Jan. 10, 2020 - NYT
The coronavirus, which surfaced in the city of Wuhan, has put the region on alert, but there is no evidence that it can spread among humans.
By Amy Qin and Javier C. Hernández
Researchers in Suwon, South Korea, examined material collected from a woman who had visited the Chinese city of Wuhan. A virus that appeared in the city has health officials in the region on alert.Credit…Yonhap/EPA, via Shutterstock
Jan. 30, 2020 - NYT
The announcement came as nearly 10,000 cases have been reported worldwide.
By Sui-Lee Wee, Donald G. McNeil Jr. and Javier C. Hernández
Mar. 17, 2020 - NYT
Even as European countries erect barriers between one another, the E.U. announced a coordinated ban on nearly all travelers from the rest of the world.
By Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Richard Pérez-Peña
Travelers walking between terminals at Tegel Airport in Berlin on Tuesday. Credit Emile Ducke for The New York Times
By Michael Hennings
Set in the not-too-distant, dystopian future, M.A.N. sets off where the world has taken a more hazardous turn—causing the populace to tread carefully and live in fear—and the picture of the relationship between a father & daughter trying to navigate this world.
The film presages what would come, airing a sense of disbelief that reality could become stranger than fiction. It engaged in memory and nostalgia even before our collective trauma formed.
It’s also a fulfillment of the adage “work with what you’ve got.” Filmed at the very beginning of the lockdowns in a nearly abandoned airport, M.A.N. features the director herself from the 1st person viewpoint of her director-of-photography while returning from an international trip.
This piece exists as a capsule in time, featuring a world gripped by fear, at a time when fear was very much a part of the collective narrative.
Michael Hennings - Father's Voice & Editor
Playing the part of the father in MAN was a mixture of evoking a sense of loss, not just for a person, but for the world that was before—while trying to protect someone else in that world. This was a very real, visceral, and relatable feeling during the early days of lockdown.
Working on the cut, we wanted to create the environment of “future past” technology. We used sometimes unpredictable hard cuts and various effects, color grading, and film grain to illustrate that we were relying on data from a much earlier time.
Probably the most emotionally poignant part for me was in the narrative, when they were talking about what they did and didn’t know about the threat at that time. The darkness was real all around us in 2020, and I think you can feel that in the effects of the cut. The visuals seem obscured, like peering at the past through a foggy looking glass.
Apr. 2, 2020 - NYT
By April 2, the pandemic had sickened more than one million people in 171 countries across six continents, killing at least 51,000.
By Ben Casselman and Patricia Cohen
April 8, 2020 - NYT
Travelers seeded multiple cases starting as early as mid-February, genomes show.
By Carl Zimmer
Since the first genome of the coronavirus was sequenced in January, researchers around the world have sequenced over 3,000 more, some of which are genetically identical while others carry distinctive mutations.Credit…National Institutes of Health/EPA, via Shutterstock
By Cody Gallo
Four filmmakers spread across the country, aching to stay creative a few months into the pandemic lockdown, collaborated on this short poetic piece. Each in turn took the brush as they passed the project through the ether to stay connected while isolated.
Each of the four elements – words, images, cuts, and music – balance lightly against each other to evoke an emotional chord for such a small piece of cinema. Each a study in the craft of that artist, like opening their notebook to view their sketches.
Kate Ryan Brewer - Director
This was the first of the pandemic films we made. It was early days, during the first lockdown in 2020.
At the time we didn’t know much. We didn’t know it would be the first of many lockdowns, many waves across the world. We didn’t know how many people would be killed and affected by Covid-19.
But we knew – we could feel – that the world as we knew it had permanently changed.
In this unknown we wanted a way to stay creative and connected.
So we started making shorts, relay-style.
For AATROMS, I wrote a monologue, recorded it on my phone, and sent it to my LA-based cinematographer friend, Jasmine. She listened to it, absorbed it, and filmed the visuals in her home.
Then we sent the audio and footage to our editor friend, Darmyn, in Miami. She cut it together and it then went to Matt, in Omaha, who composed the score.
We tried to capture the strange feeling of shared isolation, and the rupture of our reality.
If nothing else, consider it a time capsule.
May 7th, 2020 - CNN
The numbers: More than 3.8 million cases of the novel coronavirus, including at least 269,000 deaths have been recorded worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Ivana Kottasová, CNN
CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta offered viewers of CNN’s global town hall some practical advice on how safely shop for groceries during the coronavirus pandemic.
May 27, 2020 - NYT
America has reached a grim milestone in the coronavirus outbreak—Memories gathered from obituaries across the country, help us to reckon with what was lost.
BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
Kate Ryan Brewer
During this time, things that had seemed impossible or unlikely to happen in our lifetime suddenly became plausible. My mind often wanders to a variety of apocalyptic scenarios.
“To Mourn a World” imagines one of these scenarios in the nearish future. But instead of focusing on the broader doom and disaster, we tried to explore the details; the aspects of character and humanity that are consistent – even familiar – despite the rising tide.
Miriam Mayer - Composer
I am the composer for “To Mourn A World” and I first saw the film when it was nearly completed; mostly edited, and the narration mostly complete. I was struck by the beauty of the footage set against the bleakness of the story—a story especially bleak to me because I worry about global climate change. I wanted the music to reflect that the world is beautiful now and that the future may be bleak if we don’t act. I hope the narrator’s/mother’s despair and loss of hope are there in the music. The score never really lands on a chord. It keeps shifting back and forth like the ocean, creating an uneasiness.
The mother contrasts her happy childhood of climbing trees for fun with her children’s need to climb trees only for a vantage point. What are the children looking for? Enemies? Food? Boats? Meanwhile the score doesn’t allow for anything concrete, it just keeps waving back and forth without ever landing on a musical I chord.
The narrator, speaking of the past, says there was “music everywhere” then. And while the narrator might be thinking of happy, tropical music, I made the music that enters at that point out of sync with the music already established there, giving it a disconcerting feel. The listener has no place to rest her ears. While never completely jarring, I wanted the score to elicit a malaise and sadness in the audience.
Aug. 3, 2020 - NYT
One day before the United States surpassed 150,000 deaths from the coronavirus, Mr. Trump appeared resigned to the toll, saying in an interview with Axios, “It is what it is.”
BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
Dec. 8, 2020 - NYT
Britain gave emergency authorization on Dec. 2 to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, leaping ahead of the United States to become the first Western country to allow mass inoculations.
By Benjamin Mueller
In Cardiff, Wales, a former gymnasium was turned into a vaccination site on Tuesday.
Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times
Kate Ryan Brewer
We all like to imagine we’ll be remembered in some way. But what about when there’s no one left to remember?
There’s something melancholy and lovely about the idea of nature taking its course in our absence, and whispering about the traces we’ve left.
Darmyn Calderon - Editor / Cinematographer
During lockdown I was living in Miami Beach. My balcony and rooftop became my portal to the outside world. The big blue sky and the glow of the evening light would become the backdrop to whatever crossed its path.
This one evening we were presented with a flock of starlings that gracefully danced across the sky, washing our worries away and reminding us of the beauty of the natural world. It felt surreal, almost like the starlings had come to reclaim their space. Dancing from building to building, and listening to the walls talking, the murmuration put on one hell of a show!
May 22, 2021 - CNBC
For the uninitiated, hot vax summer plays on the idea that once single Americans get their coronavirus vaccines, there will be a surge in dating, hookups and overall social opportunities due to all the pent-up demand. (You may also know it as shot girl summer.)
By Jessica Bursztynsky
Jan. 29, 2022 - NYMAG
But however simply we want the pandemic to speak to us, invariably it speaks instead in tongues, inviting interpretation and contestation — some of it partisan, some of it principled, some of it self-interested.
By David Wallace-Wells
Basquiat-style oil painting of a virus as a vibe drifting across cities all over the world by DALLE2 (generated Nov 22, 2022).
Kate Ryan Brewer
Darmyn and I went through several iterations of this particular short before landing on what you see now. She had put together these evocative visuals, and we played with the order, the pacing, the music, and what started as a dialogue for quite some time. But it wasn’t working.
When we started to look at the piece as more of a collection of vignettes, found Mike Lazarev and James Murray’s beautiful composition, and invited a variety of voices- that’s when it became New York.
Directed by Kate Ryan Brewer
Editing & Cinematography by Darmyn Calderon
Music by James Murray and Mike Lazarev
Voice Over by
Kate Ryan Brewer
Darmyn Calderon - Editor / Cinematographer
One evening while searching through my video archives, I came across a drive of random NY footage shot in 2011. I was particularly drawn to a shot of a subway train pulling into the platform (used as the opening shot of “New York”).
The sounds of passing trains and screeching breaks echoing across the platform made it feel like this one train was on a continuous loop. The train travels through time, arriving, but never stopping – leaving a phantom memory.
We weave our way through this world, our cities, our homes, arriving from one moment to the next. New York is a city of motion. While we may forget conversations, details, and voices, the city holds the echoes.
These are some of the voices that make up the vibrant character of New York.
Matt Walker is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Omaha, Nebraska. He has presented original music at the contemporary performance festival, Omaha Under The Radar, and at the 2018 TEDxOmaha event, “Time To Engage.”
His current compositions range from intimate and introspective piano pieces to expansive, textural landscapes of constantly evolving sonic layers.
Matt is eager to expand his musical reach into film, TV, dance, and other collaborative projects in the future.
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