Many Filmmakers, like everyone else effected by COVID-19 are itching for some level of a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, like many others think that there may never be a full return to normal. It may well end up as a pre-COVID and a Post COVID period. Similar to how the world changed before and after the great depression, 9/11, The internet, or World War II. Societal traumas tend to leave lasting scars, and that tends to effect the market as a whole and certain industries in meaningful ways. So let’s look at what one executive producer thinks is likely to happen in the film industry as a result.
1. The Majors will bounce back quickly
Historically, film is mildly reversely dependent on the economy. It remains one of the cheapest ways to get out and one of the best ways for families to bond while in isolation. The most unpredictable part about this recession’s likely impact on the film industry is the much greater presence of free or cheap entertainment options available right now as compared to the past.
In any case, A significant amount of the pain that’s likely to be felt from this crash is going to be on the lower end of the spectrum. Right now many of the major studios are already gearing up for their next projects since the projects they have will either be released ahead of schedule while people are quarantined or they’ll need to find alternative release plans. You can find some of their plans in my COVID News/Affects section.
2. Freelancers will be hurt in the short term.
There’s no sugar coating this. Freelancers are going to be hurt in the short term. Government stimulus may help, but won’t solve the issue. If you’re in a position to help out by hiring someone to help with your web maintenance or other jobs they can do in isolation, you should do so.
As this crisis continues to drag on, it’s really important we band together as a community and help each other to get work made, even if it ends up making many of us less money than it normally would.
3. SVOD Surge
Given people are going to be locked at home with less money than normal and lots of time, we can expect to see viewership and subscriptions to Subscription Video on Demand platforms go up significantly. Not all of these new subscribers will cancel when we return to the new normal. I’m not the only one seeing this, it looks like development and acquisitions are on the rise form many of these people.
It’s very possible that the balance of power between distributors and creators could see a minor shift in the coming months as distributors are going to need more content and the current embargo on production in many states, regions, and territories might cut down on the glut of content that’s been driving down acquisition prices recently.
4. AVOD Surge
Geven the general financial issues that were facing the majority of Americans prior to this recession, many may seek to cut recurring subscription services. This may well give rise to AVOD platforms like TubiTV and PlutoTV. I bet Fox is really happy they bout Tubi right about now.
5. TVOD Plummets
Transactional VOD hasn’t been healthy for quite a while. If people are hurting for money, it’s unlikely they’ll continue to buy movies one at a time when there are so many films that are available for free or with a low subscription cost. This might not happen immediately, but as the crisis wears on and belts get tighter the TVOD crunch might well continue to worsen.
6. Presale Surge
Given that we’re likely to see a surge in demand for content right as equity markets are drying up we may well see a surge in presales from distributors in order to fill the gap. This is somewhat speculative, but there is ample historical precedent, most recently in 2008 after the economic meltdown. However, it should be noted this can only go so far given production embargos.
7. Theaters may fold at a high rate
Theaters have been in trouble for quite a while. Independent theaters have been very hard hit, but even giants like AMC may end up closing many of their locations instead of re-opening them. The possible Amazon Acquisition of AMC is really quite interesting for the entire landscape. Drive throughs also seem to be seeing a bit of a resurgence.
8. Rise of legal simulstreaming
People are feeling lonely and isolated. Film is an inherently social medium. Given we can’t go to the theater as we did before, we might end up seeing the rise of simulcast for consumers to watch content with their friends. This is something that happened with the Netflix computer App, and Alamo Drafthouse starting virtual streamings limited to certain territories is quite an interesting development.
9. Death of DVD greatly Hastened
It’s no secret that physical media (DVD/Blu-Ray) has been in trouble for a while now. Now that it’s been confirmed COVID-19 can live on plastic (like a DVD case) for several days, I can see consumers being even more hesitant to buy movies like this when there are so many options available on Streaming for free.
10. Easier Microbudget sales for a time.
I’ll end on a cheerier note for Most of my readers. Acquisitions seem to be picking up since so many catalogs are being watched much more quickly than originally expected. This spells opportunity for many filmmakers. If you want someone to help you sell your movie, track down a presale, or strategize how to market your movie hit the submit button below
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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