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How The COVID-19 pandemic has affected film and TV production

Photo from Pixabay

By Stephen Kennedy

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a substantial amount of financial and economic stress throughout the world. As far as entertainment goes, the film and TV industry were probably hit the hardest. Before the pandemic, there were no clear guidelines or protocol for situations like this and some TV productions had to shut down for the time being. Some live shows had to eventually go remote and start producing content within their homes, like Trevor Noah’s The Daily (Social Distancing) Show. News productions had to follow CDC guidelines and had only had a certain number of people in the studio at a time.

There had been talks that the WGA was facing a possible strike, as negotiations for a new contract, where the deadline had been scheduled for March 23 then rescheduled to May 11, then May 18, and finally June 30. One primary concern that had been negotiated among union members was to raise eligibility for healthcare, especially members who were going to possibly lose it later last year.

Movies that had been scheduled for release in 2020 had been pushed back or released on streaming services or VOD, and movies that were currently in production for a late 2020-2021 were delayed or suspended production for a few months.

While some theaters are opening with some films playing in select theaters, people still feel unsafe going to them for the time being. “I think one of the big issues for industry films right now is distribution,” Said Julie Casper Roth, an assistant professor of Film and Television Production at Norwalk Community College, “Audiences either can't or are hesitant to go to theaters. Because of this, we're seeing a rise in streaming subscriptions.”

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