I believe #MyCorona is the first feature film to be directed entirely remotely – and almost certainly the first feature to be directed completely via FaceTime.”
— Phil Gorn, Director
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to substantially impact the film industry. With most productions delayed indefinitely and releases moved to unknown future dates, one movie has defied the odds and completed filming with the entire film directed using FaceTime.
Wonderphil Entertainment and Silicon Prairie Center Studios have just finished one of the few films to be completed during the current global health crisis. All of #MyCorona was directed remotely using the videoconferencing technology of FaceTime. Camera feeds were relayed to the director, Phil Gorn, via a Google Meet connection so that he could see exactly what the camera crew was seeing.
“This entire project has been an incredible learning experience and proof that, yes, film production can be done remotely,” says director Phil Gorn. “I was in California and the actors and production team worked and stayed at the Silicon Prairie Center in Nebraska. I believe #MyCorona is the first feature film to be directed entirely remotely – and almost certainly the first feature to be directed completely via FaceTime.”
Particular attention was paid to putting precautions in place to safeguard everyone’s health and safety. Most scenes included only one or two actors, and some were filmed within the apartments where the actors were living during production. Limits were placed on the number of cast and crew allowed on set at any given time (social distancing by the actors was observed even while filming), sets and workspaces were sanitized regularly, hand sanitizer and masks were provided, and social distancing guidelines were observed.
“We are extremely grateful for the technology available today,” says producer Kirk Zeller. “Every day on set, Phil would join us live via videoconference. He would watch each scene as it was being filmed and give his real-time direction and feedback. The powerful virtual collaboration enabled by platforms like FaceTime and Google Meet is what made filming #MyCorona possible.”
The film was shot in 8K using two Red Helium cameras by Los Angeles veteran cinematographer, Christopher Gosch. A behind-the-scenes documentary showing how #MyCorona was filmed safely and responsibly during COVID-19 is also currently being edited.
For another use of Covid-Inspired filmmaking technology, see the piece on the short film Woman at the Door we published last month.◊