Often, we emphasize the absurdity of situations by asking what alternate universe they would occur in. In a strange twist of events, Covid-19 seems to have sent us into what indeed feels like an alternate existence. 'Unprecedented' and 'new normal' seem to be the running themes for the year.
Amidst the new normal, one of the industries that have taken quite a hit is the entertainment industry. With social gatherings remaining banned in most jurisdictions, the sector is reeling from job losses and stalled projects. The future is also quite uncertain as the Coronavirus dilemma still lingers.
Here is a look at some facets of the entertainment industry and how Covid-19 continues to impact them.
Movies and Television
Movie theaters had to close their doors as the infection rates began to rise which was in itself impactful. As though that was not enough, sets all over the world found themselves going on indefinite recess. Both of these events will have a lasting effect on:
Most productions were suspended when the shelter-in-place orders came into effect. However, with no signs of the virus abating or certainty of a vaccine, Hollywood executives have been weighing alternatives. Their aim is to come up with practical protocols that will ensure health safety for everyone on set.
So far the main proposals have suggested limiting and controlling productions. It would mean having a limited number of people on set; strictly on a necessity basis. In addition, staff and stars may have to get tested and isolated before and during the entire period of shooting. Such measures would certainly increase costs and prolong production periods.
Part of the pomp and excitement of movie releases is tied to them hitting theatres which are yet to fully reopen
. Due to this, most movies have been pushed into 2021 and others even further into 2022 because of stalled productions.
The fall season of television which largely kicks off in September may also hit a snug this year. Your favorite show may not return for a while yet, unless episodes had been shot before Covid-19. It might be time to start on cozying up to reruns or some of the new shows set to air
Perhaps one of the entertainment highlights during this difficult period has been the free living room concerts. Head-to-head battles have drawn large international audiences while concert stages remain bereft of artists.
James Taylor, Alicia Keys, and Lady Gaga are a few examples of artists that had to postpone their musical tours. Add to that, festivals and the many other artists that deferred their gigs and you have hundreds of canceled events.
Going forward, the nature of concerts may have to change completely. Social distancing and limited attendance are likely to become the new norm for live events including plays and the opera. Germany has recently run a controlled experiment
to test how these measures could be implemented and their safety too. Implementation plans are yet to be disclosed.
The Party Scene
The highlight of your weekend may have ordinarily entailed shaking yourself loose on the dancefloor. Currently, however, night clubs remain closed in most parts of the world, and their staff unemployed.
The reopening of entertainment establishments attracts many conflicting opinions. Even with limited numbers being allowed into one premise, the involvement of alcohol complicates things. What guarantee is there that individuals under the influence will adhere to the stipulated protocols? All these factors held constant, you may not be able to fully enjoy a night out on the town just yet.
However, on the other side of this pandemic, there will be many reasons to celebrate. Now maybe a good time for businesses and relevant brands to prepare for that surge. Post-Covid parties and branding ideas like custom liquor bottles
to mark surviving a pandemic will certainly be popular with revelers.
You would have been hard-pressed in convincing anyone that the Olympics could ever be deferred. The idea of football matches happening with no fans on the bleachers would have seemed even more absurd. Yet, both these things have come to pass in the past few months.
The sporting world may be faced with more changes and challenges in the foreseeable future such as:
Operating in Bubbles
When the NBA first came up with the idea of isolating players and relevant staff in 'a bubble', it seemed impossible. Nevertheless, they managed to pull it off and may become an example that other sports may need to follow.
The setup involves voluntary testing before admission into a complex that has all the necessary facilities. Contact with the outside world is strictly monitored
to mitigate the risk of infection. It, so far, seems to be a viable option than putting off leagues indefinitely.
According to the Olympics organizing committee
, it takes about 5000 staff to pull off the event. Now, add to that the participants and their coaches, and you have enough people to populate a small city. It makes planning the 2021 Olympics unusually challenging in the face of Covid-19.
There are, nonetheless, ongoing efforts to make the games happen. That said, should it prove impossible, the games will be canceled altogether.
The year 2020 will undoubtedly go on the record as the year that stunned and devastated the world. There will be many films and books written on the highs and lows of all the unfathomable events that have ensued. Which goes to say, this is but an intermission for the entertainment industry. Until the curtains are raised again, we will have to get by as best we can.