The Quarantine Cycle ✋🏿👈🏿
a short film by Travon Bracey
In my first short film, I wanted to highlight a hidden message of mental health while missing the outside world. Being stuck in the house has given me things to think about spiritually and taken the time to remember the outdoor activities that I may have taken advantage of. The connection that humanity has made to make this world move and function don’t add up the equivalent of being jailed in our homes with little to no physical contact. It was vital for me to take you guys through this journey and explore the symbolism of mudras and body language explaining where my mind is currently at.
Created, Produced, Directed, Choreographed, and Edited by Travon Bracey
Music Credit: Solange “Way to the Show” (Chopped n’ Screwed in Editing)
Visual Credits: The Wiz, Directed by Sidney Lumet (1978); Madea’s Family Reunion, Directed by Tyler Perry (2005); Mahogany, Directed by Berry Gordy
What is the hidden message behind the film?
The main hidden message is not to close your mind or heart. I wanted to make sure that it was displayed through mudra and only body language to justify that point. Being stuck in quarantine does a lot to the mind, good or bad, so I wanted to create a meditative visual that can ease the brain to where it can pick up on the hidden message itself.
This is the first short film you've ever done. I don't think I ever recall you even having editing credits, but you crafted this film so phenomenally. Have you always had an interest in film, and how was the editing part for you?
Usually, when I do something new for everyone to see, I have already advanced myself in the craft. I have always had an interest in cinematography to be specific. One of my goals is to create performance art pieces through film, and physical art shows because I love to produce, creatively direct and even choreograph. I started having an interest in short films when I was back in college, and I would watch so many of them on YouTube. Some of them were scripted, but the ones that stood out to me were the ones that connected me visually. Fashion short films were the first, and then afters were performance art pieces. After studying the craft for so long, you apply some of its studies to other things like photography and different medians. The editing was very detailed but easy. It's not as hard to edit a short film because it reminds me of other things I have published in the past. It's a lot of cutting and deleting for sure. I have ten edits of this film on my phone alone.
If you had the skills to produce your short film, why choose this time to release one, finally?
Because we're in quarantine, honestly, this quarantine has put me in a place where I can create things that I never had time for. I was always booked with projects and never focusing on creating personal work. It's starting to make me realize that in the real world, I was losing a part of myself without knowing. Project after project, I didn't recognize I was slipping away from certain things that I needed to focus on. Creating the idea of this short film didn't happen overnight. There's a clip where you see me dancing on the dance floor, which was a clip I took from my phone and implanted to show people that I miss being social and having group fun but I always make mini clips because I know I am going to use them for something like this. Another reason was that I wanted to help people meditate through their eyes during the quarantine. Social media can be a lot, and there aren't many inspiring things to look at, and that was my goal. I wanted to put that inspiration back into people's minds, no matter how weird or misunderstood my art is.
In the film, you highlighted some of the most iconic movie scenes like The Wiz, Madea's Family Reunion, and Mahogany. Why was it essential to utilize those clips to display such a beautiful message?
My company is all about focusing on the black diaspora of the arts. I need to honor those that have come before me. The Wiz and Mahogany are just a few of my favorite films of all time. The Wiz clip symbolizes social interaction while Mahogany symbolizes being alone, leaving my audience with a question in their mind of how they mentally feel once the film ends. The Tyler Perry clip was to vocalize wanting to go outside, which I saw people using it as a comedic meme.
Name a fun fact about this short film.
People may not know what mudra is, and people also don't know that I was practically naked in this film. (laughs) I learned about mudra when I taught yoga years ago only to find out that my favorite singer, Solange, uses mudra to create symbolizing points in her art. It's something very fascinating to read up about. As far as my look, the body was vital for me to display it with little clothing. I didn't want clothing to be a distraction with the body language that I was doing. I was actually ... (whispers) I was wearing a jockstrap. (laughs) I didn't want sexuality to be the main focus of this film, which is why it was filmed the way it was so people couldn't focus on what I was wearing per se. (laughs)
-Cierra Moodly, a native writer of creative arts & an exclusive ArtREV & Co contributor in Washington, D.C.