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- Anthony Carbonetta
In troubled times like these, where motivation may seem more scarce than ever, coronavirus-quarantine-living can lead many to lay comfortably with soda and chips in hand without a bother to be had. As for myself, I have been trying my hardest to use this time effectively to better my career and to keep myself from bouncing off the walls.
Along with regularly exercising and catching up on my laundry list of TV shows, most of my time has been invested in launching my film career. After a few short weeks of boredom when the quarantine began, a challenge found its way into my lap in the form of a Youtube announcement.
A filmmaker I’ve been following for a while announced that he would be starting an online film festival with an eager and open invite for all aspiring directors, at any skill level. The Quarantine International Film Festival advertisement left me wide-eyed and hungry to start shooting immediately. With too much time and barely any resources, the large film crew of myself, my friend Chris, and my mom got to work on what would become my debut, award-winning short film, My Lost Friend Mike.
Working on a short film like this felt fresh, considering I had to meet certain requirements for my piece to qualify. It really felt like filming in a box: Most places I thought to film were closed, and it was hard to find good equipment to work with, so we had to improvise. Over the course of a few days, Chris and I recorded spontaneous snippets of myself around my house and in the woods nearby.
My only issue at that point was coming up with a premise. How could I turn seemingly random clips of neighborhood videos on a cheap camcorder into a film debut worth talking about? When coming up with my short script, I focused on my frustrations with the situation at large and how distant I felt from my friends. The whirlwind of the quarantine happened so suddenly, it barely gave me time to process all I had to let go of for the time being.
What we ended up with was a short documentary of sorts, where Chris’s character pieced together old footage of a friend, my character Mike, that went missing a few months after the videos were recorded. It was a heartfelt piece about loss, and considering many people were learning to cope with being distant from friends and family, members of my audience felt a strong connection to this conflict.
After submitting the piece and impatiently waiting for the results, the news broke. My Lost Friend Mike was among one of the few finalists to be featured in the Debuting Filmmaker category. The film is featured on the QIFF Youtube page under my name, and has kept my hopes high for films to come.
Since the release of the short, I have produced two other films featured on my Youtube channel. I hope with the coming months of being home this semester, my friends and I can continue to put together short films to further my career when many seem to have a little extra time on their hands.