LA-based media and entertainment reporter Brooks Barnes from the NY Times recounts the history of supposedly terminal shocks that Hollywood has endured over its 110-year history, and how the current crisis measures up. The rapid rise of streaming is first among trends that are re-shaping the industry. The COVID-19 shutdowns have put the entire Hollywood ecosystem into upheaval, smashing traditions such as deal-making over power lunches and the glitz and glamour of international film festivals and red-carpet premieres.
Everything is virtual! But when the pandemic shut down everything from movie theatres to production sets, it forced everyone in the industry to re-think how entertainment could be and should be produced and delivered. In some quarters, there is optimism that a renaissance is around the corner when a newly vaccinated public will emerge from pandemic restrictions with an appetite for the backlog of studio films rescheduled for 2021 release dates. Director J.J. Abrams comments, “There’s a reason that the Roaring Twenties followed the 1918 pandemic. We have a pent-up, desperate need to see each other — to socialize and have communal experiences.”