Earlier during the pandemic, Hungry Man director Dave Laden found himself at home celebrating his birthday “alone,” though enjoying the company of his many “selves.”
He had made the short film about “The Daves” as a creative outlet and as a reaction to the monotonous Covid messages he’d been seeing. Now, several weeks later, as we’ve moved into another, uncertain stage of sheltering in place, it seems the Daves have found a new groove, jumping into new activities.
Laden's new film “Tuesday in Place” finds the Daves stuck at home with their dog Bob on a regular old day, but their world has opened up tremendously. They now have quite the social schedule: a virtual date, a dance party, several touch-bases with Mom and more.
Compared to the previous film, the production itself got a little more complex, with the more ambitious storyline and the addition of new cast members, including Laden's real mom, his nephews, his ex, fellow Hungry Man director Amir Farhang and others.
The dance party scene, for example, was a bit of a stealth move—he recorded a friend’s birthday party and then asked for permission to include it later. More characters meant more reaction shots all around. “I had to record everyone on Zoom first, then shoot each of the Daves reacting after the fact to each person, then also shoot each Dave's reaction to each other,” he says. “I literally had to make a shooting matrix.”
There were safety issues as well. For one scene in which an angry neighbor (Farhang) yells at him for going mask-less while taking out the trash, “we stayed six feet apart and shot three takes,” he says.
Though Laden struggles “with making content like this in a time where we need everyoone to focus on staying safe, and fighting the good fight,” the work has its benefits.
“When someone on the front lines fighting corona says I made their day or a person of color makes a comment under one of the videos saying ‘Thanks for the levity,’ I feel validated,” he says. “That’s the part I love the most about making these.”
See the previous “Daves” film below.