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How Coronavirus Caused a Paradigm Shift in the Entertainment Industry

All those Friday night movie plans, eagerly waiting for your favorite movie to hit the screens, grabbing that tub of popcorn, and getting into the perfect seats seems so alien. It’s been close to three months since the world went into lockdown, and it feels as if everyone has embraced this phase as the new normal. Staying at home, watching movies on Netflix, and cooking your meals instead of depending on take-outs seems to be the way of life.  Everyone other than those in the essential services are working from home, and one cannot get enough of the comfort of working in the PJs.

But it’s not all rosy for everyone out there. More so for the usually hip and happening celebrities of the entertainment industry. With shootings canceled, these actors and actresses are at home without projects to work on. The shutting down of the sounds “Lights, Camera, Action,” is also taking a toll on all those technicians, directors, producers, and artists involved in the making of a film or television soap. The pandemic has brought in a paradigm shift that the industry was not ready for. So, what’s the future of the entertainment industry? Read on to know.

The Dying Theater

To avoid the spread of coronavirus pandemic, people need to maintain optimum social distancing. This means going to the movie theater is something to rule out. While this has been the case for a few months now, reports suggest that most of them not resume services. With a lot of films left incomplete, people unsure of when things will return to normal.

Also, the fear of the pandemic will probably keep the audience away from the theaters for a few months. Besides this, recent news features also went on to show how pests damage movie theaters and malls during this lockdown period as there’s no one maintaining the facilities.

Management will not be in a position to fuel in a huge amount of money in the restoration works while being unsure if there would be any return of investments at all. So, one can surely presume most theaters will be shut down and go out of business. Christopher Nolan’s film Tenet is releasing in a few days as a way to test the waters. The movie release is an attempt to understand how the audience responds to visiting the theaters. This movie release might thus provide a better perspective on what’s in store for the moviegoers and the theater owners.

Direct Release on OTTs

Over the top media services or OTT, as it is popularly known, the online streaming platforms are taking over the movie experience from theaters. People are now adapting to the habit of staying at home and watching movies online on their television and smartphones. While this switch in the content consumption was something experts had predicted with the rise in the OTTs, the film industry wasn’t ready for this overnight change.

With the constant increase in online content consumers, it is wise for movie producers to release their films directly on these platforms. This will help them avoid the various expenses that come in with a theater release. A lot of countries have begun experimenting in this space and are finding success. So, Hollywood might follow suit too.

The Rise of AR and VR

People who watch movies and television shows online is increasing. Therefore, content creators are exploring the possibilities of making this more immersive. AR and VR technology in the entertainment space will offer a higher level of customer experience. It will thus help the content producers engage their audience better. The prediction of something like this happening dates back to 1983 in the movie “Brainstorm,” it has become a complete possibility only in 2020. While films have been using AR, VR, and 360 views for marking and certain sequences, now is the time for filmmakers to go full-fledged in experimenting with this technology. Helping the audience become a part of the movie will engage them better with the movie for longer than the regular films.

While the pandemic has changed our lives a lot and going back to live as we knew it is impossible, we can’t disagree that we all need entertainment. So, no matter what happens and how many days this lockdown goes on for, people will continue to look out for films, shows, and entertainment programs. And that is the only respite for the entertainment industry at this point.

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