Shot during the pandemic, let quarantine-themed romantic comedy Love in Dangerous Times mask your screen this November.
About the Production
In February of 2020, it was becoming clear that much of the world was in a panic With so many unknowns and the threat of physical and financial crisis, writer/filmmakers Jon Garcia, Ian Stout, and Steven Avalon Gardner began to collaborate on a film project that delved into the complexity of emotions percolating through many as a result of COVID-19. The initial idea was to tell a story about people looking for love during the pandemic, and not just romantic love, but people looking to preserve and repair broken relationships that only desperate times can mend.
The casting process was fairly simple as it felt natural to cast people they’d worked with before, actors they knew and trust. Co-lead Tiffany Groben was an integral part of the experience, she was a newcomer to the group and integrated herself seamlessly into the project. Safety was definitely a concern for this production as universal filming protocols had yet been put in place for filming during a pandemic. For that reason there was an open communication about how best to prevent risk of exposure to the Coronavirus before, during, and after filming.
The process had to move quickly as it was important to the group to capture the feeling of pandemic in real time. Once the script was as sound as it could be, the focal crew and cast quarantined for two weeks; then utilizing masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer donated by friends and family, the production started mid April and wrapped mid May. With Jon Garcia operating camera and directing, Steven Gardner doing near everything else, and filmmaker Ian Stout in front of the camera, they finished the feature length film in 22 days. The production was filmed mostly in an apartment in NW Portland and included 6 other actors, mostly cueing in via video chat or phone. Ian Stout had not acted much before Love in Dangerous Times but threw himself into the role of Jason and carries the film well creating a depiction of the flawed but lovable protagonist.
This concept that started at the very beginning of the pandemic echoed what the filmmakers were feeling at that time; fear and distance from those they love.