Lockdown Life

Lockdown and social distancing continues here in Helsinki and all over the world. Now that my business with the marketing company wrapped, I’ve dug out the pile of scripts I’ve been working on and started to set some goals, deadlines and making some work plans on how to get them finished. Because, well, there’s nothing else there to do. Of course, I’ve applied for grants, temporary government and other organization “quick help” funds to help my family ride through the shitstorm that’s COVID-19, but we are looking at some pretty grim times ahead, I can tell that already.

Yet, it’s funny to see how, once you start setting up your day based on all the work that kinda needs to be done but nobody’s paying for it, the calendar starts filling up, and quickly. It’s probably in some way nice, people really *want* my time, only, nobody’s really willing (or able) to pay for it. Ahh, being an independent artist truly has its’ perks! But simultaneously, being able to set my mind on projects I actually am feeling enthusiastic about, one can’t put a price on that. Well, one should, but I was never the money guy anyway, right?

Ah well. When looking it from this perspective, it kinda looks all a bit depressing, but at the same time, at least I have this special position of being able to do movies, which gives me kind of a never-ending well of possible work to be done, which may or may not turn into something actual one day. If I was to work for somebody else, or at a service industry, I’d just have to sit at home and hope this all blows over. So yeah, at least I’m keeping myself busy, although it might be currently more like fighting the windmills.

One way I’m keeping busy is a documentary I’ve been producing with Tero. It’d directed by Tuomas Tuppurainen, our trusty in-house editor slash graphics guy slash director slash quite a lot of other things – a Swiss army knife on two legs, practically. The story is that Tero told him a few years back to start going through all the material we’ve been filming and putting it together into a documentary and as he started doing that, the story started to come clearer: it’s not a documentary about filmmaking as much as it actually is a doc about being an entrepreneur in this crazy business. Tero rose out to be the central figure of the story and it’s quite an honest and straight-shooting documentary, unlike many making-of -docs and the sorts tend to be. Remains to be seen what people dig of it, but I personally find it actually quite great. We’re putting it out on Friday this week, the trailer is here:

Anyway, I’m keeping my spirits up. I’ve been doing this 100 Days of Horror -thing on my YouTube channel, where I set myself on a journey to watch 100 horror films during the quarantine proceedings. First 8 or something is done, but I found watching a film a day rather taxing, and instead of being too religious on this one, I allow myself a few episodes of The Wire now and then, and few days off, too. But anyway, that’s a good way to keep myself using the time I’m not doing anything else by watching films I should’ve seen a long time ago.

I’m also catching up with reading. Currently, my Kindle is loaded with a lot of stuff, but the one I’m digging into the history of Soviet Union, having just finished One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, a fictitious but very detailed account on a day of gulag prisoner’s life, and am currently reading Orlando Figes’ Revolutionary Russia, 1981-1991, an account on how the Soviet Union came to be and undone.

Weeks go by in lockdown mostly sitting in my son’s room that I turned now into my office, as he’s not here, then exercising and making food and watching films and TV. On weekends, we share some wine with my wife and watch movies (just ran through The Godfather trilogy) and talk about the world, our kids and our lives. We’re trying to make the best out of the time, and manage to do it rather well.

Having said that, I’m not envious of any parents who need to be home-schooling the kids, in addition to working from home. If nothing else good comes out of this Corona crisis, at least I trust the respect for school teachers, kindergarten teachers, and nurses, doctors and store personnel should go up. But who am I kidding, it’ll never do that. We’ll learn nothing out of this mess, as such is human nature.

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