image of an empty set due to the cancelled film shoots as a result of COVID-19

Filmmaking in India & the rest of the world is experiencing a slowdown. And the future seems uncertain. When will work begin? How do I get my next project? Will things ever go back to normal? If you have questions like these, you’re not alone.

But a positive mindset can go a long way. Many are dealing with this challenge… in their own innovative ways. They are adapting to working from home & utilizing this time productively. Here are a few things that can be done in this situation:

1) Planning for the future
Don’t put a stop to your filmmaking career. This is a good opportunity to prep for upcoming projects. Have you been always working with the same set of vendors or talent? Then maybe you can use this time to discover someone new. Browse through new profiles & look at their work, even reach out to them. That way, the next time you need them, you won’t have to search from scratch.

You could also develop something new. We know that content consumption is steadily increasing. Thinking of a fresh concept usually takes time. So why not use this downtime & go back to the drawing board? Maybe you’ll come up with the next big hit!

2) Wrapping up your post-production
Shoots or fresh film work may not be on the cards right now. Doesn’t mean work has to pause. Post-production can still happen remotely – thanks to VFX artists, graphic designers, composers & many others working from home.

Projects like animated videos or infographics can also be taken up. With apps like Trello & Slack, film teams can work & co-ordinate efficiently on completely digital projects. This might mean more scope for small studios and digital artists:

“People are now realizing the importance of VFX/animation work. It’s an effective way of storytelling and can be on par with the live-action format. Although there might be some limitations, creative minds will find a way to express themselves – no matter the situation.”
Sarang Rhode (Animator & Graphic designer)

3) Developing skills
Many artists, crew & technicians are working on themselves. You can now take that course you always wanted to… or work on some personal projects. This keeps your skills sharpened – so when work returns to normal, you can hit the ground running. Who knows? You might land your next filmmaking job because of something you learnt in the lockdown.

You could also give your portfolio an update. Take a look at your recent film work & add the best into your portfolio.

4) Building an online presence
Connecting with the online audience is an easy way to remain relevant (and sane) in a slowdown. No complex set up required. Push the record button on your phone & show them what you’ve got. While mimicry artists, singers & actors may not have active work, they can utilize this time to market their skills on the internet. Deepak Antani, an actor known for playing Mahatma Gandhi in plays & films, has found a way to use his skills even in the lockdown:

“Having no film work hasn’t stopped me. I acted out 21 scripts in 21 days and put them up on YouTube. I’ve also been interacting with my subscribers & writing new content. Recently, I’ve also been a part of a live program about the quarantine.”

Like Deepak, many other performance artists are keeping themselves busy while also lifting the spirits of their audience:

The Internet is a great tool for networking. Join a Facebook or WhatsApp group of likeminded people or get more active on Instagram and Twitter. Engaging with artists, creators & professionals around you will give you a much-needed sense of community.

You can also collaborate with others. If you’re good at writing, team up with a composer and make the next viral song. Or work with a VO artist to give your animations a voice! If we try, we can work through this together & make the best of the situation.

Working in films is all about being a hustler; getting things done even in tough times. So why not tap into that creative spirit? Keep the ball rolling with these tips and let us know what you have been doing. Together we can all do our bit to soften the COVID 19 impact on the film industry.

Stay safe, stay positive. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *