Remotely shot ‘Cabin Fever’ film a first in SA
The first South African movie filmed, produced and edited during the lockdown, could be coming to a small screen near you.
Cabin Fever is part of the Lockdown Movie Project which film-maker Tim Greene started when he put out a call on social media for actors to join him in shooting a feature film remotely.
Greene, who directed A Boy Called Twist and Skeem, couldn’t have foreseen the overwhelming response he received; the project now has more than 15 films being directed and produced.
The actors film their scenes at home, send it to the director who then gives them feedback and they often have to re-shoot their scenes.
Cabin Fever would be the first movie released from this project and Greene said he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“It was almost like a challenge project because I still don’t know what’s going to happen to this movie if it will be distributed or find success - so it was almost like a hobby project at first.”
A trailer of the film has already been released. The synopsis reads: “The film tells the story of a second wife and stepmother, locked down alone in Cape Town and struggling to keep her far-flung family together when she learns that her husband’s first wife is dying of Covid-19.
“Told through a succession of video calls, meetings and messages, Cabin Fever is a haunting and emotional story of a family flung to the far corners of the globe, reaching out across the void to find intimacy, understanding and eventually forgiveness.”
Eleven actors heeded the call to be a part of Cabin Fever and the cast includes Jenna Upton, James Cuningham, Keenan Arrison and Ndoni Khanyile.
Group rehearsals took place on Zoom, after which actors would film their scenes individually on their cellphones.
Greene said: “It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced After rehearsals, I’d wait for the files and open them like a kid at Christmas, and start to cut together these awesome, emotional, and often riveting performances, sometimes featuring sophisticated camera work, all achieved while they were in character.”
He was unsure whether Cabin Fever would ever hit the big screen because he’s not sure if or when cinemas in SA will reopen after the lockdown.
He is hopeful the movie will be picked up by streaming services so audiences can enjoy their lockdown feature film.