I managed to film a little true story. It was fun to make and I felt like my normal self while making it. My little short film is about the time last year that I snuck out twice to see two movies: Jojo Rabbit and Joker.

Now, ok, I’m a film student so I should be watching a lot of films, right? Well, as I’ve mentioned in my other posts, my parents are kinda on the strict side. So to keep things calm I just don’t tell them everything. I was dying to see those films so I just gathered all the confidence I could I just went.

Jojo Rabbit was the first film I ever saw alone. I was nervous because of the time and it was a theater I never been too. I went after a class and I spent a good 30 minutes just pacing and wondering whether I should go and see this movie or go home. Well my friends convinced me to go and I ran to this very large theater. When I got there, the theater was full of older people and I was right in the middle of all of them. I enjoyed the film. I laughed, cried, and then when it was over I ran. I ran and rode all the trains back to my town.

Click the image to see the short film on Instagram

The next day, I said I had a project to do (I didn’t) and I went over to New York. I traveled a little to ease my conscious and then went to another theater to see Joker. My conscious wasn’t eased enough because I kept fidgeting from all the anxiety. Still though, it was a great film and definitely a great experience. Afterwards, I wandered until it was a non-suspicious time to go home. It felt strange to just technically sneak out but it was fun.

When I went to see Parasite the next month, I did tell my parents because I was going with my friends. That was also a beyond amazing film and experience. The story made me anxious but at least I wasn’t scared going home. I could actually talk about it all day in the house.

Those three films mean so much to me. They were such amazing stories and the story on how I came to watch them is a great moment for me to think on. When the Academy Awards aired in February, all three films won awards. I screamed and cried with excitement when they won and I felt like I had truly lived and breathed film. I’m always excited every Oscars but this time it felt special and personal.

I don’t know if I’ll sneak out again to watch any movies. Well it would be after quarantine and probably next year if things don’t become better soon. I love film and I never really get to see a lot of films when they come out so I don’t regret what I did. I chose filmmaking because it seemed so magical to me and I’ll continue talking risks, hoping that I’ll make it some day