Directed by: #RyanMonolopolus
19 Covid Lane is a short film which focuses on the current pandemic and the lockdown experience. It is centred around three main characters – Bruce (Derek Russo,) Sarah (Angelie Simone) and Trevor (Justice Leak) – showcasing their struggles when trying to secure their safety. The film carries a distinctive style, mimicking that of a classic virus outbreak production. Matching its style, the characters involved are primarily shown to have the personalities one would expect from a classic; Bruce is prepared for anything, the one that no one listened to before the pandemic escalated, flaunting his tough exterior. Sarah, on the other hand, seems to feel trapped. To her, there is no hope and no escape. In contrast, Trevor appears levelheaded but still suffers with his own nightmares and worries. Trevor’s presence in the film strongly reminds me of Tom Cruise’s character in War of the Worlds if that helps to put his stance into a better perspective. Although this film can be compared to a classic style, the script takes necessary and brilliantly implanted twists to ensure a more modern approach to the plot.
Writers Ryan Monolopolus and Hamid Thompson have created a flawless script, incorporating charismatic and relatable scenarios. For example, a reference is made to the insane period of time when our population decided that it would be useful to buy as much toilet paper and hand sanitiser as possible and it is presented in a wonderfully comedic way, as well as continuing to stay balanced with the dark atmosphere the film is supposed to convey in a cinematic sense. The enhancement of current fears are also an aspect of the script, taking simple tasks such as throwing away trash and escalating the situation to a higher level of paranoia. The film is beyond enjoyable to watch as it plays with different situations like the previously mentioned task and expanding upon them while still being topical and considerate.
The script and its value is expertly presented by all three of the main actors involved. Each character’s personality can be accurately identified through their acting abilities, which adds a lot to the film itself. When nearing the end of the film, so much subtle characterisation has been included throughout that the audience can almost guess the actions that each character may choose to follow through with next, even though the film is only 15 minutes long. That is an incredible achievement for both the actors and writers.
The cinematography is an extremely important element of every film, but even more so in films following a style like this one. The camera itself has the ability to create suspense and emphasise uneasiness within a scene. Director of photography, Blake Studwell, succeeded in this element. Chosen camera angles and camera panning shots contribute massively to the impactful scenes. It is clear that Studwell understands how a camera and the choices that are made for its placement can hold a lot of power in each scene. The more I ponder upon the cinematography aspect of this film, the more I grow to be fascinated by it.
Music also plays a huge role in adding to the intensity of the atmosphere when required. Composer, Karl Anderson, made spectacular choices for the music involved in this film. Each track gives the appropriate emotion to the scenes where music is needed to almost overpower the scene it is used in. Once again, there is an underlying connection to the tracks of this film and soundtracks of classics; this feeds the audience’s nostalgia as the music can easily transport viewers back to when they had watched a classic earlier in life – what we are living through right now feels like a film itself, making this connection appropriate.
19 Covid Lane is an entertaining escape for the troubled mind stuck in this quarantine period. Even a film about the occurring pandemic can act as an escape, but only if it can provoke laughter. The film exceeded my expectations and I recommend it to anyone who feels like they are being slightly suffocated at the moment. It is a perfect time to enjoy all of the ridiculousness that this pandemic has brought forth through this skilfully produced short film.