Capturing COVID-19

Capturing COVID-19

Our second wedding anniversary was spent in Paris.

It was 1996 and I had a clunky Hi8 video camera from around 1990.
A few days in and we had to chat. I was capturing everything and experiencing nothing. Realising that stayed with me and helped me manage my approach to social media.


There were/are a number of concerns in my head around capturing COVID-19…

• I’m not paid/required to do it.
• Will people be upset that I’m out wandering the streets of the city centre when I don’t need to be.
• While people are dying, what’s the significance of capturing empty streets – is this something to remember?

I had excuses too…

• I’m in Dundee because I’m working for the NHS.
• I’m not paid, but as a documentarian it is my job.
• These things are appreciated much later…

I used to work in Dundee’s City Square. The town was always busy. 10am was barely any different to lunchtime. 3pm was not different to knocking off time (5pm). It always baffled me where all the people came from and why the city centre was always so busy. In another few months and it may be hard to remember what this time was like.

And now it’s not. The few people I saw were (presumably) key workers on their way home.

A week or so later it’s a slightly different story. People are making their way to the city centre to isolate outside. Not huge numbers, but enough that, if you didn’t know there was a lockdown then the city centre wouldn’t be the give-away either.

Along Riverside it was busier still. Walkers, joggers, cyclists – all taking advantage of the freakishly good weather (coincidence?) the views and the clear riverside run from one end of the city to the other.

To some degree, we’re adapting…

I’ll share more as I get opportunity. I don’t go into Dundee unless I’m called in to do more work at the hospital. The first video is complete – the second I haven’t had chance to go back to as yet, it’s just a taste.

How do you feel about capturing COVID-19?


Jon Gill is an award-winning (and losing) mobile filmmaker with a passion for creativitycollaboration and participation. He runs brand, storytelling and social media workshops including #MadeOnAMobile mobile filmmaking series of masterclasses designed to get you creating your own video content for presentations, the web and social media

Tech spec: Both films were shot on an iPhoneXR using using FiLMiCPro
Edited on the same phone using LumaFusion.  
Original music © Jon Gill – created in GarageBand on 1st Gen iPadPro.

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