COVID-19 brings in new era of showbiz

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CREATIVE COMMONS PHOTO COURTESY OF LORIE SHAULL

A marquee in Minneapolis, Minn. assures visitors that the theater is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ella Lukowiak

Entertainment has always been present throughout time. From the productions put on by past civilizations to movie theater viewings, humans have always had ways to entertain themselves. In recent months though, much of the entertainment that has dated back centuries has been put on hold. 

Due to the novel coronavirus sweeping its way across the world, movie, television and theater production had been forced to halt completely in early 2020. 

Now, the industry that employs nearly two million and supports around 400,000 American businesses, according to WeForum.org, is finally getting back on its feet.

In an article on Vulture.com, American film producer and financier Doug Belgrad explains what movie sets may look like going forward.

“Everybody ‘biodomes.’ You take over a hotel. Keep everyone separated. You work six-day weeks. Get in and out as quickly as possible. It could work!” Belgrad says. 

According to the article, the cast and crew on Belgrad’s upcoming project shooting in Canada will go through two weeks of quarantine prior to filming, and then self-isolate during the production itself. 

Producer and former head of Warner Independent Pictures Mark Gill explains how in addition to sets being affected by restrictions, the actual content of movies and television shows themselves will change. 

“A lot of people just think this is about getting back to work,” Gill said. ”They don’t realize the massive cultural impact we are about to face.”

According to an article in The Washington Post, “Crowd scenes are a no-go. Real-world locations will be limited. On-screen romance will be less common, sometimes restricted to actors who have off-screen relationships.”

Viewers should prepare to say goodbye to action and fight scenes as well. An article from Vulture.com explains how CG is being considered for everything from far away crowd shots to close contact romantic scenes. This is the time where the age of technology will be truly tested.

Vulture.com states, “The visual-effects industry has come to offer a number of quick fixes for Hollywood’s current woes. Among them: ‘crowd simulations’ (computer-generated images of groups of people that appear realistic so long as the individuals are never depicted in close up)…” 

However, visual effects cannot fix everything, and Hollywood will have to find an alternative way to continue to produce blockbusters, while still following all COVID-19 guidelines.

Moving forward, these new rules will not only change the process of movie-making, but it will also impact the way that people view films. 

Movie theaters everywhere have also shut down since March due to the pandemic and are slowly beginning to reopen. 

On Monday, August 31st, NJ Governor Phil Murphy announced that movie theaters could open on Friday, September 4th with limited capacity, masks, and social distancing between parties.

 According to an article on Nj.com, AMC explained their plan to reopen on August 20th, with “significantly reduced” seating capacity, along with 15 cent tickets for opening day to celebrate their 100th anniversary. 

As of the weekend of September 11th, AMC will have 75% of it’s 636 nationwide theaters open. 

However, many movies that were scheduled to be released in theaters have been moved to be given a full release on streaming platforms. 

“…as with “Mulan,” which was originally scheduled for a theatrical release in March. Disney is releasing the film on Disney Plus Sept. 4 for a premium price of $29.99, on top of the subscription price for the service,” the article states.

Everyone, whether they be movie makers or consumers, is trying to figure out the best approach to this new world and era that we are entering. The real question is whether these new approaches will work.