As the coronavirus ‘lockdown’ continues, Bedfordians have been sharing their experiences of prolonged isolation and the impact this new ‘normal’ is having on them.
In this chapter local film maker, Don Weerasirie talks to us about his short film ‘Lockdown’ which has gained significant praise and popularity on social media in the last few days.
Details of how to submit your own ‘lockdown’ life are below.
Filmmaking has completely changed my life and I’m so grateful for the opportunities it has given me
During such a difficult time I guess the idea (for Lockdown) was born from losing all my jobs over the space of a couple of days, the uncertainty of paying bills and how I was going to support my family.
I was laying awake one night with my brain on over drive when I heard a piece of music that evoked so much emotion in me that I started writing a script and it just flowed from there.
I stayed up till 3am to finish it then I suddenly woke up at around 5:30am, grabbed my cameras and started documenting the empty streets.
This was one of the most surreal moments of my life, it felt like I was Will Smith in ‘I am legend’ and the world had ended.
Soon as I got back, in true indie filmmaking fashion, jumped in my wardrobe and started recording the audio.
This was the first time I had ever used my own voice in a film and after hearing it back I was adamant that I wasn’t going to use it but I my wife managed to convince me that it should be used.
Filming was actually really difficult as using a camera that doesn’t have flip screen and a mobile app that doesn’t connect to my phone it meant I was consistently having to adjust framing and focus.
The whole filming experience and lack of equipment actually opened my eyes to a more simplistic way for capturing the frame.
For any cinematographers interested (as I always want to know when watching others) I only uSed Sony A7sii, old photography tripod, 24-70mm, a mavic pro and my iPhone 11 for a few shots when I didn’t have my camera with me.
Bedford is my hometown, I’ve lived here for 28 years. This is where all my memories are.
I was fortunate enough to travel a lot with my job and, although I’ve seen some incredible places, I always get excited to come back to this beautiful little town.
Bedford is also blessed with incredible music talent and that’s how I started my journey as a film maker. This town has such a rich history and a lovely sense of community, why would I want to live anywhere else.
The day before lockdown I filmed a music video with a local artist called Zedo, which was filmed solely in one location at Chicksands woods which is called ‘For the moment’.
This also inspired some of the cinematography for short film ‘lockdown’. I’m also working with local artists Turno & TiC for another exciting music video which will be out over the next days.
Lastly we have recently been to New Mexico filming a tv series with Ciro Campi of the Sharnbrook hotel which will be released at the end of the month.
I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported ‘Lockdown’ by sharing, commenting and sending me messages really means a lot and I’m so grateful.
By Don Weerasirie, Bedford
How to submit your own lockdown experience
Sharing your experiences, and how coronavirus is affecting you, will help others and also create a social record of how coronavirus is affecting us all.
How you write your experiences is entirely up to you. But here are some pointers:
- Please submit photos to accompany the piece
- Describe who you are? Are you a teenager, a parent, business owner or volunteer. Who you are will help readers understand your point of view
- Write it in a way that’s personal to you and your experiences
- You can talk about anything you want. How you feel, what you’re doing differently, how family life is at home, but be honest
- You can write a diary style piece, a list of ideas, or simply a story, be as creative as you like
- Try to keep it about 400 words
Send your article to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions from all ages are welcome. Please include your full name and what area of Bedford you live in. We won’t need your street address.