2020AD: A Pandemic Film Project was created during the COVID-19 pandemic by Andrew Rundle, as he converted his Environmental Epidemiology course over to an online format. Bored with making the typical course videos he decided to also create a video series that introduced each week’s key learning lessons, with the videos appearing to be broadcast from an alternative reality where America took a different approach to controlling the pandemic. He recruited ex-teaching assistants, friends and students to act in the videos and hired punk rock legends to record segments. The video series borrows the idea of films being sent from another reality from Philip K Dick’s “Man in the High Castle“, liberally steals from the Matrix movies, of course nods to the classic comic 2000AD and lifts video from other genre films to tell its story. Videos will be posted as the various actors give permissions.
Synopsis: In a nationally coordinated, highly competent, well resourced response to the COVID-19 pandemic, alumni, faculty and students of the Mailman School Department of Epidemiology are working in network of high-tech Pandemic Response Bunkers across the United States. The former Teaching Assistants from the Department’s Environmental Epidemiology course are part of this pandemic response task force and have also come together to help teach the virtual version of the course during the pandemic. Periodically they step away from their pandemic response work and use the Bunker’s emergency broadcast channels to transmit videos to the students explaining the key learning objectives for the week. Dr. Rundle and his band of TAs also hire Marky Ramone and Sawborg Destructo, the enemy of GWAR, to make course announcements and provide perspectives. However, video and audio clips seeping into the static of the broadcasts and into the backgrounds of the TA’s videos suggest that all is not as it seems. Building up to the plot twist in the finale, the ghosts in the static call into question the reality of the depicted events. The film serves as a critique of the U.S. pandemic response.