As a frontline doctor and a filmmaker, I never envisaged returning to fulltime frontline medicine. But when the pandemic hit, I did, and I was on the Covid-19 wards. The pain and suffering I witnessed by individuals, families and socity deeply affected me.
I then ended up in hospital myself with Covid-19 and two months later, I am still recovering. I still don't know how I will be affected physically, emotionally, psychologically by Covid-19 in the long term.
My experiences personally and professionally, as well as my knowledge of infectious diseases led me to the question: What does the Covid19 pandemic say about us as a society, as a species?
What can we learn from previous global catastrophes that can help us shape our future? What kind of world do we want to live in?
Start, Stop, Repeat will focus on what we have learned from previous global upheavals, and we will examine the resulting values that could guide our future. We may have a small window of opportunity to consider: what does our future look like? What's next? Will we stop, start again, and create something better? Or will we repeat the mistakes of the past?
About: Start Stop Repeat Film
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
Start. Stop. Repeat. will be a feature documentary made up of expert interviews, historical archive film and film footage from today’s pandemic, taking inspiration from the imitable style of Adam Curtis’s work.
We want this film to speak to you. We understand that many people have opinions on the crisis that has befallen us, just as people had opinions 100 years ago when The Spanish Flu killed an estimate 50-100 million people worldwide. (The Spanish Influenza Pandemic: a lesson from history 100 years after 1918. J Prev Med Hyg 2019 Mar; 60(1): E64-E67) Some of these opinions are rooted in fact and are constructive to our survival. Other opinions are not.
We are aware that the documented increase of opinions masquerading as facts over the last few years has created sceptics of us all. It is also widely reported that we may be turning into an increasingly divided society. We believe we need to come together, irrespective of political stance, to create a future that benefits humanity as widely as possible.
That is why we will focus our research on what has happened and why it has happened. We will utilise expert voices, that cover the wide range of the political spectrum, to discuss what could happen next. We will provide a platform for experts from the medical and scientific fields, experts in history, anthropology and futurism.
We aim to focus on key events that have overhauled international society in the past, in order to compare and contrast the effects to what is happening today from a historical, sociological and scientific perspective.
Start, Stop, Repeat: what we will cover
History: Events that brought about huge societal change.
Throughout history, pandemics and war have caused widespread devastation. The 1918-1919 Spanish Flu infected 500m and killed between 50-100m people worldwide, more than those killed in WW1, out of a global population of 1.7bn. After the Spanish Flu and WW1, the League of Nations was founded and after WW2, the United Nations and European Union were born, out of a desire to avoid repeated mass destruction and death on unimaginable scales. In the UK we established the NHS, to provide universal care for all people who fall victim to disease and injuries - a recognition that a healthy population, not just select few, results in a better nation. How will the Covid19 pandemic change our current local, national and international structures?
Present Day: The Effects of COVID 19
We are now in the grip of a very modern pandemic. We are witnessing millions of people from all over the world suffer and die. The pain and death rates exacerbated by huge delays in state action, private profiteering and stockpiling, and barring a few exceptions, governments from across the world unable to provide shelter, food and basic protection to all their people.
Irrespective of your background, and country, COVID19 will alter our lives, both directly and indirectly, for years and maybe decades. It is currently beyond our collective memory and ability to imagine a life without many of the services, products, and attitudes that we have grown up with - the internet being a prime example. Can we try and keep a handle on the lessons we are learning now, and begin to document them in such a way that they survive beyond a lifetime?
We are capturing stories, songs, jokes, devastation and the new ways in which we are living our lives. Can we tell our stories with so much conviction and honesty that the next generation can learn from the mistakes and blunders our politicians and businesses are making? If we don’t learn from this, what will it take for us to change?
COVID19: A Force for Change?
It is hard to focus on the positives whilst we are all firmly living in the crisis. It almost feels disrespectful to think that COVID-19 could be a switch for change. There are many people on the front line of this crisis, intubating patients, feeding us from fields, warehouses, and shops, caring for us.
We want to explore what we collectively valued before the pandemic, what we find ourselves finding value in during the pandemic - and we ask the question, what will we value after the pandemic? What are the long term effects in government priorities and governance, and how we treat one another?
Creating this film is an act of collective positivity. We want to offer concrete ideas for our collective future as a species. Are we able to consciously think and act, in a way that positively impacts our society and the environment for good?
Our Roadmap: Year One - Year Three.
(Our timescale is an approximation based upon current projections. They may be subject to change. We will keep all of our backers updated throughout this project.)
Initial Research: the team have already collated a large amount of information about how diseases have affected the social fabric of societies. We have begun by exploring the link between disease and social change. One such example is how the plague was one of the instrumental forces that limited the feudal system in the UK.
- We have created our pitch video.
- We have begun the production process.
: This initial funding round to raise £10,000 will be dedicated to hiring a researcher and archivist. This will speed up the process of collating data, information, and events as they unfold.
We require an expert researcher to obtain specific information about how these events shaped the world we live in, as well as to interview Historians, Sociologists, Economists, and Scientists to determine if we forgot lessons learned from these previous events, and if so, what can we do to affect long-lasting positive change in our society. They will also collect data and information on how the pandemic is affecting us now.
We also require an archivist to explore footage of these events that demonstrate and exemplify the societal changes that have occurred throughout history and to fund archive footage from sources such as Pathe, Getty Images, and for professional Archivists.
The founding team will also be committed to:
Year 3: Production and filming:
- Assisting the Researcher and Archivist;
- Development of the materials we have gathered;
- Developing the direction of the documentary;
- Filming and producing miniature segments of the documentary, some of which we will share as we progress with the main filming
A full time, dedicated team will be assembled to research, interview experts and other such people.
Further funding will be secured for this round.
Dr Nidhi Gupta
will be producing and directing Start. Stop. Repeat.
She has produced multiple award-winning short films that have qualified for numerous BAFTA qualifying festivals.
Astroturf screened at the London Short Film festival, and Suburban Dracula was funded by London Calling and Eastern Edge Film Fund 2015-2016 cohort.
As a filmmaker, Nidhi wants to produce and direct Stop Stop Repeat to ask: what's next? What kind of world do we want to live in after the worst of COVID 19 has passed? Lockdown and job loss has compounded the inequality in human suffering that has been exposed, and ramped up, by the virus.
Dr Nidhi Gupta has gone back to full-time medicine during the Covid19 crisis, utilising her skills as a Consultant in Acute and General Medicine, on the front lines, caring for Covid19 patients.
Jeremy is an experienced Director of Photography and Gaffer with creative credits in high-end television, international documentaries, and award-winning short films.
He has a particular eye for a unique situation, character, or image details that highlight the story to the viewer. He also has extensive experience in operating documentary camera, studio and location lighting, and frame composition. Jeremy has a strong interview technique and sensitivity directing interviews, which he demonstrated with great effect with homeless drug and alcohol addicts in 'Invisible'.
Nicky has a background in law, research, and design, and works on projects which combine her varied interests.
She is particularly interested in examining people's behaviour during times of high stress, and how this affects efforts to curtail the virus. On an international level, she is researching the strategies of different governments across the world, and contrasting and comparing the strategy to those undertaken during the Spanish Flu pandemic.
Sophie is a recent languages graduate who is beginning her career in TV and film production. She is a keen environmentalist and political person who truly believes documentaries are one of the most powerful ways to make people see the world differently. She hopes this documentary will help people see the change possible in a world turned upside down, as we begin to create a new 'normal' after the pandemic.
Tom is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator born and based in Belgium. Active as @mad.leif on Instagram (mad = good & bad, Leif = an anagram for life), he posts expressions of moods and futuristic nostalgia in hopes to plant small seeds of positivity. This way, Tom likes to help clients translate their message into one of connection, shared purpose and a positive forward outlook. With this documentary, Tom helps to create visuals to communicate a sense of urgency: and to seek constructive discourse in the way forward.
Thank you for reading. We would love to count on your support in the creation of this film. No donation is too small. We appreciate that we are in difficult times, so if you can share our page on social media, that would be fantastic.