One of the main recommendations that we all need to follow, since the covid-19 pandemic spread around the world, is to avoid agglomerations and maintain social distance. Many businesses that simply do not operate without a concentration of people - such as concerts and nightclubs - are among those most affected by this crisis.
The audiovisual industry - films, series, soap operas, etc. - was also extremely impacted. After all, one of the things that generates the most crowds is a film set. Not to mention the constant physical contact between the actors, especially in scenes with couples.
In this scenario, studios around the world stopped filming and postponed releases.
Here in Brazil, for example, it was the first time that we ran out of one of the most traditional institutions in our country: Rede Globo's six, seven and eight (or nine) soap operas. The stories were interrupted in the middle and temporarily replaced by reruns, with no prediction of when (or how) the soap operas will return to air. For now, it is said that the chapters will only be recorded again in 2021 - almost a year after the interruption.
Once upon a time there was a pandemic in Hollywood
One of the biggest problems for Brazilian soap operas is that their chapters are recorded very shortly before they go on the air - a matter of days. So, when the pandemic started and it was necessary to stop recording, suddenly, there was no way for producers to program themselves to have something to show during the isolation.
Meanwhile, in Hollywood films and series, the planning time is longer and the opening dates are announced in advance. But that did not prevent the industry being severely affected by the consequences of the pandemic.
Even feature films that were in post-production, close to the premiere, were postponed: after all, it is difficult to edit a Hollywood film in the home office and, even if the feature film is finished, there are no open cinemas to show them. Some productions bet on different launching strategies, based on streaming, like Mulan's live-action and the animation Trolls 2; still others await the return of the exhibition halls.
Those that were in the production or pre-production phase, to be launched at the end of 2020 or next year, have no expected return. This is the case with Fantastic Beasts and to Find Them 3 and the new Batman and Mission Impossible, for example.
And let's go for a marathon!
Series fans, on the other hand, continued to receive news, even in those first months of the pandemic, as many titles had their episodes entirely recorded and scheduled to debut before the stoppage.
We were awarded new seasons of Dark, Better Call Saul, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and even reality shows like RuPaul's Drag Race, which launched two editions throughout 2020. In addition, we had good first series - such as the miniseries Watchmen and Small Fires Every, in addition to Hollywood, Feel Good and Sweet Magnolias. This is just to name a few examples.
It is also interesting to note that those who like series always have the option to start those older titles that were on their list, but that you never had time to watch.
The options are unlikely to end, of course ... But what about the releases we were waiting for? New seasons of series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Gray’s Anatomy or the expected special episode of Friends had their productions stopped - and premieres postponed - because of the pandemic.
And keep an eye out, as streaming companies and operators are boosting their menus and channel availability in pay-TV services during the pandemic. Check out the platforms or get in touch to check out offers. Claro, for example, offers exclusive contact channels to answer questions all users.
As we said, there is still no forecast of a return for recording Brazilian series and soap operas, but in Hollywood, there are signs of a return to normality. In June, industry unions and the California government reached an agreement that provides for a set of rules for resuming recordings.
Each production will need to be approved individually by the state health department and will have to guarantee a number of hygiene stations (with hand wash basins and gel alcohol) proportional to the number of people on the sets. The paper scripts must be replaced by digital versions and, when paper is needed, each copy must be individual. The entire team (cast and technicians) will have to undergo temperature checks. Even the food on the set will change: instead of buffets, packaged snacks.
Audience presence - very common in comedy series and talk shows - is not recommended, but will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. When it occurs, you must observe the distance of 1.8 meters between people. Over distance, in fact, makeup artists, costume designers and hairdressers should wear gloves and a mask when they have contact with the actors. The cast themselves will need to wear these accessories and keep their distance other people when they are not on the scene.
It is too early to say whether this whole scenario will generate changes in the content that we will see on the screens - some say that we will no longer have kissing scenes, for example. As this is an unprecedented situation, we will need to follow the next episodes to know this is going.