The end of the Covid Film

After 18 months or so Paul, our editor Stu and I are looking at something like the finished version of “Behind the Mask” our Covid-19 film. FYI, Paul’s site, PRN films is here. Earlier this week we had a test screening with many of the folks who have helped us make it. If only we felt we were approaching the end of the pandemic with similar confidence. But we fear that’s not the case.

Yours truly viewed by the overhead camera in an intensive care room.

We’re so grateful for all the help and access we’ve been given. But we’re even more grateful to be in a place where we can live and work without fear of contracting and spreading this terrible disease. The film is made from interviews with front line medics around the world. They’ve worked, lived and in some cases, breathed and caught Covid-19 in the last year. They’ve fought it, suffered it and beat it. But some didn’t. Many, many medics have died. Thousands.

Their names appear in a long credit roll. So many it takes 6 minutes of the film to roll them by. Our last task is to figure out how to pay tribute to those medics who gave their lives in a meaningful way that’s not 6 minutes long.

Overhead of a CPR shot. We used a dummy for parts of our CPR sequences. We’ve seen so many fake looking CPR sequences that use actors. Real CPR requires rib-breaking force.

With just a few final tweaks left to do, Paul is approaching film distributors. Just getting one to consider our film would be an achievement. Hopefully one will buy it to show around the world and Paul and I will get to pay ourselves for the work we put into it. We’ve had a good deal of funding and support from various sources that has all been spent on the film itself, paying for Stu to edit it and to buy pictures we just couldn’t shoot from here in New Zealand. A large chunk of that funding is for research into the wellbeing of medical practitioners. The interviews that Paul has conducted around the world represent a valuable research resource. We had some terrific news this week that one distributor wants to take a look. Fingers crossed for more. Would a bidding war be too much to ask?

Marie Bismark, one of our wonderful film funders. In exchange for her generous support, we gave her a cameo in the film. She told us her yoga practice helped when we zipped her into the body bag.

So, the end of our road approaches and already we’re wondering what the next project will be. I really enjoy collaborating with Paul and getting back into documentaries has been fun, especially as a shooter. It feels like another thing I can enjoy growing into.

Meanwhile, we’re just grateful to be at this point, in this little country. And grateful for all the sacrifices made by the medics our film is a tribute to.

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