It’s no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a colossal toll on many, creating a wave of uncertainty as well as change. Entertainment is one of several industries that has to adapt to this new normal. Production sets, live cinema and theaters, live entertainment venues, theme parks, and so forth seems outdated in a time where safety is the priority. As a result, those in charge of distribution and management of entertainment must alter the way they operate to stay afloat.
So what will come of the several sectors within entertainment? It is expected that most production will be scaled back, but what does this mean for consumers?
With many events being canceled, streaming and television viewing, tuning into the radio, and so on seems to be the new wave as this can be done all in the comfort of your home. Streaming allows for an abundance of binge-worthy content; with most live events and broadcast television canceled, users are and have been relocating to streaming platforms. News channels too have been receiving higher views as many viewers are staying up to date with the latest COVID-19 related news and other relevant headlines.
As far as new content, there will likely be longer gaps of time between renewals of television series and an absence of new in-person content for a while. The pandemic has limited how and where and what production can be shot; crowd scenes are nonexistent, cast and crew have mandatory testing, the location should be secluded from the public, etc. Furthermore, crew members have been divided into “pods” so that there are limitations between departments such as lighting and makeup. There are also COVID-19 officers on set to monitor everything carefully, so that the health and safety of the cast and crew are ensured. Aside from in-person filming, a lot of production has shifted to remote work, so creation in terms of animation, online gaming, and radio seems to be more in demand than previously.
There may be some good news: this may be a time for change by drawing inspiration from the past. The lack of movie theater attendance might translate into returning to the golden age of American drive-in movies. Given that most live events are paused, there have been pop-up community movies and giant outdoor events for concerts, art shows, and comedy performances. This model works efficiently given that everyone in attendance wants to be entertained while being safe. To have this operate well, there must be many acres of space to accommodate for an appropriate amount of cars (10-13 acres for 500 cars). It’s the perfect solution to offer safe access to a collective leisure activity.
Of course, thinking about the future of entertainment can be frustrating for many – both consumers and producers. There have been many drawbacks after such a long hiatus for production, but perhaps this time was a necessary opportunity to move forward and reimagine entertainment as we know it, while preserving as much as possible from our old version of normal.
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