For some of us, quarantining has been one of the most unproductive times. Being away from human connection, lacking concentration, and participating in hours of virtual meetings have drained the motivation out of us. But for musician Christina Bell (a.k.a Chrissy), quarantine has been a game-changer.
After weeks of being isolated at home and disheartened by cancelled concerts, Bell decided to take the matter into her hands. Utilizing every second of her spare time, Bell created a home-grown, eight-part video series called Chrissy – Live from Home 2020 that had its first release in May 2020.
Through their vlogs, Bell along with her bandmate, Marceline Adkins, have tried to capture the essence of a live set that all music lovers have been missing. The videos are a lively collection of small anecdotes by Bell, the banter that you see during live performances and some catchy songs.
Bell and Adkins collaborated with various artists that have previously performed with their band to create the eight-part series. The videos feature Yolande Laroche, Laura Glover, and Marc Richard along with Bell and Adkins.
“I asked each musician to record their parts from home using their home set up and to also film a video of them playing their part,” Bell says. “Marcy [Adkins] worked to mix the audio and I edited the video.”
The video series, with quirky and some relatable lyrics, is a refreshing break from the melancholy of the pandemic. With every new video, Bell decided to try something innovative and unique. Getting her creative juices flowing, Bell did not stick to a conventional form of artists singing their parts.
“As the series went on, I got bored with doing the same thing each time and began to get more creative with the visuals in the videos,” says Bell. “I was also growing my skills as a videographer and video editor.”
The series does not stick to a particular genre as the team experimented with a variety of themes like punk, rock, pop and experimental music.
The series, with videos titled “Tell Your New Girlfriend”, “Chrissy”, “Hairbrained”, “Reprise (I Don’t Care)”, “Singing in the Breeze”, “Lucky in Love”, “Not Nice and Your Dove”, have encouraged Bell to produce more and more content. “I’m now hooked on creating videos and have created new series for myself to ensure that I am constantly gaining new skills and refining what I know,” she says.
With her mantra to “never stop creating,” Bell has already started working on a new video series, Xtina Vlog.
Talking about her biggest challenge, Bell mentions how staying driven during the project would get tricky at times. “The most difficult part was sticking to the timeline that we set for ourselves,” Bell explains. “We wanted to release a video each week but we were not totally able to do that. It ended up taking more time than we expected.”
Digital fatigue was another hurdle that the team had to overcome. “Music has often been a great opportunity to step away from a screen and really connect with whoever you are working with but because of the pandemic, we were unable to avoid using the computer heavily to create this series,” Bell says. “I was particularly struggling, and still struggle with spending so much time on the computer.”
But the pandemic wasn’t all bad news. “Being in quarantine definitely allowed me to slow down and focus in on the project in a way that I probably would have struggled to do if regular things were happening out in the world,” Bell describes as she smirks. “Although, I liked to live the life of a socialite in the pre-pandemic world.”
Currently, Bell is working on a short horror movie, “Garbage Day,” that she and her friend Alix Tabet co-wrote in November 2020. She’s also busy collaborating with Laroche and Brodie Conley on creating the soundtrack for the film.
“I think that this film project is a natural extension of what was happening in the Chrissy world because it marries together video, storytelling, music—all the stuff I love,” Bell says.