As the filmmaking industry came to a screeching halt at the beginning of the pandemic I had grand plans of making the most of my freshly cleared calendar. I had a backlog of creative ideas that I was excited to finally re-visit, but then something happened that halted those, too.
My wife and I both got COVID-19.
Now this was back in March (you have to count 2020 in dog years, so this was ages ago....) and we didn't know a single person who had COVID so from a health perspective we didn't know what to expect.
From a story perspective however, we had two protagonists at the beginning of a global pandemic infected with a mysterious virus and an unknown future ahead of them, so I did what any serious filmmaker would do....
I made a gameshow out of my wife's bizarre COVID symptoms.
This provided a fun activity and a welcomed distraction from our new found reality.
Since I'm a documentary filmmaker I didn't want to just make game shows during our quarantine, so I let the camera roll on our day-to-day life not knowing what was going to happen to us. Through our challenges, strange symptoms, medical appointments, and the dozens of scientific studies we participated in I started noticing something.
We were laughing.
I know that probably sounds weird, and don't get me wrong, we both had our share of struggles throughout our journey, but that's what was happening in front of and behind the camera.
As a filmmaker I knew that there would be no shortage of serious and harrowing documentaries about the pandemic coming out over the coming year and I had no interest in adding to that number. To be honest, that probably works out better for everyone because I'm not a very dramatic person anyways (I can see Krista rolling her eyes now).
As I spent late night after late night combing through all of our footage I started to discover what we were doing. We were making the best of our situation and that's what the film would be about.
The hardest part of making this feature-length documentary (besides doing most of it while being sick) was the internal conflict I had during the edit. On the TV there was grim story after grim story, but on my editing timeline there was laughter, hope, and encouragement.
I will admit, I was very afraid to put our story out there. I thought we would get slammed all over the internet the second we released the film, but to my surprise the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
What started out as a little project to keep me busy during quarantine has blossomed into a feature length film that landed a distribution deal, is now streaming worldwide, and most recently took home the honor of Best Indie Feature at the Los Angeles Film Awards!
While we're still dealing with lingering symptoms seven months later, we're thankful to have our health and are glad that our little film is encouraging so many people.
Our film Making Lemonade: Our COVID-19 Story is out now.
Watch today at: https://MakingLemonade.film