Liv McNeil, a 15-year-old Canadian student at Etobicoke School of the Arts has captured the pandemic perfectly. The teen sits in her bedroom and in a short 3 minute and 22 second film called “Numb: A Short Film” she lets us feel what it is to be young and physically separated from your former life.
She describes our collective experience as a “civilized apocalypse” and says, “In my film I explore how isolation can effect your mental health. There is a reason we learn in classroom and remote learning has not been beneficial. We crave each other for feedback, judgement, validation, knowledge, joy…everything. To be alive is to be with each other.”
“We are left with the monotony of captivity”
Liv created the video as a school assignment and she has not lost sight of her blessings or the position of her life. “We have all been going through stuff right now, especially with Black Lives Matter, my struggles are in no way comparable to some things people are going though right now. This is my own experience, some are a whole lot worse than mine. I’m just showing what I know.”
The assignment took her 3 weeks to complete and as of now has almost 350,000 views. Her teacher gave the class a prompt for this assignment, Liv recalls that was: “I used to be, but now I am, and someday I hope to be.”
She captured the sameness of our days in 13 cuts of the same sequence with differing clothing and hair, set in the same spot each time. For everyone who has woken up in the morning wondering what day it is and then wondering if that even matters, this film says it all. Liv promises to create more films this summer and has already completed the story behind the story video on her YouTube Channel.
Her father, Scott McNeil, a TV producer and director thinks she’s a natural and is proud at how his daughter has managed her newfound fame, “It has been amazing to watch Liv take all of this in stride,” he said. “She just kind of rolls with it. She’s pretty great.”
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