In a recent exclusive, UK news outlet The Guardian has announced that the country has reopened its doors to film crews, meaning movies like The Batman and the Fantastic Beasts sequel can resume filming once again. The onset of the global lockdown had halted movies and TV productions across the world for months. But now it looks like the first steps are being taken towards a return to normal, even if it is still not going to be business as usual for some time.
The UK government and various health bodies have signed off on a new set of guidelines to resume filming keeping in view the social distancing rules that are still very much in place. While there have been some concerns raised that it is too early to be allowing film crews to gather in public, the truth is an entire industry of freelancers and creatives desperately need to get back to work to make money in the absence of government aid.
The announcement means filming of big-budget productions could begin as early as next month, provided studios are willing to risk the health of their cast and crew, and the workers themselves are willing to step out of their houses into public spaces for prolonged periods.
Britain's own entertainment sector took a major hit from the lockdown, with their two biggest shows, Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders being among the first projects to halt production. Across the pond in Hollywood, major upcoming movies that were filming in Britain, like The Batman and the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, were also forced to stop work and take cover.
The global emergency continues to change the entertainment industry, and many of those changes will likely stick for a long time. Theater chains across the world have now been closed far longer than at any other point in history. Even while murmurings of new movies like Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984 reopening theaters in triumph rumble across Hollywood, several online polls have indicated that large swathes of the general audiences will not risk sitting in crowded theaters with strangers just to watch a movie.
Meanwhile, the very act of filming a movie has undergone a drastic change. Michael Bay is set to produce a new horror-thriller named Songbird, the first movie to resume filming in the US post lockdown. The studio plans to film the project in a daring new manner which minimizes physical contact as much as possible, with the crew setting up a scene and then leaving the set. Then actors come in one by one to film their scenes in isolation, with editing taking care of the rest.
Such precautions will be impossible to enforce on set for a movie like The Batman, which is why the project resuming filming is still not a done deal, despite clearance from the UK government. Meanwhile, TV networks and streaming services are in dire need of new content, which is another factor to consider for audiences and the people who create the content. How all these factors stack up against the reality of the emergency is the big question at the moment. This comes from The Guardian. The topper art comes from @johnkregan on Instagram.