If you share my paranoia about touching door handles, eating communal nuts or being trapped in a lift with sneezing strangers, then you may want to give Olivier Mamet’s virulent short Journal of an Epidemic_ a wide berth or at least have the hand sanitiser at the ready. We asked Olivier what brought him to chart mankind’s microscopic downfall?
“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?”
Aware that a sprawling narrative was beyond the scope of both his zero budget and resources as a solo filmmaker, Olivier decided to focus the story on a single individual experiencing the crisis and have them be the last person on Earth to survive the outbreak. An ebay purchased gas mask, Canon Rebel T2i and $30 tripod later, Olivier and his partner set out into Perth to scout suitable locations for their two day shoot. That footage was then augmented with stock footage and royalty free material to build out the world of the pandemic, which were all combined in post:
“It took me around 3 weeks looking online for some stock footage that would fit the story and help with the narrative. Everything was done on Final Cut Pro and After Effect. I used a Noise Industries plugin to create the lines on the screen and found a really nice tutorial which helped me achieve the blueish look. It probably took me 3-4 days of playing around with colour to get the grading I wanted.
Music came after…I bought three songs and got some effects from 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.”
With Journal of an Epidemic_ clocking in at over 309K YouTube views, it looks like the film is just as infectious as its subject matter.