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Filming During Covid-19? Not Enough Family Members to be Actors. 2021 Film Production MFA Applications


Hi everyone!

I have a bit of a bizarre question. I'm applying for various film production MFA programs (USC, NYU, Columbia, Chapman, LMU) and as a result need to film content for their applications (having no film background). The issue is I am strictly isolating at home with my family because we are all high-risk. That means the only people I have to be in my films are myself, my mom, and my brother.

I was wondering if it would be weird to write who I want them to be on their foreheads? Like, for one film the script calls for a white vampire, male vampire, and a 3 vampire group. But the only option I have come up with is writing the name of each character, ex. writing "White Vampire," on my brother's forehead for each part. This piece is supposed to be a serious horror short and this sounds so unprofessional to me, but I really don't know what else I can do. My editing skills are very little and there is no way for me to get actors (can't afford to pay for their Covid-19 tests).

Do people think the people reviewing my applications will judge me harshly for having so little people and writing character names on foreheads? And does anyone else have better ideas? I know this sounds kind of stupid, but I currently don't have any other ideas.

Any advice much appreciated!


I’m also quarantining with family and needed to make two new shorts. I wrote new scripts to utilize the resources I do have. The original script I was going to use involved two adults, but in quarantine I just have my little sister (fifteen) available to act. I wrote two scripts specifically for her age and abilities and shot them on a dslr. Hope this helps!


New Member
Hi, same as AIcB - I'm trying to write scripts with the people in my household in mind then will film with the limited means available. I feel that universities should understand that if we mention it in our application somewhere.

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
I've written this somewhere else but the limitations from COVID should and could be an immense motivator to really get your creatine ideas flowing and really think outside the box for your films.

If you don't have actors you can use inanimate objects or pets. Or your can use the same actor for all the characters.

The limitations will test you and force you to be more creative in a good way.

Also story wise... How would lockdown affect a character? Paranoia? Cabin fever? Psychosis? Hypervigilance? Conspiracy?

It's the perfect setup for a Rear Window homage and could have the solitude inducing craziness of The Shining. There's also a ton of good original ideas that the situation could spark.

Have fun with it.

monty python GIF

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