History is unfolding before us; that seems especially true of this time, as everyday life is disrupted by COVID-19.
It’s what Hudson Falls resident Jason Irwin, the founder of Bully Goat Productions, hopes to capture with “COVID-518: Upstate New York vs. Coronavirus.”
Over the next week or so, he’ll be collecting videos and interviewing people from around the greater Capital Region about their experiences surrounding COVID-19. He hopes to edit the submissions and interviews into a feature-length documentary-style film.
Irwin, who is a musician and writes a music column for the Glens Falls Chronicle, said he got the idea for the project while scrolling through social media.
“It was in response to a lot of stuff I’ve seen online from social media, a lot of people posting their frustrations, disagreeing with this, agreeing with this, fun stuff that they’re doing . . . But posts come and go and I thought maybe this would be a good way to document it and get a nice cross-section of people’s views and some of their experiences,” Irwin said.
He started collecting submissions and organizing interviews last week and plans to keep collecting submissions until at least April 30, if not longer. So far he has received quite a few videos and interviews, including from people who have tested positive for the virus and a local doctor.
“It ranges from everything, from somebody dealing with the disease on a personal level to [someone] not being able to find toilet paper. And that’s what I want; I want a wide range of things. I don’t want people to think they have to have this disease or know somebody who has this disease to participate because I’m looking for what people are feeling, what people are going through,” Irwin said.
Since he is adhering to social distancing practices, he’s mostly using submitted content and video interviews that he has recorded himself.
“I’m open to anything. I can take footage, I can take audio, I can take photos. I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to be yet and I like that because I think it’s going to give it more of a genuine feel. There’s no script. It’s an idea and it’s still evolving,” Irwin said.
This is the first time that Irwin has embarked on a project of this magnitude, though he has filmed and edited music videos for local bands over the years.
He’s still working out where the film will be shown once he’s done editing it.
“That’s another thing, as this is an ever-evolving I don’t know really what’s going to happen with it and that’s not a huge concern of mine right now. That will depend in some ways on the content that I [get],” Irwin said.
Some platforms he’s considering include Amazon Prime, YouTube or film festivals, but no matter where it goes, Irwin said any proceeds from the film will go toward COVID-19 relief efforts.
“I want people to feel good about submitting something and about telling [their] story and realize it’s could help other people because maybe somebody could relate to it. Also, if there are any proceeds from the film they’re all going toward local relief efforts. So I’m not going to profit off the film,” Irwin said.
To submit, visit Bully Goat Productions on Facebook or email submissions at [email protected], with the subject “COVID-518,” along with the following information: full name, city/state, age, occupation, a description of why you should have your story featured (in a few sentences to a paragraph), additional contact information, and whether or not you have the means to record yourself.