3 Ways the Entertainment Industry Will Surge

3 ways the entertainment industry will surge w
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Every day we’re getting closer to the entertainment industry reopening and everyone returning to work, albeit under very different circumstances.  The State of Georgia has already released their guide for restarting film production titled Film and Television Best Practices to Reduce Contagion of COVID-19.  A film industry task force, including representatives from the AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE and the Teamsters, has just submitted their recommendations to state governments.  Expect to see COVID-19 compliance officers, frequent testing and staggered mealtimes, among other things.  Although there will be some strict safety protocols that will have to be followed, it is likely there will be a sudden increase in production once the industry is up and running again.

Just before the pandemic began, at least one IATSE local’s newsletter was referring to this time as another ‘golden age’ of production because there was so much work for its members.  All the reasons for that flourishing of work still exist.  There’s still a tremendous demand for product from numerous streaming outlets.  If anything, that demand will only increase over time, as people have found that home viewing is a safe, affordable and comfortable way to consume entertainment.

Here are 3 ways I believe the entertainment industry will surge:

  1. Filming will slowly start up again.

In addition to all the productions that were shut down due to the pandemic and will be restarting, there will be new shows coming into the pipeline.  This won’t happen overnight, but producers are already starting to compete for stage space in anticipation of a rush of production in late summer or early fall.  Some commercials have been filming throughout the pandemic, with actors being guided through self-taping sessions.  There is no shortage of demand for product, and some shows filming abroad have already resumed production.  The state of Georgia, the U.K., and Manitoba, Canada have all released their production safety guidelines. It seems the industry may go from nothing to a surge of production in the next couple of months.  Of course, this will also benefit the numerous equipment rental and other businesses that depend on film production to survive.

  1. More virtual industry seminars, meetings and continuing education.

We are now moving from the initial stage of all events being cancelled amid the pandemic to events moving online.  I recently received an online calendar of events from the DGA which includes virtual seminars, workshops and committee meetings.  Even the annual meeting will be virtual this year.  This is a positive development, providing members everywhere the opportunity to actively participate.  I expect to see more virtual events for the production community, even after the pandemic subsides.  The film industry is finally making full use of available technology, which will benefit all of us who work in the industry worldwide.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

  1. Live entertainment going virtual.

The live entertainment segment of the industry has been especially hard hit by the pandemic, with many massive events being cancelled overnight.  Concerts, sporting events, awards shows and even the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have all been cancelled, at least temporarily eliminating thousands of jobs.  We’ve already seen that a large scale concert can be done virtually, with the One World fundraising concert curated by Lady Gaga.  This still required numerous people working on various aspects of production.  I believe we’ll see more large scale virtual entertainment events in the future.

However, many people who work on huge live entertainment projects that take months of planning will not be returning to work anytime soon.  I know many people, myself included, greatly miss attending those live events.  The excitement and spectacle can't be matched.  Unfortunately, there’s just too much risk and liability involved with events that have large gatherings of people right now.  We’ll have to content ourselves with virtual live events and look to the future for more dynamic live entertainment.

Although it may have been a few months since our phones were ringing with work calls, the entertainment industry is not going away any time soon.  The business has survived 2 World Wars and the Great Depression and it will evolve and thrive again.  We should all be planning now just how we'll take advantage of that.

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