“This is a generation defining moment, so why can’t you stay home?”
Those are the first words of a new video created by a Campbell River-based group of young filmmakers called Far North Visuals. The video is called “COVID-19 Pandemic – Why this moment will define our generation” and has been viewed over 2,000 times on Youtube as of April 21, only four days after it was posted. Those first words are a call to the younger generation to show the world how they want to be remembered.
“We’ve never had to deal with something this substantial in our generation before,” said Grady Robertson, one half of Far North Visuals. “Generations before us will be remembered for how they rebuilt the world after the world wars, and I think this is one of those big events that our generation will be remembered for: how we dealt with it and how we moved past it and came together as a society.”
The video, produced by Robertson and Noah Vaton with Ian Boyd narrating, starts by explaining how the COVID-19 virus works. It then looks at how social distancing affects people from a neurological point of view before transitioning to an example of how people have been there for each other virtually, despite the virus. It then speaks directly to the younger generation, saying that it is up to them to do their part and take this challenge seriously. The video ends with a list of charitable organizations that people can donate to, and with a final call to the younger generation to take this seriously.
“We were seeing a lot of kids our age who weren’t really holding up their part of the social distancing thing. We thought that maybe it wasn’t coming across very well from the people higher above. We thought that if the message was coming from their peers it would maybe come across differently,” Robertson explained.
“We’re the leaders of tomorrow, and showing the generations above us that we’re willing to make the sacrifice for our future, it might inspire those above us to do the same thing,” he added.
Robertson and Vaton have been making films together for years. They started Far North Visuals in 2018 when they were grade 11 students at Timberline Secondary School. One of their videos won an award at the BC Student Film Festival for best travel and nature documentary. Robertson’s plan is to turn his passion for filmmaking into a full-time career. The video has been well-received. Over 2,000 views have been logged since it was posted on April 17. Robertson said that it has gotten much more attention than any of their other videos so far.
Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams spoke about the video during the April 20 city council meeting, saying: “this inspiring video is about the importance of physical distancing. In particular, the video reminds young people to temporarily forgo hanging out with friends for the greater good. We applaud their leadership and expert use of technology to spread a message of civic responsibility in the face of this pandemic.”
The video has been shared on the City of Campbell River website.
Robertson hopes that a better world comes out of all of this. He and Vaton show in the video that there already have been beneficial effects of social distancing, including overwhelming support for healthcare workers around the world, lessened environmental impacts that are related to a drop in harmful human activity and a growth in support among people, even from a distance. However, the crisis is not over yet, and more is needed to make it through this.
The video comes to a close with Vaton making a plea directly to the camera. In it he asks young people to stop going over to friends houses, going to beach fires and to take this seriously.
“It would be really sad to see our generation mess this up because we wanted to hang out with our friends,” Vaton said to end the video.