Film production is an inherently social and physical collaboration. We bring together large groups of talented individuals into tight quarters and work closely together to bring our stories to life. Hordes of talent enter and exit our casting studios.
Our grips support our camera operators with hands on their backs as they perform complicated handheld movements. Make up artists brush, paint, smudge, and pat our talents’ faces before they step in front of the camera to embrace, dance, fight, kiss. A large group huddles together at a monitor, shouting out actions, corrections, and modifications.
The product of all of this activity is consolidated into a hard drive full of shots which is taken into a series of small, dark, crowded rooms: edit bays, color suites, Voiceover booths and sound recording studios. Finally we push out a final product that we digitally export and send out into the universe. There is no social distance in this process.
We now find ourselves, very abruptly, unable to perform any of these activities as we once did. A formerly social, communal craft becomes remote, and we face new challenges as we move from shooting studio to the isolation of our homes and computer screens.
What we've discovered, though, as we've dug deeper into these new realities, is that the combination of our current technology and the fierce determination to continue forward means that the work doesn’t need to stop, it simply evolves.
Casting sessions become screen recorded Skype calls. Complicated live action scenes become animated.Doc style shooting becomes a combination of UGC, stock, and motion.
Editors work remotely and perform edit sessions over Zoom. VO artists record over source connect and sound engineers mix from their home studios. Art directors and copywriters create toolkits for talent to self-record.
So even while we wait, alone, disconnected from the communal aspects of our work, feeling heartbroken for our friends, families, neighbors, strangers, coworkers and collaborators, we must keep going. We must continue to work together -- even while maintaining social distance. We must continue to connect, collaborate, and innovate.
Because we can come up with solutions that not only work, but are more unique, more creative, and more connected than we ever could have imagined.
Ultimately, we start with the same goal, which is the message and story we need to tell, and then together we find a new path to get there.