The film industry took to new levels of creativity when it came to filmmaking in the time of the coronavirus. With some plots taking place over Zoom, everyone living together in the very apartment building where they were filming, #MyCorona proudly claims the title of being the first remotely directed feature film that really brings home the reality of lockdown, social distancing and COVID.
Wonderphil Entertainment and Silicon Prairie Center Studios announced the completion of the romantic comedy feature film, #MyCorona, and its accompanying documentary, Directing Remotely and Filmmaking During the Pandemic: The Making of #MyCorona. The documentary showcases how the film was made and is packed with behind-the-scenes footage as well as interviews of 8 cast members including Cecil Glenn, Crystal Carson and James Huang. The documentary is an official selection of film festivals in Cannes, London, Tokyo, Montreal, Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
Slice of Life
Recently awarded Best Picture by the Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival, #MyCorona is a romantic comedy set in the days leading up to California’s stay-at-home order of the 2020 pandemic. Focussing on the residents of a Los Angeles apartment building who, while forced to self-isolate during the pandemic, find themselves suddenly forced to learn how to rely on neighbors they barely know. The “new normal” forces them to learn a lot about themselves, each other and their rather unusual neighbors.
Alex (Cooper Tomlinson) and Zoe (Mya Hudson) are neighbors who have nothing in common save for the thin wall that separates their apartments. The stillness of lockdown and the absence of Los Angeles traffic slowly reveals Alex and Zoe’s lives to each other. From illicit lockdown dates to differing opinions on baseball, #MyCorona captures the viewer’s attention and will have you silently rooting for Alex and Zoe as their relationship deepens to a level that might not have been possible before the reality of COVID-19.
Although the film centers on Alex and Zoe, the theme of human relationships and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted this aspect of life is depicted in all the characters. Be prepared for some hard-hitting real moments as the characters struggle to come to grips with their situation. #MyCorona will be available on DVD from the 17th of June, 2021 with early release on the Silicon Prairie Center Studios website: https://www.
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Producers Phil Gorn and Kirk Zeller are no strangers to adapting on the fly. Born and raised in San Francisco, Phil was involved in the movie business as soon as he was tall enough to see out of the projection room window in his family’s repertory movie theater. When COVID-19 inevitably impacted the film industry, producer Kirk Zeller was faced with a unique challenge: shooting the entire film remotely and safely.
“For this film we ended up doing these two sets, and then down the alley from where I am now, we have two more buildings. One is our office building which is the original Carnegie Library, where all the behind-the-scenes stuff happens…and adjacent to that building is a large building, takes up about a half a city block,” producer Kirk Zeller explained that this building was critical to the filming of #MyCorona. “When we filmed #MyCorona, basically, we took some of those apartments, turned them into sets and had the actors live on the sets while they filmed their scenes.” This pod-like approach not only helped to keep the cast, crew and filmmakers safe, but gave an authentic feel to the film.
There was one big challenge with using this apartment building. Located in the town of Ravenna, Nebraska, producer Phil Gorn could not travel the 1,500 miles that separated him from the cast. “So I directed it from right here in San Francisco, six days shooting in Nebraska and two days at the end in LA,” Gorn shared with the Hollywood Reporter. Using two monitors, one dedicated to FaceTime and the other to Google Meet, a live feed from the cameramen in the Nebraska apartment was streamed to Gorn. “I gave everyone a lot of leeway. Working remotely makes you collaborate more. As a director I’ve always tried to be more democratic and less dictatorial, but this really forced me to push the democratic experiment,” Gorn shared.
With a tongue-in-cheek approach that successfully lightens the stress and uncertainty everyone faced the past few months, the rom-com #MyCorona poignantly examines what it means to be human in the new normal. The fun and finesse is sure to leave viewers with that “feel-good” sensation which characterizes brilliant romantic comedies.