2020 kind of sucks, as most of you are aware. The biggest blame for why it sucks is a little thing called the Corona Virus, which basically shut down the whole world for multiple months, and is the reason why a majority of the United States is currently closed. But the big question for me is, “How will the entertainment and film industry change post COVID-19”.
I’m going to approach this from three point of views. First, as a professional who actively works in the film industry, which I am, second as a viewer, and third, someone prospective to joining the business. curious to know how TV shows and Movies will justify the whole gap of things happening in 2020.
As an Employee:
In the past three months I’ve worked on approximately four sets. Two music videos, one TV Show, and one Feature Film. The music videos completely abandoned any form of social distancing guidelines and acted as if nothing happened. They even had an open snack table. If these sets don’t adapt then they will be shut down. Only a handful of people on one of the sets were even wearing masks, which is both extremely concerning and proof as to why this virus is still a problem in the US.
For both the TV show and Feature Film I had to get tested for the Corona Virus within one week of my production day. I don’t foresee the industry going wide and starting fresh productions, on US soil, but do foresee them sending a lot of jobs overseas to countries that aren’t having problems. Most likely New Zealand and Australia.
As a Viewer:
I hope and pray that we don’t get a bunch of movies about what happened and a bunch of dumb drama films about coronavirus. I believe we will see interesting quarantine films, but if they are made at a studio level I’d be less concerned about them being… well, bad. TV Shows, depending on the show, will have a more interesting fight. We are entering a new world for many things. Personally, I will continue to wear a face mask out in public once the whole covid thing does past just because personally I’m an asthmatic and already have immune compromises.
The difference between these shows and films is that films are shot over shorter periods of time. So, hypothetically you could test and quarantine crews, similar to what they are doing for sports, and then proceed to film everything and wrap. TV though is shot over a longer stretch of time. While I doubt we will see main characters wearing masks I believe we will see background actors wearing masks. I don’t think we will have as many tight squeezing set pieces for either medium until well after a vaccine is found and mass-produced.
Someone trying to Break In:
I fit in this category as well as the others. I may have gained some experience on sets but I’m not working anywhere near frequently enough to quit my day job. From the POV of a fresh graduate from college or film school, you’re facing a tough reality. People already did most of their hiring in the industry based on who they knew, and I believe the gate has a bigger lock on it now. If you’re a writer traditionally you’d share your pitches and ideas for films with in-person movies, and luckily, these transitioned online pretty consistently.
Film writers can still pitch and get feedback on their films. But, for young TV writers trying to get their first Staff Writing job, or even just working as a Writers Room PA, without in-person rooms you’re very “screwed”. For directors, the only way to easily break-in is to direct films. Which requires in-person crews and what not. I believe there could be an interesting niche for animators trying to break in, but on all levels, it’s just difficult right now. I extend my heart and hand to those just graduating college, I’m with you too, and in time the world will set to a new normal, and we all will prevail.