Hollywood touches every life. No matter what genre or generation, we all watch movies as a form of entertainment or even education. Unfortunately, this is one of the industries deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. When film production finally resumes, would matters go back to normal, or would there be new health and safety protocols be implemented in the industry?
The American film and television industry supports 2.6 million jobs, and pays a total of $177 billion in wages. Therefore, the impact that this industry has on the American economy is significant.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, film production and theater shows have come to a stop. At the same time, people stuck at home amid widespread lockdowns turned to movies and television shows for in-home entertainment. Streaming services such as Netflix saw record-breaking subscriptions. Therefore,while people demanded more movies, production in Hollywood halted.
People turning on their television to watch their regularly scheduled programs felt COVID19’s impact on the American film and television industry. One of the most popular television series – The Walking Dead – was affected by this virus. The final episode of season 10 of this series, scheduled for April still has not been aired, due to the pandemic.
As lockdowns in various states are being lifted, businesses are resuming operations. In some states, rules would continue to be stringent for a while, before gradual reopening takes place. In other places, reopening would be quicker. In almost all cases, people have been advised to follow social distancing guidelines.
The challenges for the American film and television industry are enormous. Production for movies and shows take place with people in very close proximity. From makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, and other crew members to actors on screen, ensuring social distancing is nearly impossible. Hundreds of people working on a production set “share food, bathrooms, golf carts, trailers, equipment, and props.” And certainly, people acting in the movies need to be close to each other and also touch each other, whether it is during a romantic scene, or an action scene.
The industry may work to implement guidelines that include washing and sanitizing hands, checking temperatures, screening for other symptoms such as sneezing, and have COVID19 testing capabilities. Even with these, production of film and television shows would be forever changed as a result of this pandemic.
The American film and television industry is essential to the arts. Movies, whether based on facts or fiction, not only provide entertainment but also teach valuable lessons. Movies touch lives, and are a vital part of our culture. The impact of the industry is not limited to America, but goes far beyond our country’s borders, across the globe.
It is unfortunate that the American fild and television industry is undergoing drastic changes as a result of coronavirus. I hope and pray that we, the country as a whole, can overcome coronavirus and all its threats.