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  • Writer's pictureXenia Leblanc


It would be an understatement to say that these past several weeks have been challenging for everyone. The disruption of the familiar is always jarring and almost always uncomfortable. However, setting little daily or weekly creative challenges here and there have not only kept me going, but also demanded to focus on the positive, explore new ideas and spend time figuring out something that I’ve never had time or patience for previously. Like visual effects for example. Going frame by frame, tracking some small dot in a sea of pixels would drive anyone insane, but not in quarantine, cause what else will you do with all this free time?

Some of these challenges and creative endeavors came to great fruition. First of all, winning the Film Riot Stay At Home Challenge was something incredibly rewarding and truly humbling. Nick (my boyfriend) and I had a week to write, film and edit a one minute short, using only what we’ve already had at home. Even in regular circumstances making a movie is never easy, but luckily we've found a way to tell a fun and goofy action story called Covert Message. A week after releasing it we were jumping up and down with joy, seeing our film on the Film Riot’s main page among the winners.

Besides Covert Message we got to make two other incredibly endearing short films, one of which made me remember how truly powerful and also challenging it is to create something vulnerable. Since we're both suckers for stories that pull on your heartstrings, Pixar was definitely the biggest inspiration while creating Playback as well as our third film PER-SPEC-TIVE.

How Winnie The Pooh says - “doing nothing often leads to the very best something.” I’ve come to believe that it is absolutely true, especially when it comes to creativity. This is going to sound a little too deep, but I’ve noticed that trying to achieve and accomplish in this industry has made me a bit morerough' over the years, sometimes even cynical. I literally sobbed while watching the first rough cut that Nick had put together for Playback. Not only because of it's beauty, but also because of how much my heart needed that type of creative release. This is why I am particularly glad to be able to have all this free time to step away from rushing towards success and just be.

If you’ve enjoyed watching Covert Message, I’ve made a short Behind The Scenes video to show what kind equipment we’ve used and to give you a glimpse of the entire filming process. Hopefully it will inspire you too. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe and keep creating.

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