For many comedians, authors and screenwriters, the pandemic has been a great source of inspiration. All over the world, film and television professionals are taking over the event to launch new projects. This is the case of Michael Bay - director of Bad Boys , Armageddon and the Transformers saga among others -, who during confinement produced a new film on the subject, Songbird . In this dystopian tale, the world is still confined, four years after the appearance of a deadly mutant virus ...
Songbird is the very first feature film shot during the pandemic in Los Angeles. Written in a few weeks in the spring by Simon Boyes and Adam Mason, it was then filmed in July in a record 17 days, under strict security measures.
The world facing COVID-23
It is a relatively dark scenario that we are offered here. After the appearance of a deadly virus in 2019, lockdowns / deconfinements followed, but the virus continued to mutate and the world sank into chaos. In 2024, cities are now divided into two camps, the haves and the have-nots, and each faces the disease, COVID-23, which has a very high death rate; the number of deaths has reached 110 million
A few rare people - including Nico, the main character - are immune and are free to roam wherever they want, while non-immune individuals must stay locked in their homes and monitor their temperature. The trailer suggests that the sick are quickly and unceremoniously arrested by the authorities, then taken by force to quarantine camps. Nico, a bicycle delivery man, has to cross Los Angeles to save his girlfriend locked up in her apartment and apparently infected with the virus. No release date has been announced yet, but the trailer that just delivered promises a pretty scary movie:
In the cast: KJ Apa ( Riverdale ), Sofia Carson ( Descendants , Pretty Little Liars ), Craig Robinson ( The Office , Brooklyn Nine-Nine ) and Demi Moore. Note that the scene where we see a woman knocking desperately on the heroine's door to find shelter is reminiscent of the film American Nightmare , another production by Michael Bay, clearly a follower of future apocalyptics.
Health context requires, the shooting did not go without difficulties. It was first interrupted by SAG-AFTRA, a powerful union of American actors, for failure to respect health standards. To remedy the problem, the technical team set up a system to prevent the actors from crossing paths on the set and screening tests were frequently carried out. The teams were also limited to around 40 people. The characters of the film being themselves confined according to the scenario, the actors were never gathered in the same room and never found themselves face to face.
A very prolific source of inspiration
While several psychologists are worried about the psychic repercussions of the pandemic and the confinements, one can wonder about the reception of such a film by the spectators. Is it advisable for people already shaken by the situation to watch a film with such a bleak outcome, to plunge them into this particularly anxiety-provoking dystopia? “ Even though it's a pandemic thriller and terrifying, the heart of the story is hope, ” says Sofia Carson, the film's lead actress, who tries to emphasize the romantic aspect of the film.