OCTOBER 10 - OCTOBER 13, 2023

Interview | Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding

  • News
  • April 12 2023
  • 8 min read
Movie: Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding
Director: Cynthia Fridsma



Hii Cynthia, welcome to the SIFF!


1.Tell us, how did you get into the world of stories?

Throughout my childhood, my mother used to tell exciting, vivid stories that captured my imagination. Because of my mother, I enjoyed writing essays in school and sometimes even amazed my teachers. But when I grew up, I stopped telling and writing stories and started a freelance career as a computer programmer until 2014. An old injury in my right hand caused tremors, numbness in my fingers, and pain in my wrist. I had to give up my programming career and focus on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do. That’s when my writing career began. I have written several thriller/horror books and one science fiction story.


2.How do stories impact us?

Stories spark the imagination and open a window to new possibilities, and can even be an eye-opener on difficult issues such as politics, climate change, pollution, hatred, terrorism, and so on.


3.Cynthia, what inspired you to come up with ‘Chaos is Bleeding’ ?

After an email from my editor, Lee Ann Wolff, suggested that I write about the rising levels of Covid-19 found in Boston’s wastewater in 2020, and also write about the Deer Island Outfall Tunnel accident that happened on July 22, 1999, and took the lives of two divers.

 After months of online research, I combined true events with fiction and started writing on October 1, 2021 and finished on November 1, 2021, missing my personal deadline. I wanted so badly to finish the story before Halloween, but I failed. My brilliant editor helped me with the final result.

In 2022, I wanted to create a 3D animation based on my book, and I managed to complete the animation in seven months!


4.What is your definition of love? What importance does it hold in your story?

Love is always a strong motivator to get things done you otherwise wouldn’t do. If you really love someone, you will go to great strength to help him, or her with everything you’ve got. Just like Sybil does in my animation. She’s afraid of the pandemic, and doesn’t want to leave home. But when her boyfriend, Harry Brown, is abducted she has no choice but to come to the rescue. 


5.How is your experience of 3D animation?

I started using 3D tools in 2004 when I discovered 3D software like Carrara Pro, Poser and DAZ studio. It was great to see my stories come to life. But the render times, 8 hours for 30 seconds of animation, are very time consuming and make it almost impossible to create a full time feature film. 

 Over time, 3D software has evolved and gotten better with faster results. Mainly because today you can use 3D animation that renders almost in real time and with better looking results.


6.What difficulties did you face while filming? And what did you enjoy the most about filming?

Creating the ideal 3D environment for my film Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding was the hardest part.

 I built the sets for each scene myself, using panoramic photos of Boston. I also built some of the 3D models you see on stage. For example, Catherine and Jack Hunter’s house, Sybil’s house, and the Hotel Nightbird, including the hotel lobby, restaurant, and kitchen.

 Just like in real life, every part had to be movable, doors had to be able to open and close, and that was more work than I initially thought.

 Also, I was working with new 3D software that works a little differently than the software I used before. All of this made making the movie a big and exciting challenge.

 I learned a lot from it.


7.Sybil Crewes is a very strong female character. How did you create her? 

I have always admired strong women. Unfortunately, I never had a role model in my life. My mother was always insecure about herself and always had the idea that others were more important.

 As a result, a lot of people took advantage of her, and I always thought that was unfair. I didn’t want to grow up like that. It was like: A man is in charge and a woman is nothing. What nonsense!

 So I looked at strong women who changed the world and strong women in movies and shows.

 Sybil partly reflects Milla Jovovich’s character Alice (from the Resident Evil movie series) and is a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

 It’s Sybil’s calling to stop evil and protect the innocent and the world. Sybil believes in freedom and justice. And she hates dictators and people who spread hate and lies in the world.

 She’s partly my alter-ego!


8.Cynthia, it is no wonder that you love stories. Would you share the names of some of your favorite storytellers?

My favorite storytellers are Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Philip K. Dick, and Stephen King. I love the way these great writers tell stories.

 Their stories keep me awake and make me wonder about the world around me. I have learned to look at the world with an open but suspicious mind because I always want to know all the details before I take a stance, and I believe strongly in science. When scientists (and the CDC) warned about the Covid-19 pandemic, I knew it wasn’t a hoax.


9.What major differences did you notice between the traditional way of filmmaking and animation?

I honestly don’t know if there’s a big difference between traditional filmmaking and animation. You have to follow a script and get your characters (actors in movies) to talk and react to the situations they’re in.

 But on the other hand, there’s a big difference. Because all the actors in animation are digital, just like the world around them.


10.As a creator what kinds of stories do you wish to show to your viewers?

I want to show my viewers a story of bravery, of never giving up, of achieving your goals and stopping the spread of evil.


11.Writing or filmmaking? What do you prefer more?

I love them both, but they are obviously different mediums. In writing you can do so much more with your characters because you can write about their thoughts and the way they see the world. In filmmaking, you can only show your character’s actions.


12.What is the impact of Pandemic on the different elements of our society, especially on filmmaking?  How do you feel about this situation?

Almost everyone struggled with the pandemic, and young people in particular suffered a lot of depression because they could no longer get together because of the risk of contagion. Children who could not visit their parents, and had to self-quarantine if you had Covid-19. 

I did not have Covid-19 myself, and when you could apply to be vaccinated against Covid-19, I did not hesitate for a moment to get vaccinated.

 Many meetings were still online only, a lot of work was done at home (which in turn was better for the environment because of less traffic jams and particulate matter in the atmosphere from exhaust fumes).

 This allowed nature to recover a bit from the human impact, but now that has been undone…..

 Children couldn’t go to school and were taught at home, which of course didn’t always work and probably led to a lot of fighting and frustration for both parents and children.

 The result: an educational gap for the children, people no longer trusting the government. A lot of protests and more violence and less trust in people.

 Populism has also increased, fueled in part by the former populist president, Donald Trump. The former president was a nightmare for the West, NATO, CIA (Homeland Security) and the European Union.

 The pandemic exacerbated all of this.

 The movie industry also struggled with the pandemic. Film production was downsized, everyone on a movie set had to be tested for Covid-19 before they were allowed on the set.

 Face Mask requirements complicated all of this, and then there were the anti-vaxxers.

 All ingredients that I personally got very tired of and partly the reason why I wrote Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding at the suggestion of my editor Lee Ann. And eventually turned it into my first animated movie.


13.Cynthia, as a filmmaker, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

I hope that in ten years I will have made several movies and that people will enjoy my movies.

Right now I am working on a sequel to Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding.


It was nice talking to you Cynthia! Lastly, it’d be great if you could share how much you enjoyed working with the SIFF!

Thank you for having me, and I enjoyed participating in SIFF!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post

Interview | Zong

Movie: Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding Director: Cynthia Fridsma     Hii Cynthia, welcome to the SIFF!   1.Tell us, how did you get into the world of stories? Throughout…

  • 19 min read
Read More

Interview | RAOK

Movie: Zong Director: Yingran Zhao     Hello Yingran! Welcome to the SIFF!   1.First of all, Zong is extremely innovative. How did you develop this storyline? I am very…

  • 4 min read
Read More

Review | Dinner with Dante

Music Video: RAOK Director: Anaya Kunst   Hello Anaya! Welcome to the SIFF! 1.Let’s begin with your story, how did you get inspired to come into this world of filmmaking?…

  • 4 min read
Read More