A Director’s Blog “Connections”

It seems to me that the whole industry of filmmaking, in this town at least, is about the connections we have with colleagues, competitors, and the eventual audiences.

As of this writing, a lot of states are starting to open up, in a limited way, shops, beauty care business and even some cafes and restaurants. Despite the numbers of infected and deaths and repeated warnings from healthcare officials that this is only the end of the beginning of this pandemic, we as a people, are ready to go back to normalcy. I for one, who is naturally a throw caution to the wind kind of guy, am hesitant to run right out and start casting sessions, planning the next shoot, and location scouting, find myself cautious and guarded.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to work, but this was true before the pandemic of 2020. We as artists are always ready to work. We work even when we haven’t been hired I love that about us. We love our work so much and feel the pangs of expressing our art, that we do it mostly for free. I have been crating during the “stay-at-home rule, except for when you need food, medicine, solo exercising, or experience stir craziness. As I mentioned in my last blog, I am still writing the scripts to my project, “Ten Films/Ten Countries: A Cinematic Journey” that I started in January of this year. The planning, the phone calls, and the contacts are all still in the mix, but above it, is the shroud of uncertainty. I can’t move forward on this project until all of my collaborators are healthy, confidant about moving forward and are feeling safe. Honestly, there is only so much I can do alone.

The bright side of staying put is the overwhelming number of Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook postings of creative projects. Even the networks have gotten in on the act. And as much as I am enjoying the work and being inspired by the tenacity of my fellow artists, I can’t help to think that even though limitations imbue creative expressions, is this going to be enough. Will we be satisfied with our single cameras mostly pointing at just ourselves with the only result being this prophylactic connection with each other? I really don’t know. But like the great ones before us said, this too shall pass.

Connection with another human being is essential to most of our existence. Movies theatres are populated by strangers who have arrived in a darkened room with seats that are separated by an armrest with a cup holder, who are all there for the same purpose. We are mostly diverse strangers choosing to experience an event, a story, a visual and auditory adventure that transports us to another place and time with some recognizable actors on a giant screen, together. I make films in hope that I can connect with someone I have never met and may never meet on a one to one basis to show them a little bit of who I am. I need the audience, I am the audience. What will happen once the sirens of caution stop screaming? Once again, I don’t know.

I will continue to create and express myself for myself, but I do it all in the name of hope and reassurance that one day soon, my work and the world of so many more can be seen, heard, enjoyed, appreciated, moved, cause discomfort, pull out emotions from deep within us in a theatre full of strangers, a film set full of friends and family members, and obtain that connection we have sorely missed these last forty plus days. Until then my friend, I look forward to or post-pandemic reconnection in the celebration of art.

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.