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Turning coronavirus quarantines into spooky short films has been a COVID-19 specialty for couples in the entertainment industry, with those like David F. Sandburg (Shazam!, Lights Out) dropping not one but two terrifying videos on YouTube with the help of his wife/collaborator Lotta Losten. Now another husband-wife duo has translated their quarantine woes into genre film: Angel's Amy Acker and James Carpinello (The Gifted).
Acker and Carpinello gave horror fans a 15-minute short, shot over the traditional two-week isolation period observed by those worried about coronavirus, called Outside. The film is more about paranoia and the human relationship at its core than the outside threat keeping them locked up together — which takes the cabin fever many people might be feeling, cranks it up to eleven, and gives it a target.
Lockdown — this time with sirens and tornado-like sheltering locations — becomes a cage beyond understanding for Acker's character...and leads to a plan for escape.
Check it out:
Ok, maybe she shouldn't have gone outside. Sorry, Amy.
Speaking to EW, the duo explained that they were worried while shooting, but not for the reason fans might expect. "We were constantly afraid," Acker said. "This is James' 7-year-old, maybe 8-year old iPhone. We were like, 'This is going to blow up your phone...' There was so much content."
Shooting all on an iPhone is a hallmark of the indie no-budget, and the couple's buddies — like editor Tommy Aagaard and composer Justin Stanley — lent a hand. "The real gift of all is that we do have friends and so many people who are creative and wanting to do things during this time when everything's been slow," Acker said. "We felt guilty asking people, but then everyone who we talked to about it was so excited." That also means the stunts fans saw were all really performed. Except for that billowing black cloud, of course.
Though the pair haven't commented on collaborating again in the future, Outside may soon be heading to film festivals...as soon as any reopen for business.