It needs no special mention about how lives have changed in the wake of a pandemic that came out of the blue and without any warning. People were busy engaging in revelries in the New Year, when a mutated strain of the Coronavirus, which was merely news, soon snowballed into a worldwide pandemic. Millions were and continue to be affected, and millions even, have lost their lives. Governments of most countries decided to impose a lockdown on their nations so that the curve can be flattened. And after almost a battle of seven long months, some countries have successfully eradicated the virus from their life. However, there are plenty still who have not been able to flatten the curve. Instead, people have now stitched a new normal of social distancing, frequent hand-sanitization, wearing masks as a part of their dressing, and learnt to go about their normal lives alongside the virus. It is what it is, and this shall be the norm for quite some time.
Speaking of the new normal, just like many industries that have lost out on significant business and changed the way they function due to the pandemic, the media and entertainment industry have also undergone several changes in their dynamics. In this article, we shall provide an insight into how media and entertainment have undergone changes, and how they might function in the months to follow.
Making COVID-19 a Part of the Narrative:
COVID-19 has thrown a set of challenges for the way the film and television industry functions. Filming usually means simulating life in a near-perfect replication with actors doing justice to the part. And that can only happen when there is the required mental and physical nearness between actors on the set. However, with the virus looming large in the picture, there is no way that the physical distance could be bridged and risks of infections be taken so casually. Therefore, till an indefinite period of time, and till the time this virus goes back into nature, there is no way that the desired level of intimacy can be seen on the screen again. In such a case, the entertainment industry might have to directly use the virus as a prop in their narratives. Directors and producers have been interviewed in the process, and they are of the opinion that COVID-19 has to be seen as a part of the show business, just the way human beings have made it a part of their lives. Narratives have to be framed around the pandemic, so that social distancing and sanitizing looks normal on-screen.
Online Gaming Shall Be the New Steady Form of Entertainment:
Sporting venues and tournaments have gone for a toss ever since the wave of the pandemic hit the surface of the Earth. Fans of sports like cricket and soccer, who would throng the venue and stadiums to get their share of fun have now only online entertainment to depend on. The same holds true for the casino industry. Land-based casinos, which used to be a huge source of entertainment, have shut down and now only have online gambling sites to depend for their source of income. People in several parts of America, especially California, where gambling used to be a major part of their lifestyle, now only have a list of the best sites for California players to sign up with. Concerts and live shows have also been taking place on online platforms, and this shall continue to be the case for the months that are to follow.
Movies to Be Released on Online Streaming Platforms:
OTT platforms have always ridden high on success ever since their introduction. However, with the lockdown put in place, theatres and movie halls have shut down and gone absolutely out of business. In such a situation, the only welcome relief is online streaming platforms. These platforms have also been releasing big movies now since there is no other outlet for the movies to be released through. And though this might still look like a device for incurring major losses for producers who invest a substantial amount of money in these movies, the streaming platforms have a made quite a lot of profit. Plus, producers at least have some outlet to release their movies through, rather than suffering from a total loss.
There is nothing that can be done about the situation that we have found ourselves in as long as the virus continues to wreak havoc. Norms of social distancing and frequent sanitization will have to be a part of our lives if we are to triumph over this invisible and ostensibly invincible force of nature. Unless a vaccine is formulated or the stage of herd immunity is attained, these are the ways in which the media and entertainment industry shall continue to function.
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