Watch Ewan French’s short film about the mental grind of lockdown

We caught up with the Bristol filmmaker whose brother stars in the gripping short

Get up, have breakfast, have a shower, go for a walk, watch TV, play some games, go to bed… life under coronavirus quarantine is predictable, monotonous and discouraging. Having to stay in day and and day out is the right thing to do right now for the good of everyone, but this restrictive atmosphere can have a negative effect on your mental wellbeing. Ewan French is a filmmaker who has tackled this challenging subject with his film Isolation, which was filmed during lockdown and stars his brother, Joey. Watch the film above, and see what Ewan told us about his work below.

Tell us a bit about you and your work.

I’ve been making films since I was nine, when I would make parody ghost hunter videos with friends and the other kinds of funny videos you make when you’re nine. But it wasn’t until I was 16, when my grandad passed away, that I started to take film seriously and use it as a means to express and essentially therapise myself. I made a film called BELIEF which focused on my heartbreak, and how my belief in spirituality and in myself helped me deal with it. Almost all of my films draw from personal experiences and internal feelings. I wear my heart on my sleeve as much as I can in the hope that people resonate, and so that I can accurately communicate to people how I feel. I make music with the same approach. My aim is for people to listen and watch my stuff and feel like they can also be vulnerable and revealing.

Tell us about your film.

Isolation is a film based on the current conditions all of us are living in right now, where everyone is locked in their house and it’s too dangerous to go outside. Our protagonist does the same things day in and day out like so many of us right now, causing his mental state to deteriorate.

Why did you want to make it?

I wanted to make the film to present a solution to anyone who feels like they are losing a sense of themselves during lockdown. There have been times both me and Joey, my brother, have felt sad, so we wanted to make this film to communicate those feelings.

Can you tell us about how you made it? How was working with your brother?

My brother is my best friend so there really is great chemistry between the both of us. Me and Joey worked closely planning this film as well and figuring out how we were going to communicate the message of “breaking the cycle”. We shot and edited the film in three weeks, making changes to the film as we went along, like adding and removing scenes, so it was a really organic creative process. I want to take this opportunity to shout out my brother Joey French! Make sure you remember his name, he is a super talented actor with a lot of burning potential. That dude is the future!

What impact has living in lockdown had on your filmmaking?

It’s caused me to refocus. Before lockdown, I had planned a lot of music videos for my upcoming EP that involved a lot of people. But since being in lockdown and having to delay my EP and those videos, I’ve tried to make the most out of this situation and let it inspire me. However, during the filming of isolation I broke my kit lens… so I had to shoot a lot of the film using a 50mm prime lens – if anyone is wondering why so many close ups, that’s why. Lockdown has inspired me to write feature film scripts, create music, and of course make Isolation.

Is there anything else you want to say that hasn’t been covered?

Shout out Boomsatsuma and Screenology for holding it down and empowering both me and Joey. Follow me on Instagram to be updated with film and music things @ewan_french, and @Joeyfrench03 for Joey. And for anyone reading this struggling with isolating, this ain’t gonna last forever and the best is on its way, believe it! Things have to be bad before they are good, everything in life comes in balance. Love!

Have you made anything in lockdown you’d like us to share? Send it over to editor@rifemagazine.co.uk

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