Let’s get this show on the road. Production is changing.
I remember back when people would dress up as their favorite character and stand in line at the movie theater to watch a new release. I remember screaming at the TV when Harry Potter finally defeated, he-who-must-not-be-named. Right now, almost everyone has been stuck at home and living like Rapunzel – spending time doing everything from cleaning, to painting, to brushing their hair – only to find that it is only the beginning of this quarantine.
Eventually we will have to get the show – and the movie – back on the road. Production companies have been shut down, delaying shows and movies that were set to be filmed/released this summer. They can’t stay closed forever, and that’s why change is needed.
Although it may seem trivial in light of all the events going on, production still holds an important place in how the entertainment industry will move forward after this pandemic. In 2018, the U.S. motion picture and video production and distribution industry estimated total revenue amounted to $69.9 billion. It is necessary to keep the wheels spinning for economic stability, but we must remain as safe as possible.
What is changing?
In a word – everything. Even the littlest of details will have impact on how production companies move forward – but below, we name a few big ones you can expect.
- Require People Who Are Sick to Stay Home: More than ever, it is important to enforce this rule and to educate people on how best to protect themselves. Get tested, stay distant, and if you or a family member is sick, do everything you can to not put others at risk.
- Limit the Worksite: Traveling to exotic locations to get the perfect background shot is no longer as feasible as it once was. Shooting in private, closed-off locations is expected to be the norm and will be enforced whenever possible. Having lots of space, offering limited access, and constantly cleaning the set are ideal practices moving forward.
- Cut Personnel to Essential People Only: Extras can sometimes be the highlight of a scene (looking at you, storm trooper from A New Hope), but it is important to limit the exposure to actors and crew moving forward. That means cutting extras, cutting crew, and cutting main actors in each scene to make sure as few people as possible are at risk. This will undoubtedly be a change that viewers will notice, whether they realize it right away or not, and it will be a big challenge to camera crews and directors.
- Take Care of the Actors: Speaking of actors, they are the face of a film project, and they are the ones who will need the most attention and care moving forward. Sick actors can cost more money and can cause more delays. Everything surrounding the actor’s routine will have to change. Casting will have to be in smaller groups and done remotely, camera angles and shots will have to be adjusted for safety, the makeup and wardrobe procedures will have to change (getting ahead of myself – more on this below), and the waiting time in between scenes will have to change. Safety will always be number one in this regard.
- Wear Protective Gear: Clean masks, clean gloves, clean hands, and clean sets shouldn’t be too much to ask. The law in many states now requires masks and protective equipment to be worn always. Washing hands is mandatory, and touching things should be limited. Actors unfortunately can’t wear masks during scenes, so once again, we need to make sure to take care of them!
- Protect Makeup and Clothing: Makeup and clothing? Really? How? I am sure most viewers might not appreciate it, but makeup artists and wardrobe departments really can make a production. Makeup brushes should only be used once, preferably, but they must be cleaned if reusable. Multiples of each product will be required, face shields/masks will be needed, the artists will wear gloves when touching the actors and their clothes, and so much more.
Change is said to be one of the most difficult things to do, and there are so many aspects that come with creating shows, shooting videos, and casting movies that you likely do not realize. With all the changes, the most important thing to keep in mind is to be prepared, get ahead of the game, and try your best. These times are uncertain, and there is never a guarantee, but the entertainment industry has always been an outlet for people to escape, and right now, the world needs that more than ever.
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