14 July 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
     

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EZ Films’ David Clarke discusses new Covid-19 dating format Love In Isolation
12 Jun 2020 : Nathan Griffin
Love In Isolation
Love in Isolation is a unique dating show set against the backdrop of Covid-19, which is now available to view on the RTÉ Player.

With whole countries going into quarantine and populations self-isolating en masse, this unique TV show breaks through the boredom and isolation of quarantine to connect lonely Irish souls across the world.

Connecting two people via video chat and observing the calls, the show watches random individuals who are both stuck in a common situation meet for the first time. They share their lives right now and how they are surviving this unique situation. Ultimately they talk about themselves and their quest to find love. Will it simply be a friendship forged by circumstance, or can love blossom in isolation so as to exist in the real world when Covid-19 has come and gone?

“The series is a window into diverse lives experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime event and will provide viewers with some feel-good relief from the current climate of fear and anxiety,” said David Clarke from EZ Films. “With all demographics being represented, it’s a thoroughly unique insight into normal homes and the consequences of these extraordinary events that are currently unfolding for people across the world. We want to hit a positive note during these difficult times and we are promoting companionship to counteract the loneliness that many will be experiencing.”

Love in Isolation is produced by EZ Films in partnership with Irish broadcaster RTÉ. The entire series has been filmed and produced remotely in a safe manner in keeping with current government advice and regulations.

IFTN: How did the idea for the project come about, and how quick was the turn around to produce a show during lockdown?

David: “The idea for the show came about at the very beginning of the lockdown when we were trying to explore programme ideas that were still feasible with all of the restrictions. There was obviously a lot of bad news coming out at the time and people were inundated with quite scary news updates daily. We wanted to try and make something that reflected the situation but also promoted keeping people connected and helped maintain some semblance of normal life during this really unusual and unpredictable time.”

IFTN: What was the day to day of a production adhering to social distancing and online platforms like?

David:  “The day to day production was unlike anything we have done all because the entire series was produced, filmed, edited, and delivered remotely. There was no face to face interaction between any crew members or any of the contributors. All of the crew involved from researchers to editors were really flexible with us and worked from home. It just took some trial and error with the technology.”

IFTN: What are the pros and cons of making productions in this format?

David: The pros of making something in this format are that there is a lot of flexibility in terms of not having to deal with the heavy logistics of organising shoots and so forth. We were able to organise things at short notice and think on our feet. Due to the nature of it, the numbers involved in the production were quite low so that automatically makes things simpler.”

“Undoubtedly the biggest challenge was that everything was totally dependent on the quality of people’s broadband connections. There was some great content gathered that we just couldn’t use because the picture quality wasn’t good enough to include.”

IFTN: How did you go about enhancing video and sound quality while recording remotely using digital communications technology?

David:  We trialed a number of different video chat platforms at the beginning to see what worked best in terms of picture and sound quality. It was important that we recorded a consistent stream from both sides of each date in order to give the editors as much as possible to work with. We tried lots of different platforms as well as contributors filming on their phones, recording audio locally, etc.”

“Some of these things worked and others didn’t. In the end, we used Skype along with a range of different plug-ins and we also got the contributors to record audio locally. This worked well. We were able to tidy up both picture and sound in the online and mix too and get each of the episodes delivered with a good level of technical quality that we were happy with.”

Click here to watch an episode of Love In Isolation.





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