by Wil Moser
I think we all remember the early spring when we received the news. As with so many college students around mid-March of 2020, I was sent home from university to “wait-out” the pandemic until it was deemed safe to return in person. Although most of us thought this would only be a two-week excursion from studying and parties back to a sense of normalcy, it turned out to be something that lasted just a bit longer than expected.
As an acting major, I was already craving something more than to perform another monologue to my computer screen over Zoom. I had recently, as many have, turned to social media platforms to pass the seemingly endless time. As I glanced at countless TikTok videos and the variable combinations on Instagram feeds, I realized that I could do something creative with this platform. This feat, I hadn’t seen many try to accomplish.
Do you remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books published by Bantam Books? I sought to create a video series similar to those types of stories, which surrounds one of my favorite fantasy settings: the apocalypse. It seemed fitting at the time with quarantine setting into everyone’s heads. Things have felt relatively bleak, so I decided to create a creative collision of entertainment. The idea was to make a story, enabling the audience’s capability to wield the selection of the character that would appear at the end of each video. If my character came across a house, would they go inside or continue along the path?
I brought my phone, an improvised tripod, and some props with me to the power lines by my house. I had been shooting various scenes with an idea in mind. Eventually, I had enough scenes completed to come home, write a voiceover, and post it online. I continued this series with nine separate episodes. Fortunately, help from my dad and input from the audience yielded this creative growth steadily alongside the persistent production of episode after episode. Despite being locked up in these times of seemingly unstinting additions of time to the need for quarantine, creating these videos helped me realize that I was still able to keep the creative juices flowing. For a sampling: https://www.tiktok.com/@atlanticzombie?lang=en