The film industry – producers, actors, directors, and viewers alike – is being forced to transform amid the coronavirus pandemic and other current world events. Movie theaters are facing the possibility of closing their doors, major film festivals have been cancelled in recent months, and filmmakers are having to get creative with their marketing and advertising. Many major Hollywood films have postponed release dates until later this fall, and there have been questions as to what the industry will look like moving forward.
STREAMING SERVICES RISE
As Hollywood is having to change directions, movies reporter Chris Lee wrote that “the entertainment industry’s newly received wisdom holds that streaming services are set to benefit most from COVID-19, with the outbreak potentially rewiring the way consumers choose to consume movies for years to come.” Chief Executive of Artist International Group said the public’s newly-acquired preference for streaming could likely devastate the industry.
During these times where filming on location may prove harder, virtual production, which involves “projecting photo-real imagery” onto “on LED video walls” in a 3-D environment, may be the new set reality for many actors. The visual effects supervisor for The Mandalorian said that half of the filming was done against LED screens. This, in effect, would allow moviemakers to cut down on the number of people needed on set. Guy Williams, a visual effects supervisor, said, “[Long-term], the idea is that virtual production and physical production will merge in a way that you cannot tell them apart.”
“In a post-Covid world, we have to get movies up and running while abiding by the recommended guidelines for safety. Now this does not mean we can replace actors or remove the entire live action process, but virtual production allows us to plan to make movies, requiring fewer live action elements.”David Conley, visual effects producer