In the time of the coronavirus pandemic, visiting news sources or social media almost inevitably results in feelings of dread, anxiety, and uncertainty. But according to juniors Olivia Crowell and Jaclyn Lore-Edwards, it doesn’t have to be that way. As two film majors with a little extra time on their hands, Crowell and Lore-Edwards have made it their mission to help students access purely positive content in negative times.
The pair calls the project a “Facetime talk show,” in which they record and compile interviews with students, parents, and anyone else who has something to share. The show is aptly titled “Quarentimes.”
“We interview people, about thirty so far, about their Quarentime,” Crowell wrote in an email to The Argus. “We ask them what they have learned about themselves, how they’ve spent their time in isolation and we play games. At the beginning of each interview, we give a brief spiel that we want to hear only about the silver lining. The interview is completely dedicated to focusing on the good. And people are willing to share!”
Lore-Edwards explained that the show draws on the uplifting stories and experiences of a wide variety of people.
“We really wanted to create something for people to focus on the good and take their minds off of the craziness of the world for a bit,” Lore-Edwards wrote in an email. “We talk to former teachers, fellow students, single parents, couples, and many other types of people, and it’s been such a great way to connect to new people and also catch up with old friends.”
Although “Quarentimes” was originally Crowell’s idea, the project has been a team effort all along. At the moment that inspiration struck, Crowell called Lore-Edwards to brainstorm.
“I knew that I have the most bubbly and positive best friend who is always down to start some wack project with me,” Crowell said.
Lore-Edwards attested to the creative benefits of collaboration.
“We mostly do everything together,” said Lore-Edwards. “I think our best ideas come when we just bounce off of each other. We came up with the questions, the formatting of the show, and the process of how we were going to make it happen together.”
The show is an amalgamation of recorded Zoom interviews, all centered around positive ways that people are keeping themselves entertained and healthy while social distancing and quarantining in their homes.
“Something I’ve loved learning throughout this process is how people are really making an effort to find something good in these times,” Lore-Edwards said. “We’ve had people show us new art or music projects they’re working on. We’ve had people read us entries from old diaries they’ve found and are reminiscing on. We’ve even had many people tell us how they’ve realized how grateful they are for certain things in life, which is really refreshing to hear.”
To add to the fun, each interview on “Quarentimes” involves a dress-up theme, ranging from “vacation” for teacher interviews to “fratty tailgate” for student ones. Lore-Edwards said she feels that this added touch helps the interviews feel like a break from reality, both for the subjects and the viewers.
Now, the work for Lore-Edwards and Crowell lies in compiling and editing these interviews into a fun and accessible talk show–style format.
“We record on Zoom and will compile and cut interviews together like the savvy film students we are,” Crowell explained.
The pair said that they expect the show will be available sometime this week on Youtube and Instagram’s streaming platform, IGTV.
Though “Quarentimes” centers entirely on the positive, goofy, and creative, Lore-Edwards said that the purpose of the show is to do more than purely entertain.
“We hope that the show will encourage people to make the best out of a sucky situation,” said Lore-Edwards. “And we realize that we have immense privilege to have the ability to look on the bright side of things, so I would also like the show to be a way for us to promote efforts by others to help people in these times. At the end of all of this, we want to be able to highlight as many stories as we can, and to really connect with people in a moment that feels so disconnected.”
Emma Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.