Lag: A Zoomsical Comedy

During the COVID-19 Crisis, a class on meditation and self-care has made the move to Zoom. Four students and an instructor bravely attempt to attain inner peace in this new online classroom beset with all the distractions and frustrations of our new normal. Will they overcome glitchy technology, and the deep fear of losing everything, or will they implode in the process?

  • Haddon Kime
    Director
  • Haddon Kime
    Writer
  • Ariel Fristoe
    Producer
  • Lee Osorio
    Producer
  • Minka Wiltz
    Key Cast
  • Rhyn Saver
    Key Cast
  • Trevor Rayshay Perry
    Key Cast
  • Googie Uterhardt
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Music Video, Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Musical, Comedy, Musical Comedy
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 26, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    1,800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Zoom
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Haddon Kime

As both a performing musician and composer, and now filmmaker, Haddon is bold and vivacious, throwing his weight and energy through the silent barrier between his body and the keyboard. If he had to choose a signature style, it is the brutal beauty of New Orleans’ street jazz. For Haddon, its melodies are a testimony to the harmony of many cultures crashing together and a communal call of rage against the dying of the light. Unable to sum him up, he's often compared to Walt Whitman, both for his physical stature and his lust for life. His music, like his heart, is large and contains multitudes.

From the Mauretanien rhythms and instrumentation of the award-winning short film "Trail of Hope", to the Celtic Rock Pop and Soul based songs of "The Snow Queen: A New Musical", the latter of which won him praise from The New York Times as a "Fairy Tale that Rocks" when it premiered Off-Broadway in 2014, Haddon is driven to write music and lyrics that connect with listeners and help to tell a great story. These stories he hopes draw us all out of the far flung reaches of our loneliness into the greater connection that comes in wandering and wondering for a time together.

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Director Statement

In March 2020 our lives began to lag. We lost our live audience. More than ever before, we Zoomed, encountering friends and colleagues from a safe social distance. "Lag: A Zoomsical Comedy" evokes a society exposed and unsure of what will happen next. Fussy babies, murder hornets, and "distant inner landscapes" collide to capture the resilience and humor of our moment. While poor internet connections, inferior mics and faulty webcams might be a reminder of our "new normal", in "Lag," Minka uplifts how, more than ever, we must unite around the healing power and inalienable right of our ability to breathe.

This project was commissioned by Artistic Director Ariel Fristoe at Out of Hand Theater Company in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of March 2020.

As the theatre company pivoted away from the rest of their planned season on stage and towards innovative new ways of expression, the challenge arose; how can we create new and relevant content while adhering to new social distancing restrictions.

"Because of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions a lot of theatre companies are producing plays over Zoom, but very few are seizing the opportunity to rethink the setting of these shows, and Zoom ends up to both artist and audience as an undesirable alternative to staging it live" says writer/composer/director Haddon Kime. "We decided to create an original musical comedy that is entirely conceived and produced using this video conferencing software intentionally as its own dramatic setting. Zoom becomes much more effective as a storytelling tool when you approach it this way."

This musical short film was written for and features four of the most talented and well loved performers in Atlanta theatre, Minka Wiltz, Rhyn Saver, Trevor Rayshay Perry, and Googie Uterhardt.

Early on the decision was made to treat the quirks of video conferencing (latencies, the vast quality difference in microphones, unreliable internet connections) as features instead of bugs. Thus, after the performances were captured very little post processing was done to either the video or the audio, in order to reflect the unstable environment these class members find themselves in.

"We were reminded many times throughout the process of creating this film that great opportunities arise from great challenges." says Kime. "COVID-19, and social distancing is no exception. We hope you enjoy our zoomsical comedy!"