This video with the ‘girl in the red dress’, gives a chilling account of how the corona virus has effected all of us in 2020.
There are times in this magnificent planet of ours when magic happens.This is one of those times, when this woman’s ingenuity, courage, and brevity of the human spirit soars in such a way to give us a perfect sense of synchronicity and harmony. By ‘speaking’ through her violin, she says it all. No words. Just sound. Music.
So how are we going to survive this? Exactly as the woman in the red dress has done. The instinctive form of the human spirit during a time of crisis. No words, yet everyone implicitly understands her meaning. This is the unspoken power of storytelling.
Pandemics are not an unknown entity in medical science. But the fact that all of us all over the world, have had to pull together at the same time – is unusual. More than unusual is the cohesion of the human spirit, across nations, across language barriers, cultures and ethnic origins, we all are having to fight this disease. Nature has brought us together. Nature has equalized the playing turf. We all need to take heed and listen to the whispers.
So how exactly we are all going to rise above it? How long will it take for them to find a cure or vaccine? This remains to be seen … Until the vaccine emerges from the ashes of global chaos, there are so many questions. Who started it? What happened? These questions become redundant to the fact that we all just have to get on with it and get through it.
More importantly – in our industry – the film industry – being one of the largest work-affected areas of this pandemic there is an open plea for answers: when are we going to be able to shoot again? Are we ever going to be able to operate fully as we used to in the past? With social distancing as the ‘new normal’, are we going to be able to have cameramen and women crunched up against a focus puller? Can more than two to four actors ever appear on-screen together again? For how long? Can we as film-makers survive this?
Who knows? And really – nobody knows a goddam thing. All the leaders are trying, except of course for the orange man, who seems to think its okay to have rallies and then demand that people sign affidavits disclaiming the state if anyone contracts corona? Weird.
In all honesty, they’re all just making it up as they go along. Nobody knows if this pandemic is going to last two decades, two months or two years. The medical professionals have made it clear that to find a vaccine will take at least two (2) years. Even if they do find a vaccine in one (1) year:
- How long before everyone in the whole world has been administered with it?
- How long will it take for our country’s to negotiate a sales price from … whomever?
- Even if they do, will everyone be able to afford it?
- Will it work?
- How long will the effects of it last?
So its still looking like – at least – two (2) years before things might change. Oi … In the meantime, let’s say we get back to a level 2 or 1 as industries slowly start becoming active again, with all the lessons of the past several months, MY BIG QUESTION: How do we administer love scenes on set?
I ask this as a question to my glorious writers because not only are you going to have to actually deal with the virus, but our stories need to reflect, a mirror image of the society in which we live.
So let’s take a look at that love scene and see what we can come up with to ‘change the narrative’ – ‘write it differently’:
In a Pre-covid world the script could have looked something like this:
INT. JOE’S DIGS – NIGHT
JOE and LENA sit on a sofa together, drinking tequila. Their legs dangle intertwined as they lick the salt off their fingers, then squeeze a slither of lemon into their succulent mouths.
They laugh at each other’s antics and jive each other on matching their shots one-for-one, flirtatiously.
Lena downs a shot. Giggles. Squeezes lemon on Joe before she seductively licks it off his cheek and lifts Joe’s T-shirt at the same time.
Their eyes meet. It’s quite clear she means business. Joe stretches behind her to unzip her dress, lifts her up as they kiss passionately, while he manoevre’s her towards the passage.
Fade to black.
INT. JOE’S BEDROOM – DAY
The sun is pouring in on Joe’s bed as they lie entangled on each other’s bodies with tousled hair. Lena is lying on Joe’s chest.
Joe lifts his head to get up. It doesn’t work. He moans and lies down again. She puts her arm over his chest as they pull each other close.
END OF CLIP
That’s just a quick scene I’ve just made up now to demonstrate that in a covid-19 world this scenario just cannot occur, because of social distancing for actors and the safety for all concerned. Repeat the same scene in a Post-covid world:
INT. JOE’S DIGS – NIGHT
JOE and LENA drink tequila with lemon and salt in Joe’s sparsely furnished digs. She sits on a sofa while he sits on a bar stool. They drink, laugh, and flirt from across the room and jive each other on.
They match each other one-for-one with shots as they lick the salt from their hands and suck the lemon slithers, competing with each others groans and sour faces.
Lena downs a shot. Giggles. Then squeezes the lemon and licks it seductively off her hand. She unzips her dress and moves towards the passage sucking the last drips of lemon from her hand. Their eyes meet.
Joe gets up from the stool, taking off his T-shirt as he goes. He follows her down the passage.
INT. JOE’S BEDROOM – DAY
The sun is pouring in on Joe’s bed as he lies still with tousled hair, looking very satisfied like the cat who licked all the cream in a hung-over sort of way. He tries to get up. Bad idea. His head hurts. He moans and lies down again.
Lena laughs at him from the window as she stands with the sun pouring over her auburn hair, looking like a bedraggled kitten with equally tousled hair.
Lena moves to the bottom of the bed, puts on her shoes, and half zips up her dress and walks out of the bedroom into the passage …
END OF CLIP
So for screenwriters in a post covid-19 world, we just have to look at scenes differently. Our thinking has to change. We need to get a little creative.
Has Lena left? Or is she trotting down the passage to make coffee … we don’t know but we’ve created a similar vibe with social distancing intact! Voila.
Crowd scenes may be a bit of a challenge and they will probably occur more like the woman in the video with everyone wearing masks! But that’s okay …
As for the poor crew, cameramen, grips and focus pullers all crunched up on a dolly together? Well we might have to use only one hand-held camera for a while. Or arrange a skeleton crew? Or put it on a tripod. But we are a resourceful and creative bunch. We can make this work! We have to.
The virus IS going to end – one-day – we don’t know when but … one day … and when it does we want to be ready with our stories!
So let’s get to work!
Please view my websites:
https://iqu2film.mykajabi.com (ecourses store & BLOG)
www.iqu2film.co.za (original screenwriting profile)
www.greenlightdistrict.org.za (teaching offender profile)
www.jazminepippadyer.co.za (acting/performance profile)
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