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Journal of an Epidemic Explores The Horrors of Surviving a Plague

There’s a certain charm to epidemic films. The idea of being the lone survivor of an aggressive virus is as hauntingly romantic as it is scary and existential. These two qualities come together in full force in the short film, “Journal of an Epidemic.”

The director of the short, Olivier Mamet, sent us the video and shared with us some insight as to how he came up with the idea for the film.

The concept of “Journal of an Epidemic”:

“The concept came to me while watching the news one night at home. They mentioned this flu that was basically ‘overtaking the world’ and had already killed one 82 year old man. I remember thinking how we have this tendency of hyping everything. People are dying every second on earth for various reason and we are getting everyone in panic mode over nothing much. It got me thinking what would really happen if there was an actual outbreak…a massive one. That’s pretty much the idea came about.”

The development of “Journal of an Epidemic”:

“I didn’t spend much time in development…I knew that there was limits to what I could do myself (since I had no money to create the short). I knew I had to focus on telling the story through someone who was going through. Then I thought why not let him be the last one on earth as well. So I focused on shooting the story of the man in and around Perth [Western Australia]. I bought a gas mask off eBay and my partner and I drove around looking for some nice locations. I then…bought some stock footage and scoured the archives online for some royalty free stuff to put in.”

Shooting the film:

“[I] Shot everything in 2 days with a $30 tripod (acting also as a ‘steadicam’). I shot on the rebel T2i (didn’t have Magic Lantern or CineStyle at the time).”

Post Production of “Journal of an Epidemic”:

“Everything was done on Final Cut and After Effect. I used noise industries plugin to create the lines on the screen and used a really nice tutorial to get the blueish look. Music came after…I bought three songs and got some effects off GarageBand to create the atmosphere. Finally came the voice…I needed a haunting young voice and I had come across Luke Attencio’s work on Vimeo. I sent him an email and got him to do the voice over.

It probably took me three to four days of playing around with colour to get the right grading I wanted. It took me around three weeks looking online for some stock that would fit in the story and help with the narrative.”

You can take a look at “Journal of a Pandemic” below the post, as well as some stills from the film. You can also learn more about Mamet’s work through his website and Twitter page.

Journal of an Epidemic

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Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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