Tag: Coronavirus


Coronavirus: How It’s Affected The Film Industry (Part Two)

April 3, 2020
Vue Cinema Coronavirus Closed

As large portions of the world go into lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many businesses have been left to fend for themselves. With many films delayed and production halted, people in the industry are having to fend for themselves.

No Films means no work

Netflix Headquaters
Netflix has pledged a $100 Million relief fund (credit: John G Mabanglo/EPA/Shutterstock)

As people self isolate and socially distance themselves, many “non-essential” industries have completely shut down for the time being. With no one having a good estimate of how long this situation will last, this has left many people out of work indefinitely. The people hit hardest by this decision are the ones at the bottom. Many Crew, Freelancers, and cinema staff have themselves without a job, it’s hard to make a film from home!

While many people working in pre and post-production are able to at least do some work from home, actors, camera, lighting, sound crews are all having to fend for themselves. Much of the industry revolves around freelance work, with individuals often going from one job to another and few jobs being permanent. Fortunately, some companies, like Netflix, have set up hardship funds, as have the BFI.

The main issue is the amount of freelancers, as they are self-employed, if a job is cancelled they have no support, although the UK Government has stepped in. In Hollywood, it’s estimated around 120,000 people are out of work, while in the UK the number is closer to 50,000. This situation is different for everyone, as some freelancers will have worked more than others and be in better conditions to take a hit. As the pandemic has spread across the globe, many shoots have been delayed before lockdowns began. This has caused concern, as many of the measures only apply to workers affected by having work cancelled from March, while many jobs have been cancelled well before then. Additionally, as most of these are freelancers, there is no furlough option.

However the longer this goes on the more difficult it will be for freelancers to survive. When “normality” finally does return, the job hunt will likely be even more competitive than it already is, as everyone looks to secure work. It is an incredibly difficult industry to get in with very little long term employment. With the whole industry looking for work at the same time, it will likely be very difficult for less established workers to find work.

Future of Cinema

Could delayed films like Black Widow be released on streaming platforms instead? (Disney 2020)

Likwise cinema staff cannot work from home, although audiences can still watch films at home. Even before countries were placed on lockdown, many cinemas pre-emptively closed due to advice to avoid large gatherings, in the UK. Several of these cinemas let these staff go without pay, a move that was understandbly controversial. This decision has since been reversed due to Government relief in the UK, however this is not the case in the US. With no support in place, AMC Theaters are “paying staff for as long as they can” potentially risking huge losses. While the large chain cinemas are clearly struggling, many smaller independent cinemas may not survive without help

As an added worry, a new study suggests that audiences may be less inclined to go back to the cinema after the pandemic subsides. With cleanliness and proximity to other people on audience’s minds, as well as a lack of summer blockbusters, it could be a while. Another factor to consider is streaming, which has been a concern to cinemas for several years. Some studios, like Universal are releasing some films straight to streaming, while still in theaters. It remains to be seen if this will remain in place once they do reopen

While cinemas are struggling, this whole situation is obviously good news for streaming services. Disney + launched in the UK, with it’s sign-ups tripling as more and more people are stuck indoors, and has even released films such as Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker months earlier than advertised. Meanwhile Netlfix may have to reduce the quality of it’s streaming in order to keep up with demand

These are certainly worrying times for everyone, whether in the film industry or not. But this period of uncertainty will help us appreciate the magic of cinema even more.

Also Read: Coronavirus: How It’s Affected The Film Industry

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5 Movies on BBC iPlayer That Will Make You Smile

April 2, 2020
bbc-iplayer [Source: The Verge]

With the struggle against Coronavirus still going strong, I wanted to take some time to recommend five films currently streaming on BBC iPlayer that will help get you feeling more positive. These are all listed in order of when they leave the service, so be sure to hurry and check them out.

Lucky Jim (Leaves 7th April)

An old school treat. With his contract coming to an end history teacher Jim Dixon (Ian Carmichael) must do whatever he can to please his head of department (Hugh Griffith) to keep his job. But as the annoyances (the arrival of his boss’s son (Terry-Thomas), his involvement with a self-centered colleague and having to deliver a boring lecture on Merrie England) and distractions (His growing affection for Christine Callaghan (Sharon Acker)) mount up, Jim must consider if this job is really what he wants to do. Lucky Jim is a hilarious mixture of sarcasm, slapstick, and satire. With a pointed message about the pompousness of old establishments and fantastic deadpan delivery from the entire cast. If you’ve ever been stuck in a boring job that made you want to scream, this film will leave you in stitches.

Ian Carmichael as Jim Dixon in Lucky Jim [Source: BBC]
Ian Carmichael as Jim Dixon in Lucky Jim [Source: BBC]

Mindhorn (Leaves 20th April)

When a killer on the Isle of Man asks to speak detective Mindhorn (a fictional character from an 80s TV show) the police enlist the show’s star, washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt), to help them catch the killer. But Thorncroft seems more interested in reigniting his career than helping. Few people can do undeservedly pompous like Julian Barratt. Watching him trying to play a big shot actor come unwitting action hero is hilarious. And when backed up by some of Britain’s best comedy talent (Including Russell Tovey, Simon Farnaby, Steve Coogan, Simon Callow, and Kenneth Branagh) and a plot that continually gets more preposterous as it goes on, Mindhorn proves that sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.

Mindhorn can see the truth and you can see him on BBC iPlayer [Source: Bouquets and Brickbats]
Mindhorn can see the truth and you can see him on BBC iPlayer [Source: Bouquets and Brickbats]

Made in Dagenham (Leaves 20th April)

In 1968 Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) leads the Ford Sewing Machinists in a strike. Demanding the female workforce receive the same pay as the male workers. But can the ladies achieve their goals when faced with fierce opposition from Ford, the unions, the government, and even their own families? Despite dealing with serious subjects Made in Dagenham is an incredibly positive experience. With beautiful presentation, an incredibly witty script delivered with gusto by the likes of Sally Hawkins, Andrea Riseborough, Bob Hoskins and many more and because of the darker moments, the characters experience bereavement, abuse and lack of funds, the sense of accomplishment when the girls finally achieve their goal is all the more satisfying. By the end, you will feel much more appreciative of the world we live in now.

The cast of Made in Dagenham [Source: BBC]
The cast of Made in Dagenham [Source: BBC]

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Leaves in 7 months)

Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) goes up against Manfred Powell (Iain Glen) a man hired by the Illuminati to find the pieces of an ancient item known as “the Triangle”. Which when combined allow the wielder to control time. But the pieces must be combined before the end of the planetary alignment. Can Lara beat the bad guys before they get hold of this powerful weapon? While this film is flawed it makes up for it by being incredibly fun. The cast are all fantastic and are definitely having fun with their roles. The plot moves at a good pace so it never gets boring. The action is frantic but inventive, the mansion fight being a glorious highlight. And it has a very good dry sense of humor about itself. Sometimes cheese is the best cure for the blues.

Lara Croft leaps onto BBC iPlayer [Source: Syfy Wire]
Lara Croft leaps onto BBC iPlayer [Source: Syfy Wire]

Time & Again (Leaves in 10 months)

Former lovers Eleanor (Siân Phillips) and Isabelle (Brigit Forsyth) meet up after years apart in a nursing home and reminisce on why they separated all those years ago. But now they are together again can they put aside the past to be happy now? Time & Again is only 27 minutes long but it’s more impactful than films triple that length. With a biting but hilarious turn from Phillips and Forsyth’s sweet emotional performance playing beautifully against each other, Time & Again immediately hooks you and takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you’ll be angry as you learn the couple’s history and then you’ll be laughing at their crabby banter. Ultimately the film leaves you, like the characters, optimistic for what will come. Time & Again is a short sweet love letter to what the future holds.

Award-winning short film Time & Again, currently streaming on BBC iPlayer [Source: DaxiTales Ltd]
Award-winning short film Time & Again, currently streaming on BBC iPlayer [Source: DaxiTales Ltd]

And so ends our list of titles on BBC iPlayer that will put a smile on your face. Please let us know what you thought of our selections. And be sure to check out our suggestions for feel-good movies to watch on Netflix. Stay safe and stay happy everyone.

BBC iPlayer is available for free in the UK, check all the films here.

Also Read: 5 Feel Good Films To Watch On Netflix

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Coronavirus: How It’s Affected The Film Industry

March 25, 2020
Cinema screen

Right now it seems that Covid-19 has affected just about every aspect of our lives. With more extreme measures being introduced every day, every industry is taking big hits. Many are temporarily shutting down completely during the pandemic. The film industry especially has seen major disruption. While a lot of the effects may not truly be revealed until after the pandemic, here are some of the more immediate results.

Releases Delayed

James Bond
Bond has some extra time to die on his hands now (MGM, 2020)

In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, people were advised against attending large gatherings, such as concerts and weddings, with many being cancelled or postponed until a later date.

The 007 Franchise is one of the biggest, with the latest instalment carrying lots of positive behind the scenes buzz. In addition, it will also be the swansong for Daniel Craig’s version of James Bond. Originally scheduled to release on April 2nd, and at the height of marketing, with the title theme released and press tour about to begin. It will now release in November, a whole eight months later, in light of the Coronavirus situation.

Bond was arguably the biggest release of the summer, but it was shortly followed by several others, including Mulan, Peter Rabbit 2, A Quiet Place 2, Black Widow and ironically Fast 9, as well as some smaller releases.

Perhaps one of the biggest casualties is The New Mutants, which has now been delayed four times, from its original date of April 13th, 2018. Currently, there is no release date, like most of the delayed films, although it could still happen this year.

Productions Stopped

Skydance 2020 Movie
A deadly virus that will affect millions on a global scale seems like something Ethan Hunt and the IMF should have dealt with (Skydance, 2020)

In addition to completed films having their releases delayed, films and many tv shows, are halting production, films like Matt Reeves’ “The Batman”, “Mission Impossible 7” “Jurassic World: Dominion” “The Matrix 4” and the third instalment in the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts” series have all suspended production..This is all done for the health of cast and crew as well as an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

While these delays are understandable, they will likely have knock-on effects. While many of these films are not due for release until next year at the earliest, depending on how long this situation goes on for, this could result in some of, if not all, these films being delayed due to the new timetable.

Film release windows are a delicate science, with studios needing to consider potential competition, as well as the target audience and other factors when releasing a film, so some of these films could have severe delays, such as Fast 9 being delayed by a full year.

Festivals Cancelled

Cannes Film Festival
Could Cannes be Canneclled? (THR,2020)

As part of cancelling large gatherings, many film festivals have been cancelled, including SXSW. This is a major blow to countless independent and smaller budget films that count on the exposure gained from these festivals to get distribution. Cannes is working on a backup plan, a “virtual marketplace” where films can be screened, and presentations from filmmakers. It would also allow for video meetings, for deals to be hashed out and more.

New Releases Streaming

The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man is just one of several new releases that are available on demand during their theatrical run (Universal, 2020)

With most cinemas closed, the few films that are releasing aren’t bringing in big numbers at the box office. As a result, several studios, like Universal, have released their films online, with some on the same day as they are released in theatres. Frozen 2 and (soon) Onward can also be found on Disney+. While this is a simple and effective solution to the current isolation measures put in place, it does bring into question the future of cinemas and new releases. Traditionally there is a gap of several months between a theatrical release and a film being available on demand. With these extenuating circumstances, this “rule” no longer applies. Christopher Nolan recently wrote a letter in defence of cinemas.

It remains to be seen what kind of effect this will have on digital releases in the future. Jason Blum predicts that there will be a change after the pandemic has subsided, with fewer films being given theatrical releases or having shorter runs in theatres. Netflix has encountered this problem, giving The Irishman a short stint in cinemas upon its release in order to qualify for Oscar nominations. This could give streaming another leg up over cinema, if people can watch a new release at home or go to the cinema, which would they choose?

Hopefully, cinemas will still be around for a long time yet after this crisis is over, even if we might have to wait a little longer for some of this year’s big releases.

Also Read: The Simpsons’ Obsession With Films

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