Virtual Love in Lockdown
Photo above: Dir. Samantha Bozin
Photos from the show:
Everything has changed for us this past year. From spending holidays in quarantine instead of with family to working from home to online dating, the whole world has had to shift to the "new normal" and just go with the flow.
So, imagine dating during this pandemic... sounds pretty weird right? From awkward zoom meet ups to virtual booty calls, finding virtual love during lockdown is quite the challenge; however, the idea of online dating during the pandemic is such a fun and realistic idea to turn into a series! And that's exactly what I did with Virtual Love in Lockdown.
Truthfully, I wrote the episodes based off of my real dating experiences (yikes!!!). Then, I gathered actors from all over the world (ranging from Mexico to the US to England) and we filmed the show!
Virtual Love in Lockdown shows the realities of being alone during a global pandemic. It's raw, vulnerable, and sometimes sad, but it's also a fantastic, relatable, awkward comedy about what online dating is actually like. Since I based the show off my own personal dating experiences, there is a wide range of realistic situations that the main character, Katie, experiences (like virtual booty calls, technological difficulties, sexist men, and more). I truly think everyone who watches the show will be able to relate to it, even if they aren't currently dating themselves. The show focuses on themes of loneliness/isolation, familial relationships, queer love, and the importance of self-love and independence.
Since I casted myself in the leading role, I was able to film some parts of the show in person, from the comfort of my own home during quarantine. However, a good portion of the show was filmed on Zoom during quarantine, especially when we filmed the virtual dates. Filming an entire web series on Zoom was incredibly fun and innovative, but it also had its challenges. When working on Zoom, we only used the cameras from each actor's computers, and then we recorded audio separately through our professional microphone. Filming this way was challenging because 1) the quality of a computer camcorder is nowhere near the quality of a real camera, and 2) there are only so many camera angles and shots one can do when recording in isolation. But, the entire cast and crew was up for the challenge and it was incredibly fun collaborating with the actors to find the right camera angles, pick out costumes, and style hair/makeup. And when I say that these actors put in 110% effort, I mean that! They had to not only focus on their acting, but also focus on changing their camera angles, making sure they are in focus and can be heard, checking in to see if their makeup needs a touchup, and adjusting lighting when necessary. So, we all wore many hats for this project, and it was a very challenging, collaborative, and ultimately satisfying process!
Going back to the story itself, Virtual Love in Lockdown is important to me because I myself am trying to navigate my way through the dating world, while also trying to literally survive the pandemic. It's definitely been hard sometimes, but it's also been such a unique, funny, wild rollercoaster this year. And since we are all just trying to survive during this very unique time in history, I figured this would be the best time to create something like this: a comedic coming of age story shot in an innovative and experimental way.
I hope you can watch and I truly hope you enjoy it!