Talya Klein: “Collaboration in Isolation is Important and Necessary”
Talya Klein, who taught "Acting for the Camera" this spring, shares the class's final project, an original feature filmed titled "EMERGENCY CONTACTS" set in 2030 during a new, fictional pandemic that explores and incorporates present experiences during the coronavirus crisis.
Part of our “Art and Artists are Essential” collection and invitation.
Talya Klein taught THEATRST 275s/AMI 310s: Acting for the Camera this past semester and despite the obstacles, her students produced a stunning original feature film:
“EMERGENCY CONTACTS” was written, directed and acted in our last month of the semester. Each of my 12 students wrote and filmed a scene for themselves and another classmate, using phones, tablets, and computers to record, and then all the pieces were put together, creating a looping, interlocking narrative. This happened across three time zones, six states, and twelve completely separate and diverse home lives.
We created this during the coronavirus crisis, and in a way, it’s about the crisis. It was a big experiment to see if collaboration and filmmaking were possible in times of extreme isolation like this. It is set in the year 2030, during a new, fictional pandemic, but it shares many specific details and exposes many personal concerns and narratives that are happening during this time.
Collaboration in isolation is not only possible, it’s important and necessary to come up with innovative solutions. Making something together can often be more fun and freeing than working on your own masterpiece alone.
We’re proud of our work, it’s relevant, the first project of its kind I’ve seen at Duke or anywhere else, and it’s quite a feat that we could pull it off during unprecedented times.” — Talya Klein
Talya Klein is a professor in Theater Studies Department and Duke (Trinity) Alum ’02.