The Coronavirus Crisis: We're All in This Together

You're a filmmaker. You can provoke, inspire, and make a difference.

“It is a collective act of almost unprecedented community spirit, a fundamental statement of how we stand together as a species. The many act to protect the few – an almost tribal, communitarian instinct that is all too rare in modern life.”

It kind of feels like we’re living through the First Act of an end-of-the-world movie. As we all know, the coronavirus crisis is sweeping the globe. Countries close their borders – cities go on lockdown – and governments and businesses scramble to respond. Some people stockpile essentials, while hospitals prepare for the worst.

It seems surreal. Even unprecedented. Experts draw comparisons between the coronavirus pandemic and World War II, in terms of the scale of the crisis and its impact on the economy and our ways of life.

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been confused, overwhelmed, and maybe even disheartened by what’s happening in the world. But that’s not where I want us to focus today, friend.

Many of us are in quarantine right now, right? We’re working from home in our pajamas and yoga pants, trying not to obsess over the coronavirus headlines dominating the 24-hour media cycle. And so we scroll our social media feeds for cat memes, indulge Wikipedia rabbit holes, and chip away at those book, film, and TV backlogs. In practicing social distancing, we hang out with friends and family virtually, too. Cue the watch parties and Nintendo tournaments! 🎮 (No? Just me? I’ll crush you in Super Smash Brothers; bring it on).

What we can learn from Shakespeare.

The point is this: As we juggle myriad responsibilities and adapt to a new normal, weirdly, we have more time to fill.

So we’re faced with a call to action.

It’s long been thought that Shakespeare turned to poetry when the bubonic plague struck London in the 16th century. And when theatres were shuttered in 1606, he wrote King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra.

Look, you don’t have to compete with the Bard, here. But you do have an opportunity to use this time productively… To beat procrastination and start telling the story only you can tell.

Stuck at home? Why not use the time to start on your next film project?

For my part, I’m beginning to write a new feature film screenplay. You could do the same. Or why not produce a single-location short film? Embrace the fact that you’re stuck at home, doing what you can to help contain the coronavirus, and rally the director inside of you!

If you need help getting started – or maybe just some good old-fashioned camaraderie and accountability – know that we’re here for you.

Because you can go from consumer to creator.

Lights Film School is and always has been a remote company, ever since we launched back in 2007. Right from the beginning, our indie Filmmaking Program was purpose-built to provide an online education at-your-own-pace.

Which means our virtual doors are open to you throughout these uncertain times, wherever you are in the world. So that you can not only consume but also contribute to the stories, messages, and digital content that people everywhere are hungry for, now more than ever, as they hunker down at home.

More broadly, let’s do our best to focus on and be a part of the Good, friend! To recognize and participate in this moment of “shared, galvanizing national spirit that has existed in perhaps only a handful of epochal years before”.

As described by The Atlantic in the US:

“We are witnessing people everywhere, acting mostly independently but all together, shutting our country down – a move that ensures millions will face a massive incalculable economic hit – to give the weakest among us a better chance against the novel coronavirus. We are each sacrificing our daily routines – our gyms and coffee shops and offices – to keep health care professionals from becoming overwhelmed.

 

‘Flattening the curve,’ a phrase few of us had heard of a month ago, has arrived as an urgent national mantra akin to Rosie the Riveter’s ‘We Can Do It.’ This call to arms that reminds us how those on the front lines – the vulnerable (and equally scared) doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and other health care professionals – benefit when all of us do our own little bit, and, in turn, how helping those first-responders gives the inevitable patients, whoever they may end up being, the best chance of survival.

 

It is a collective act of almost unprecedented community spirit, a fundamental statement of how we stand together as a species. The many act to protect the few – an almost tribal, communitarian instinct that is all too rare in modern life.”

“Our belief in, and our need for, each other.”

I came up with the title of this blog post – “We’re All in This Together” – a few days ago, while reflecting on the fallout of the pandemic so far.

I was both surprised and delighted, then, to discover that the sentiment’s caught on culturally… “We’re All in This Together” is also the title of one of late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert’s quarantine monologues!

“Everywhere you look, people are looking after each other,” Colbert points out. “Getting food or cleaning supplies for their neighbors, regardless of what that neighbor’s politics are. Democrat, Republican, socialist – it doesn’t matter right now. We can still disagree about many things, but this crisis has driven home – literally, home – the truth that this is one great nation, united by our belief in, and our need for, each other.”

A need that extends far beyond America’s borders, to every country and person on Earth.

So never forget, friend: You can help meet that need.

Because you are a filmmaker. A storyteller. You can provoke, inspire, and make a difference.

Get those creative juices flowing. Be excellent to each other. And stay safe!

Wishing you health, compassion, and inspiration,

 Michael, with


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