A year unlike any other, right?
Creating your path the first year out of film school is always hard (as I was expecting beforehand), but what about a year which includes first gigantic bushfires and a few months later a global pandemic?
As the first wave lockdown hit Australia, I quickly understood I needed to keep myself busy, especially on the creative side. My pre-film adult life in France was filled with several months-long unemployment periods between different jobs. I knew from those past experiences how it challenges your mental health and you can totally lose track of time if you don’t pay attention.
Like many locked down filmmakers at the time, I decided to go back to the pandemic-proof activity of scriptwriting. I was also hoping that Australia’s lockdown wouldn’t last too long as the impact of the disease was less dramatic there compared to many other parts of the world. I also hadn’t lost the post-school goal of directing new content at regular intervals.
The first announcement of restrictions easing in Sydney allowed 2 adults to visit 1 friend at his or her home. The sign I had waited for had come: what about one director and one cinematographer visiting an actor at his/her turned-into-shoot-location place?
I very much knew from the get go that I needed a story compatible with a super-small scale shoot. Taking advantage of the constraints instead of suffering them. But as days were passing and nothing came out on the page, I became afraid of losing the momentum. The fear morphed into hassle, and then into anger about my own inefficiency. That’s when the click happened: setting my choice on a few days old story idea (after seeing covers of tabloids while buying groceries), I ended up writing a full script in less than 24 hours (first time achievement!).
Finding available actors was not difficult given most of them were logically without gigs at the time.
Getting back into “film production” mode after months of lockdown was tricky for everyone on set: your out-of-exercise brain has to remember all the tricks, the do’s and not do’s. It feels a little like you are back to level 1 again.
Once the shoot had wrapped, I thought we had got the most difficult part.
But hey: 2020, right?
Editing was interrupted by the second (Australian) wave of the pandemic. After months of pause, I ended up taking over the editor role myself, determined to finish the film before the end of this (very special) year.
Given all the unusual challenges I had to navigate around, I’m pretty happy about the result 🙂