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  • New content for movies and television

    Earlier today someone said to me, "All of the tv shows now are reruns."

    Couldn't prove it by me since I don't watch tv, but it makes sense when all of the production is shut down.

    But it got me to thinking...

    How can anyone make movies or shows in the age of the virus at all? Can't shoot the love scene or the fist fight, and even if you're just filming some guy creeping down an alley there's still forty other people standing around there doing the lights and sound and camera work and directing and script supervision and you-name it.

    Incomplete productions will have their own special challenges since everyone who was working on it has scattered to the four winds by now and how do you get everyone back and get all of your locations back again after all of this time anyway? People: "I'm not coming back; I've moved on to other projects". Continuity: The beautiful tree that was in the background of that scene was cut down a few weeks back.

    Star in this movie and risk your health and your life doesn't seem to be much of a selling point either.

    So no new content until everyone has been vaccinated? Or is there another way around this that I'm not seeing.

  • #2
    The Blacklist was one of dozens of shows unable to finish filming its current season when the coronavirus halted production. However, NBC have found a way to finish Season 7, Episode 19 by mixing the existing footage with animation, inspired by the digital comics inspired by the series.


    • #3
      And this problem can last a lot longer for the film industry even as the rest of the country opens up and workers go back to work hoping that with precautions in place they can work with some semblance of a reduced risk. Why, because unlike all those folks working on minimum wage, or a few pitance above, they HAVE to go back to work. Most of the people who make films have been making lots more than minimum wage and can probably afford to stay home alone for much longer period of time and may not opt to come back as quickly as the rest of the world. Generally speaking, richer people tend to fare better in times of crisis than poorer people.

      Then again, if actors refuse to come back to work, say, until they can get a vaccine, i.e., WAY down the line, then with today's technology, it may be possible that the production company can use digital motion capture technology, using C-list actors who, like blue collar workers, would accept a higher risk to go back to work. The C-list actors would create the action while digitally using the A-list actor's likenesses in their place. This might require hiring a lot more digital artists, but they can work easily maintaining proper distancing and disinfecting protocols. We've often wondered out loud when you can see what can be done digitally, even resurrecting dead actors to perform in new movies, if some day actors will become superfluous. This may be the start of that day in earnest.


      • #4
        The Uncanny Valley is still an extremely difficult hurdle to overcome in creating artificial, digital versions of recognizable actors. There have been some fairly successful attempts, with part of the success hinging on the visual being on screen for a fleeting amount of time. One example is the digital re-creation of the young Arnold Swarzenegger in Terminator Salvation. They didn't do a whole lot with it, such as try making the CG version of young-Arnold speak. So it kind of worked. We're still a long long way off from digitally re-creating actors and making them act fully in a convincing fashion.


        • #5
          Always look at the bright side of things: Instead of watching reboots and remakes of old crap, you can now just revert to watching the actual old crap.

          I guess creative writers and directors can write around the current hurdles of social distancing. It's not like you can't actually drum up a production team without keeping social distancing guidelines in place. Maybe incorporate the current events into your story, set it in a world where social distancing and all kinds of restrictions are a fact of life.


          • #6
            Watch "Blast from the Past" and see what it would be like to social distance for decades (in a fallout shelter)!


            • #7
              For any of you folks who have re-opened, how's it going with the golden moldies? Anyone coming? Is the audience make-up different? (More older people and less teens would be my assumption.)


              • #8
                For any of you folks who have re-opened, how's it going with the golden moldies? Anyone coming? Is the audience make-up different? (More older people and less teens would be my assumption.
                Not overwhelmingly great, just fair. The hardest thing is picking movies that people will come out to see ... things that are popular but haven't been seen to death. We did National Lampoon's Vacation last week, which was a flop, and Beverly Hills Cop is currently tanking big-time. The last one might be due to the whole "cop" theme; I get the feeling people are a little weary of anything regarding cops, and/or not in the mood for a comedy involving cops, at this moment in time.

                We have advertised that we're still available for "walk in" popcorn service but that hasn't really done much since we've been opened. We are considering reinstating the car-hop service. Although now more things are available for people to do so they're not staying home as much.

                We have definitely had an older crowd, although we had a few teens show up for Grease.

                So far, the scorecard here:

                Footloose - fair
                National Lampoon's Vacation - bad
                Grease - pretty good
                Beverly Hills Cop - worst yet

                Next week we have Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Ferris Beuller's Day Off.

                We've had lots of requests for The Sound of Music (which we can't get, thanks Disney) and McClintock (can't get it either, thanks John Wayne Estate) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (which is too expensive for us, thanks Sony) Seriously, you would think these studios don't give a shit about us. Oh wait a minute....


                • #9
                  One problem with National Lampoon's Vacation: the cable channel IFC has been playing it and the rest of the Vacation series frequently.


                  • #10
                    Oh trust me, it doesn't matter what old movie it is, there is some TV channel somewhere playing it frequently. I've heard that over and over the past couple of weeks. "I just saw that on Hulu," "We just watched it on Amazon last night," "I saw that last weekend on Prime," etc.

                    I would like to put on the marquee, "DOESN'T MATTER WHAT'S PLAYING / JUST SHOW UP"


                    • #11
                      The case can be made that a comedy like Vacation will play almost as well at home as it does on the big screen. If you pause it to answer the doorbell and come back to it an hour later, the interruption feels somewhat inconsequential. And while every movie benefits from a quality theatrical presentation, some benefit more than others. (Counter-point: comedy is almost always better with a live crowd. Laughter is contagious.)

                      I hope Raiders of the Lost Ark does better for you. A roller coaster ride like Raiders on a big screen with immersive sound can be a spectacular experience, and watching it uninterrupted from start to finish allows the tension and excitement to build and build. Good luck!


                      • #12
                        Around here, cinemas just reopened. In Belgium, there is still no final reopening date set though. Besides the handful of current releases, this is what the local multiplex is currently showing:

                        The Harry Potter Series
                        Despicable Me 1, 2 and 3
                        Grease (I guess this one is cheap right now?)
                        The Lego Movie
                        When Harry Met Sally
                        The Grand Budapest Hotel
                        The Great Gatsby
                        Black Panther
                        Spider-Man: Far From Home


                        • #13
                          Hey Mike, did Ferris or Indy do any better for you?