Six months after the World Health Organization announced the coronavirus a pandemic and effectively closed down the productions of all movies in need of people filming on location, Hollywood’s film companies are slowly waking up from the imposed hibernation.
The long desired restart, however, has been largely haltedin the industry’s home state of California due to surge in infections, complicated protocols, and in some cases even reluctance from local communities on having a large crew film in their neighborhood.
Per FilmLA, partner film office for the City and County of Los Angeles, the number of film permit requests in the Los Angeles area since mid-June ran about 34 percent of normal (most of them for commercials or still photography).
Famous actor and director Seth Rogen said in an interview this month that he finds it hard to believe that films are going to get made in the U.S. in the foreseeable future.
“I am not ambitious that any filming is going to be happening in America anytime soon in a way that I’m comfortable with,” Rogen said. “I look to other countries who have dealt with this whole thing much better and think maybe, if they’ll let us in, maybe we can film there.”
While its domestic production has been decimated, Hollywood’s production companies seem to have found the solution (or at least some version of it) across the ocean.
Jurassic World: Dominion is filming in London.James Cameron started directing Avatar 2 in New Zealand. Sony Production’s Uncharted is getting made in Berlin. Marvel’s Shang Chi resumed production in Sydney.
In the meantime, some artists have taken a creative approach to try and help the industry at home.
Amazon Studios’ series The Boys released a PSA videourging people to wear masks so they can lower the infection numbers, and effectively go back into production.
“You want a ‘Boys’ season three? They are not going to let us shoot [until] we get the numbers down,” said actor Jack Quaid.
Another creative way to bypass the threat from the virus have been production companies teaming up with VFX studios and using their expertise with LED walls and virtual environments as a substitute for on location shooting.
Whether with the help of VFX Studios, or foreign governments granting Hollywood production companies to film there, the industry seems to welcome the slow, but gradual ramping up.
Rachel Martinez, a partner at business management firm Savitsky Satin Bacon & Bucci in Los Angeles, who will be a speaker at our conference, says that she’s most excited for all the projects that her clients have had on hold during the past six months.
“Now we are finally seeing plans for things to start happening again, productions going back into place,” Martinez says. “Things are finally starting to happen and that’s exciting.”
🏦 Citi Bank appoints Jane Fraser as CEO, making it the first time a woman will lead a Wall Street bank. Fraser moves into the CEO position from her position as president and head of Citi’s global consumer banking business.
📱 TikTok chooses Oracle over Microsoft in deal to avoid the ban on the app put in place by President Trump. The US government will be reviewing the prospective deal. It’s still unknown whether this would be a partnership or an acquisition.
🎥 Box office sales for Summer 2020 have plunged 98%, despite the few releases of high-profile films towards the end of the season. The industry is hopeful that next summer will bring a return to box office sales and releases in theaters.
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