Creativity Abounds in Intermediate “Pandemic Films”

Sit back and enjoy these films You're in for a treat ...

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly come with its share of challenges and stresses, but students in Intermediate Teaching Artist, Performing Arts Teacher Amal Saade’s classes have brought creativity and a keen sense of hope to their films about this surreal time in our lives.

Each class began with a discussion of on their thoughts and feelings on the pandemic and quarantine. Ms. Saade spearheaded the project by asking students what they wanted to say regarding the pandemic through the medium of their film. “Almost unanimously, students wanted to convey a message of hope and show their audience the way through the pandemic,” says Ms. Saade.

Each class then brainstormed ideas for a story to illuminate this message. They worked in small groups — breakout rooms on Zoom — to "test out" their ideas in scenes and improvisations. The characters were born through this small-group work. Students would then share their work with the whole class, the group discussing what it wanted to keep as well as new ideas that cropped up. The brainstorming/improvisation/discussion cycle then continued until a plot was formed.

For all the films, except Quarantine Diaries, Ms. Saade wrote a script based on the students' creations. For Quarantine Diaries, the students wrote the script themselves as they went. With the exception of a scene in World War C where we filmed on campus, all the filming was done on Zoom. Some students chose to use the "home green screens" that were sent home to each student.

As you will see, hope as well as enthusiasm prevailed.

Watch the films here:

World War C

Sharks in the Water

The War on Viruses:An Escape Story

The Wild World of Lockdown

Quarantine Diaries