• Samantha Duncan

No More COVIDeo Production Part II: Dusting Off Old Projects

If you normally work in production, at any given moment, you're being inundated with a million different webinars, workshops, Q&As, and quarantine film festivals as the industry continues to reel (pun intended) to adjust to life in isolation. Okay... that's an exaggeration... but you probably have at least a few competing for your attention every day, and it can be hard to drown out the noise. Please don't misunderstand - many are incredibly helpful, and the amount of information being shared is amazing and probably unprecedented for an industry that is so esoteric.

BUT if you're an introvert like me, you sometimes (or even most of the time) need some time to yourself to focus on ... you. YOUR projects. The things that make YOU tick. You don't always want a prompt, you don't always want to be collecting advice that won't be relevant until you're a few years further into your career, and you don't always want to network with strangers at virtual happy hours. Those things are amazing... sometimes.

But what else is there to do? Most of us are still stuck at home most of the time, and - big shocker - I haven't acquired any fancy video equipment since I yarn bombed my niece's toy car when we started sheltering in place.

Well, I dug back reel far (pun still intended, but it's the last time - I promise!), and I found some old interviews my brother and I had shot with our grandmother years ago. I edited them into 18 short videos.

The interviews were originally my brother's idea. He wanted to encourage my creative side and to make Granny feel special. What a gem, amiright?

We didn't edit the videos right away. Our lives got in the way as lives tend to do, and for a while, we forgot about them.

Then, Granny died.

Our whole family was heartbroken. My brother and I thought for sure we'd buckle down and start editing them then, but we didn't. Our oh-so-important lives got in the way again.

Instead, we ended up circulating the unedited videos, complete with our struggles to figure out if the audio was working and if the room was lit properly. It was still special. Our family still got to hear new stories from someone that was gone. And for the time being, it was enough.

Well... with COVID-19 derailing my normal life, what excuse do I have now? None! I finally sat down (if lounging in my bed qualifies as sitting) and edited those damn videos. While I was working on them, I slept better than I've slept in months; seeing and hearing Granny again was so indescribably special to me.

I don't think these videos are going to win any awards at festivals, and I don't think they're going to attract an audience outside my family. But I do think they'll make my family members smile, and I do think they'll allow them to reconnect with someone they lost. And isn't that better? Plus, making them was great practice!

Needless to say, I'm digging into old folders to see what I can dust off next. Why not? No time like the present. Seriously.

P.S. Obligatory shoutout to my Sims, my COVID companions. <3

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