Level 3 of Lockdown's been going on for so long already it's easy to forget there was a LEVEL 5.
Total isolation. Nowhere to go.
It was during this time of ultimate shutdown that South African writer and director Tim Greene (Hard Copy, Class Act, MTV Shuga) put out a call to actors to say: "Let's make a movie!"
Flash-forward to today >> Wednesday 5 August 2020, and the result premieres on DStv Box Office, credited as the world’s first feature film to be created under full lockdown conditions.
It's called Cabin Fever and it's about a family who get honest with each other as they try to come to terms with the emotional turmoil brought on by the isolation and reality of COVID.
At the centre of the story: a husband and wife who find themselves apart, in different cities.
The wife discovers that the ex-wife is dying of COVID-19 and surprise-surprise (NOT), this sparks the eruption of the family volcano.
This isn't the first time that Tim's turned circumstantial entrapment into resourcefulness.
His first movie A Boy Called Twist was created R1,000 at a time as a way to overcome the problem of no budget.
It was released in 2005 and was financed via crowdfunding whereby 1000 people donated R1,000 each, which resulted in the longest Associate Producer credit list in the history of film making.
Two trusts also contributed, taking the film's budget to R1,4-million.
Similarly Cabin Fever has been created from nothing, with no professional set-up or equipment.
As you know, all actors were home during Lockdown so when Tim put out his call for actors to create a movie he received a big response to it, which sparked more movies because of the number of actors who responded.
Tim launched the Lockdown Project as a result, where he put out a call for other writers and directors to come on board to make their own films with interested actors.
You can find out more these projects here: Lockdown Movie Project
While everyone worked on their different movies, Tim and his cast created Cabin Fever, filming remotely and virtually.
Not all of the actors were in South Africa, meaning the movie was filmed in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi, Wales and Australia.
Tim would write, the actors would rehearse in their own places, meet up on Zoom with other actors, get notes from Tim as director and then film their scenes on laptops and phones, which Tim edited into the movie.
Once it was created Anant Singh’s Video Vision Entertainment signed up to be its distributor and now it's on Box Office.
And that dear reader is how to get a movie made and seen when the world stops spinning.
It stars some actors that we know and some newcomers. The headliners are: Keenan Arrison, Ndoni Khanyile, Michelle Scott, James Cunningham, Skye Russell, Jenna Upton, Bonko Khoza, Tem Muller, Lesego Chabedi, Jessica Pietersen Scott and Angela Lieveaux.
Interesting to note: one of the main themes in it is forgiveness, and this strikes a relevant chord because you can a do a lot of brooding in Lockdown, which means there's a LOT to forgive.
Here's a trailer: