The coronavirus shutdowns have affected every global industry in ways that are unique to each, with some facing bigger adjustments than others. Those employed in Hollywood and elsewhere within the entertainment industry, however, have had to deal with a level of uncertainty that may be unmatched anywhere else. A majority of workers are hired by the gig. Industry gigs, along with the restaurant or substitute teaching jobs that make ends meet, are largely on hold or completely shut down.
The uncertainty of restarting production has weighed heavily on those whose livelihoods depend on auditions and in-person pitches. Though many sets remain untouched since the shutdowns that seemed to come in a sudden wave, filming will look very different when cast and crew return.
Productions are encouraged to reduce the size of their staff wherever possible, testing and symptom checks are stringent, close-contact scenes will be limited and anyone who tests positive for coronavirus must quarantine for at least 14 days. Hollywood is still in the very early stages of reopening. Though procedures are clearly outlined on paper, the industry has yet to see how things will play out in practice.
While waiting to return to work, creators and artists have not spent their time in lockdown idly. Many are working on passion projects that were put on the back burner long ago. Some are collaborating on Zoom to create content, writer’s circles and groups are exploding with activity and YouTube has seen a major increase in both uploads and viewership.
What happened to the industry?
At the end of February, the United States saw its first cases of COVID-19. Over the course of the next few weeks, the governor of California gradually put ever-tightening restrictions on social activities and Hollywood began to take notice. First, social distancing was merely a recommendation, then bars closed and mass gatherings were banned. Those in the production process did their best to comply and keep safe. By March 19th, the governor of California ordered everyone to shelter-in-place. Non-essential workers were to stay home, which meant that filming stopped altogether.
For major film and television projects that are often years in the making, there was very little time to prepare or develop a plan of action. Some sets were actually left untouched in place, and will have to be rearranged as new timelines and processes are gradually rolled out.
How have people adjusted?
Large-scale productions are delayed, on hold or canceled altogether, but this does not mean an end to the entertainment industry. Smaller, independent productions have their opportunity to take the spotlight now, because they are more feasible in a time when we cannot safely have sizable crews of people working together in close quarters. Hollywood’s long-standing traditions of exclusivity, gatekeeping and blackboxing have resulted in massive amounts of overlooked content that creators have had time to hone while the world is on lockdown.
Quarantine Babies of the Film Industry
Independent artists are trying their hand at bringing their dream projects to life for the first time, filming at home and in their backyards. Others are organizing their personal vaults, preparing to release content as soon as they can get back to work. While big production outfits fight for studio space to wrap up half-finished projects, independents are on the edge of completion. A gradual reopening will not slow the rush of content that’s waiting to be released, with creators innovating new ways to keep working even while everyone was asked to stay at home.
How Filmio is supporting this surge
Filmio offers a platform that brings together all the tools necessary to complete a production without the holdups of the traditional big studio system. The blockchain format makes collaboration secure and transparent, storing transactions and data on a public ledger, and allowing both creators and investors to take advantage of valuable metrics that help predict and shape the success of a project.
When creators load their content, no matter what stage of completion it’s in, they immediately have access to promotional materials to begin building an audience. Fans can rate their interest in the content and leave feedback for the creator, which completely changes the game for artists and investors. Anyone can now see the full picture of what audiences are interested in before a project is even complete. This innovative process informs not only the project’s direction, but also the investment risks and opportunities as well.
Larger productions may have empty sets waiting to once again be put to use, but independent creators are on the move. Their time at home is being spent assembling their dream projects, and the Filmio Decentralized Platform is ready to provide the foundation for the exciting surge in new content coming in the near future.