It’s the elephant in the room – COVID19. It has changed the way we live ever since its outbreak. (Here’s a list of events which has disrupted the film and entertainment industry.)
Nobody knows how long this will go on, neither can anyone predict if things will ever get back to normal again.
Everyone is affected. No industry can say they can still have business as usual.
The same goes for the creative industry. Having a news report suggesting as artists as the most non-essential job, according to the survey commissioned by the very same news outlet, is definitely not helping (whether or not this survey serves any purpose, that’s for you the reader to judge).
When There’s No ‘Lights, Camera, Action’
Unlike many workplaces, film shoots can’t be done via work-from-home arrangements. The film industry is especially vulnerable to movement restrictions as most of the production work and its output involves crowd conglomeration.
But this is exactly what creatives do: put them in a position with limitations and they come out with interesting stuff.
Check these out:
- Quek Shio Chuan’s amazing homemade #quarantine video that went viral on the internet. He reportedly took more than 2000 pictures to piece together this 1-min stop-motion video.
- Dick Chua’s short film done entirely by him and himself with his family, featuring an interesting way to convey a message at the end.
- An episode from this Apple TV series that was produced with 40 iPhones and 20 sets of AirPods. The showrunner coined it as a ‘25-min of Zoom jokes’.
If you need more inspiration, here’s a read on how the industry players have adapted to this new normal by coming out with ways to keep working on their projects despite limitations.
The list can go on and be longer for sure. So, you get the point.
How Has The Filmmaking Community Weathered Through Thus Far
It’s still a painful truth that this new normal has thrown a lot of production crews and workers out of jobs.
Some may have had a hard time scrambling for means that will make their ends meet, some have taken this opportunity to really work on something that they had set aside for long.
Others have started farming at home. Even though some are virtual ones (#AnimalFarmFam raise your hands!). Some are working hard on prepping scripts and storyboards, waiting to pour all these efforts into their next big project when the situation allows.
Besides the Singapore Association of Motion Picture Professionals (SAMPP)’s $40,000 Covid-19 Relief Fund, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has also partnered with Viddsee and other commissioning partners to have a new S$8 million Public Service Content (PSC) Fund.
It allows filmmakers to pitch their stories and get the funding to produce the content when social-distancing restrictions have been relaxed.
Viddsee has also created a Stories Together Content Fund with Viddsee Studios working with Singaporean media companies to create a variety of short films and series over the course of a year. Check out what we’ve done so far on IG here.
Help When You Are Able To Help
Before we’re filmmakers, we’re all human first. When filmmakers are not out and about shouting, “Cut! That’s a good take!”, some went out of their way to help others weather through this difficult time.
Take Boo Jun Feng for example – he’s been helping volunteer mask-making groups to distribute hand-made masks to migrant workers who are a vulnerable group of society.
The director is known for his work, ‘Apprentice’ which got nominated at the Cannes Film Festival.
What’s Next In The Filmmaking Industry?
Judging from the situation, no one can really tell when things will resume back to normal. Or as the trendy saying goes: we can only go back to a ‘new normal’ now. How can we keep our sanity and bring ourselves together to better tackle what’s lying ahead?
We spoke to a few filmmakers and how they are dealing with their situations. Keep reading it here.