The coronavirus lockdown started only a few months ago in China, and then shortly after in most of the rest of the world. Confined to the limited spaces of their homes, people started dealing with this new reality in different ways. Some went on withe their lives and their jobs, with teleconferencing becoming the new temporary norm. Others started spending most of their time reading, watching TV, and finding other relaxing methods to pass the time.
A select few have instead used this opportunity to do something creative, and have worked on screenplays and film projects. In April 2020, we already received several projects dealing with the topic of coronavirus, or even shot during lockdown conditions, from home. I personally found this very impressive, and decided to list a few corona-related topics that have popped in my head at various times during my two months (and counting) spent at home. And I will steer clear of any health-related ideas, because this article is not meant for documentary projects.
Changing dynamics between people
The lockdown brought along a sudden change in human dynamics and patterns of interaction. People living together have been spending more time with each other, which is a positive outcome, but in some unfortunate cases it has also led to less desireable ones, as shown by a rise in domestic abuse rates. But it’s not only about people living within the same household – it’s also about family, relatives and friends who suddenly could not see each other in person. Perhaps such a reality made some attach more value to such meetings, once the lockdown is lifted and things slowly revert back to normal. Perhaps it has also led to an increase in digital competencies in older generations, who were suddenly forced to either be able to operate Skype, or stick to telephone calls with their loved ones. Whichever of these scenarios would be tackled by potential projects, the results could be interesting.
Changing perceptions of the world
Meeting a friend without shaking their hand, and having to stay 2 metres apart while chatting feels weird. Going to the supermarket is an adventure in itself. First comes the game of ‘ping-pong’ – dodging people on the street, making sure you preserve proper distance from them. Then follows putting on a mask once you find yourself within what would normally not even pass as a crowd. You battle your way to the flour aisle, pick up the last package, then make your way towards the quarantined checkout tills whilst trying to touch as few objects as possible along the way. Almost everyone went through similar experiences, so a scenario centred along such changes, if sufficiently interesting, could resonate with a lot of people.
Deserted streets and the mystery factor
Images of large cities with completely empty streets and no human beings in sight started going viral on the Internet back in March. There’s certainly a shock factor to them, because everything feels like a massive contradiction – busy places which are deserted. My thoughts went back to the image of Will Smith walking on the deserted streets of big cities in I Am Legend, and thought that many projects could be built around this image. Completely empty streets, coupled with confused emergency services and a general sense of uncertainty could be a backdrop for many interesting scenarios: a robbery, for example. A journey? A race? A feud with neighbours? Could be anything! Most people are at home, and many might be watching through their windows at any given moment, so that could also lead to interesting results.