What does COVID-19 mean for film production?
How to keep working and moving the industry forwards
By their very nature live action productions mean physical contact and collaboration within confined spaces, there is no denying that COVID-19 has been extremely disruptive to the film industry. However, the need to communicate, to connect, to talk and share ideas, thoughts and feelings has become more essential now than ever.
Our business is built on personal connection with our clients, and helping them find ways to connect with their audiences through film. Our WHY, our defining motivation, is now explicitly clear to us, to care in order to bring positive change.
Given the societal and economical challenges facing the industry, the UK and the world, we have spent time taking stock and considering how best we can continue to have a positive impact through our work.
How to keep working
The concept of filmmaking evokes the idea of being on set, there are directors, actors, assistants, sound and lighting crew all working shoulder to shoulder. Having not been on set in our natural environment for several weeks, we’ve been drawing on other strengths of the business. As an agency our survival is coming about by producing multi-disciplinary work, and being able to respond to our clients evolving and immediate needs.
Now is the time for us all to adapt. We are working remotely with our clients to evolve concepts and ideas, we’re blending motion graphics and remotely filmed interviews with existing live action and stock footage to deliver the desired end result through creative solutions.
It is important to remember that there are people still out there, still working, still thinking, still doing. In the production industry voice over artists are recording in home studios, editors are operating in isolation, writers are developing scripts, concept development, storyboarding - it is all still taking place.
Films are being put together as readily as they ever have been, in a different style that reflects the nature of this time. Existing footage can be repackaged and repurposed to create new content, with skilful editing and new voice overs, on-brand messaging can be communicated.
Some of Omni Production’s clients have opted to switch their live action requirements to animation, this means that we can project manage, script write, storyboard, edit and deliver the final product completely remotely, whilst maintaining the same level of attention to detail and high-quality that we pride ourselves on.
We value the partnerships that we have developed over the years and there are many that still want to communicate during this time, for some, reaching their clients now has become essential to supporting vulnerable members of the community.
At Omni Productions, we feel very fortunate that our clients are continuing to talk, share ideas and maintain an open mind set to explore this new era with us. For example, we’re working with clients such as Wiltshire Farm Foods to reposition their TV commercials to support the current increased demand for their service, but with a shift in concept to ‘no-contact’ delivery.
Now is also the time to focus on pre-production, on getting the concept right, on planning and engaging in communication strategies, as well as focusing on developing comprehensive risk assessments to ensure cast and crew stay safe. Location scouting, casting, virtual pre-production are all achievable and areas of work that can still deliver value to clients and help us all be ready to hit the ground running when the time comes to meet on set again.
We are fortunate and grateful to have a resilient team who have embraced the challenge of adapting to the new required ways of working and are doing what they can to support our clients remotely.
Out of this situation will emerge new ways of working, new workflow efficiencies will evolve that will benefit everyone, delivering value for money, safer working practices and more great quality content.