After the novel coronavirus shutdown had already started, Redondo Beach’s Brian Hawkins heard someone play basketball at a park across the street from his house.

Hawkins, who has a video production company, knew the basketball hoops had been removed about a week before, so he went to investigate and saw a man in a red sweatshirt shooting hoops in a trash can.

“I thought, ‘This is a crazy scene, I gotta get the camera,’” recalled Hawkins.

The man in the red sweatshirt became the first shoot that eventually became a 3-minute-plus video, “Distant,” which recently debuted on YouTube.

“Distant” looks at life in the South Bay during the pandemic by “exploring the themes of loneliness and isolation brought on by social distance.”

“It shows how interesting and different our communities look during these historic times, and I wanted to capture that,” Hawkins said. “And also, I just needed something creative to do. I lost almost all my work because of the shutdown, and had a lot of time on my hands. So it was kind of a natural thing to do.”

Hawkins, who transitioned from mechanical engineering into photography and filmmaking in 2012, started filming in late March with a drone, cinema camera and DSLR camera to capture nearly empty scenes of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Santa Monica landmarks, as well as LAX.

He enlisted the help of composer Matt Thalin, a former Hermosa Beach resident who now lives in Inglewood, for the video’s music.

Thalin’s song “Dreams,” which he originally wrote for his wife Gabriella, was used in “Distant.”

“When he put it in that video and I saw it, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this works perfectly for this kind of situation,’” Thalin said. “It has this eerie… subtle kind of scariness, but then it kind of goes up into a crescendo of there's good times ahead, there's a future, there's a hope.”

To see the video, visit

Contact this reporter at or on Twitter

Load comments