Advertisement

[B-SIDE Podcast] Creating despite COVID: The entertainment industry and the pandemic

Font Size

Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side

We’ve been consuming a lot more content since the pandemic left us housebound. Filmmakers are streaming their films on YouTube and similar platforms, giving us hours of entertainment.

But how is the entertainment industry itself doing?

Adolfo Alix Jr., the award-winning film director behind films like Mater Dolorosa and Circa, says that the virus has left entertainment workers vulnerable. Many of them work on a per-project basis, with none of the usual benefits regular employees have.

In this episode, the director tells reporter Zsarlene B. Chua how COVID-19 is changing the way films and shows are shot. He also pays tribute to actor Anita Linda, who passed away this June at the age of 95.

TAKEAWAYS

Films and shows will look different.

Mr. Alix said that the filming guidelines announced by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) in June will cut the number of production people by half. This isn’t entirely a bad thing, he said, since it forces film crews to think outside the box.

“I want to see how this would work,” he said, citing that the number of people on set will be limited to 50 to 70 from the usual hundred. “The idea is to be able to maximize your potential as a part of the group and that’s where you will realize—not only for creative but also technical people—the value of each role, each person’s role in the production is.”

People are generous. 

The Extend the Love project started in April initially as a way for the director to help the people within his immediate network. The project included a film series that featured several of his films and shorts including 4 Days and a talk show called Actors’ Cue where he discussed the craft with prominent actors including Gina Alajar, Nonie Buencamino, and newer actors like Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. The last episode of Actors’ Cue was released and was a tribute to the recently departed Anita Linda.

Extend the Love, at the time of the interview, raised more than P200,000 to help more out-of-work film and TV crew members beyond Mr. Alix’s circle.

Actors and entertainment workers are also essential workers

During one of his Actor’s Cue sessions, a question came up about why actors and entertainment workers are essential. A guest replied their work inspires people. 

“You get people to smile, to empathize with the characters,” said Mr. Alix. “I think [the actor] was right in saying that people in the entertainment industry are also essential because we give inspiration and hope to people in these very difficult times.”


A note on the timing of this interview: It was recorded remotely on June 20, weeks before the Film Development Council of the Philippines released guidelines requiring the submission of additional production documents—an unnecessary level of bureaucracy that earned the ire of entertainment guilds. Produced by Nina M. Diaz, Paolo L. Lopez, and Sam L. Marcelo.

Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side





Advertisement