December 11th, Showtime released Showtime Unmasked, a digital Christmas show. Through the actors recording their parts over Zoom, the three creators have created a news show that includes comedic relief while bringing up topics and summaries from the year of 2020.
Every year Showtime creates an end of the year show, which includes both the dance studio, music team, and acting team. Due to the pandemic this year turned out different, but it didn’t stop Adam Olsson (Showtime Acting Group Leader), Carl Fredrik Gustafsson (Showtime member) and Torgny Nordström (Showtime Show Coordinator) from creating an alternative end of the year show.
A: We always had the idea of the online subject. In the beginning when we were talking about a news show we also thought about having a correspondent over zoom and some technical jokes about maybe opening up the wrong tab while sharing screen or start talking and then mute.
C: That is kind of the red thread (common thread) throughout the show. Including Coronavirus, of course, and also the technology involved, were the subjects we thought of when we thought about 2020 and were what we wanted to work with.
T: Once we decided that, we started to collect topics; Coronavirus, Zoom, and the long list of stuff that has happened 2020. Lets just say that the Wikipedia page of 2020 is impressive.
While on set people were recently prepared, even though they did not have much time to practice. There were also a few technological hiccups, which made them reshoot some of the scenes. All the actors recorded in their own homes while recording on Zoom. Adam, who has been editing the show, realized it turned out to be a bit more complicated than he originally thought it would be. But since it’s a big passion of his, he stayed up late to fix all the problems that turned up. Overall, they think it went as well as it could considering it was their first time doing anything like that.
What has been the best part of the process?
A: I think writing the script was one of the best parts. Throwing the ideas at the table and putting them together like a puzzle has been a really jolly thing to do.
C: Yeah, it’s been quite amazing. Since I have been writing a lot as a hobby it was really amazing to just see people perform the things we have written. That was a really cool feeling.
T: Apart from when we could spit our ideas (brainstorm ideas), for me it was the learning process of filming, the importance of scheduling, making sure that everyone is informed. That sort of knowledge that can only be a trial and error. We learned a lot and I look forward to implementing this knowledge next time.
Last but not least, do you have a message you want to bring to the audience?
A: Don’t let anything stop you. We have been over so many hurdles; the whole world is in a bad place. What we try to do with the show is to see the absurdity of it and try to, no matter what the restrictions are, find a way to have fun and to actually make something good out of all the horribleness that has been.
C: To turn the negatives into something positive. “Nöden är uppfinningarnas moder” as you say in Swedish. We had to change tactics; if we can’t do this, what can we do it instead?
A: That´s what we want to bring forward; we must try to see the positive in the negative.
T: Yes, things are bad. But we also need to sort of make sure that if bad things are happening, we can still take out the good bits and learn to treasure those good things.
Next year Showtime will be releasing the 2020 annual show (filmed version), in January and hopefully there will be an open stage and an annual show later in the semester. But till then, they wish the circumstances to improve significantly, but most of all, they stay hopeful.