Pandemia Upon Us

The Story

Connor McClain, a local university student, decided to take a stroll through the woods to capture some pictures for a school project during social distancing orders thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Little does he know, he is not alone. Follow Connor through this multi-media story arch and discover whether or not he has what it takes to survive.

Part 1 – A Stroll For The Hunted

Part 2 – Pandemia Upon Us

Start from the bottom image –

Part 3 – A Final Chance

Behind The Scenes

First, I started off with buying a new camera tripod that came with a smartphone attachment. Once I had all of my equipment ready to go, I drove out to the countryside near where I live and found a nice wooded spot where nobody would bother me. I walked about 100 feet into the forest and set up for my first shot, with zero script prepared. I feel I perform better on camera when I improvise compared to using a script and memorizing it.

I shot for about an hour in the woods, getting stationary shots and handheld shots. Right as I finished shooting my last scene it started pouring rain so I had to run through the woods as fast as I could, getting stuck in rose bushes all along the way. Not a fun experience, that last bit.

When I got home, I uploaded all of my footage to my computer and booted up iMovie to create the video. After cutting together the video clips and getting everything smooth transition-wise, I used to download tons of free soundbites for my effects in the video. I downloaded growls, snarls, screams, creepy whispers, forest sounds, and even the creepy “humming” music that occasionally is heard. Fun fact, the birds and waterfalls you hear during the video are actually sound effects and not real. The actual forest was right next to a street so you could hear cars and horns every now and again so I had to mask those.

With the video done, I could focus on the next part, the instagram page. I decided to run with the idea of the Covid-19 virus affecting and mutating someone into a beast that can transform between beast form and human form. This concept lent itself to the story better, logically. I started the page Pandemia Upon Us and used it as the captor’s personal instagram account. It documents his struggles and his crimes. For the pictures, I used “covid-19 panic” images from google to develop the captor’s motives. For my hostage picture, that was fun. Being one or two days later, I had to go back and wear the same clothes in the video and stage a scene where I’m kidnapped and in a basement. I used my parent’s storage room to shoot in and had my hesitant-yet-loving parents tie me up and take pictures of me on the floor in the dark. That was weird but hey, art? Anyways, I got a couple great pictures to use so I went home and uploaded them all with creepy captions.

For the final part, I decided to have Connor find a radio in the storage room and make an emergency call for help. I wrote a script that my friend and I recorded:

Using an audio software, we spliced together our respective parts and added a myriad of effects to emulate a CB radio. The ending result came out pretty well, in my opinion.

Overall, this final project was a true pleasure to work on. It encompassed everything that I have learned this semester in DS106. For a 100 level class, it has by far been one of the most demanding yet rewarding classes I have ever taken in my college career. Spring 2020 semester has been a wild ride and will forever be known as the Pandemic Semester. Thank you for a great semester and I wish Professor Bond and the UMW class of 2020 the best of luck!

Best regards,

Connor McClain