Lockdown: how one filmmaker captured commonality during crisis
Over a period of several weeks, director Stanley Brock asked families from across the UK to record their experiences of lockdown. The resulting film is a patchwork of stories that speak of empathy and hope.
When lockdown began — some time in another life on 23rd March — the UK braced itself for an unexpected period of weeks, which then dragged into months.
Now mid-July, we’ve become accustomed to a world in which the days fall through you, where “social distancing” and “respiratory etiquette” have become part of the daily lexicon, and an evening pint is limited to a bottled beer (not the same) in a mate’s garden rather than in a pub (definitely not the same).
During those initial weeks of proper lockdown – when we were granted just one round of exercise a day – filmmaker Stanley Brock was ringing everyone he knew, asking if they’d film themselves at home for his new film, Lockdown.
“The idea came from overhearing people talk about their unusual family situations,” the 20-year-old director says. “Like this couple having a baby during lockdown, or in my household, where my brother came back from uni and my mum, her boyfriend, my sister and I were all in the house.”
Filmed across the breadth of the UK, Brock’s 13-minute film is a reflection of how some have been spending their last few months: a 92-year-old woman talks of chats with her family down the phone, a boy no older than seven goes through his daily routine, and a teenager tells of his pre-lockdown efforts making homemade hand sanitiser to sell in school (which no one bought).
It was Brock’s decision to hand non-filmmakers the camera, hoping for a more honest account: “I’ve always liked the idea of people filming themselves – there’s no pressure from sticking a camera in your face,” he says. “People can be truthful and comfortable if they film themselves.”
There has been intense scrutiny over the government’s handling of Covid-19, from Dominic Cummings-gate to the lack of PPE and the disastrous (and not yet fully grasped) implications of enforcing lockdown too late, but Brock wanted to leave all of that out. For Lockdown, it was imperative to let the individuals shine.
“This film is strictly about the people and how they dealt with things,” Brock says. “I think they did a great job.”
Director and Editor — Stanley Brock
Executive Producers — Rosanna Gouldman and Jennifer Byrne
Post Production Supervisor — Millie Gray
Featuring and filmed by:
Sound Mix — Tom Parker (OPM)