A virus not fully grasped. A global pandemic. Countries shut down. Hollywood is thinking.
That’d sounded like a not-so-creative Hollywood movie a few months ago. But it’s true life, anyway. Several major manufacturing houses have confirmed COVID-19 theme shows-about passion, loss and social distance.
So who wants to see this?
Hollywood’s new ideas
Netflix has just signed up for a show called “Financial Distancing” created by Jenji Kohan, founder of “White Is the New Black.” And Disney’s Freeform cable channel plans to create a romantic comedy entitled “Life in the Time of Corona,” shot using remote technologies.
But according to Peter White, TV editor at Deadline Hollywood news, Hollywood is broken. He said producers are unaware whether the fans will be lining up to see what they are not watching.
“People are trying to figure out whether they will like to rely on that, or whether they will want to stop it,” White said. “Sound is the thing that a lot of people think about.” Sound, that means you’re making a pandemic comedy?
This is not the first time that Hollywood has tried to work out how to impress Americans during difficult times. Films showed Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tap-dancing into American hearts during the Great Depression.
But Emily Carman, associate film professor at Chapman University, said Americans still needed to see films about underdogs, working-class heroes and gangsters in those tough days.
“Those kinds of outlaw-rebel figures had an allure,” Carman said.
Like, the original “Scarface”-it was gritty and divisive, but it was embraced by people. Still Hollywood is going to reinvent itself. Inventing a genre with some pretty new, untested innovations would be the only productions going forward.
And, we’re going to see how it goes. We hope it goes well because reinventing in the meantime is the greatest way to do things.