In the last few months, we have had to change nearly every aspect of our lives, not only as individuals, but as societies, communities, and industries. The film industry has not been immune to this change, having to adapt to this new world of social distancing and extra caution.
All of the unexpected changes and inability of industries to adapt have led to this year’s filmmaking going down by 98% compared to the production existing at this time last year. However, this did not stop Zendaya, John David Washington, and Sam Levinson from producing and shooting a whole film during quarantine, in secret from the public. Now that the word is out, it’s safe to say that audiences are excited to dive into this revolutionary, in a way, film.
The shooting of the movie itself took place in an unfamiliar and unique matter, with the whole cast and crew quarantining throughout the entire process on a “pandemic-friendly” set - a large property in California, the Caterpillar House, with 33 acres of land surrounding it, that nobody would leave throughout the shoot. Covering all bases, the production even provided a chef which had been quarantined with the cast and crew.
With no solution yet in sight, this could become the template approach to filmmaking for the time being, until the pandemic is no longer a threat. Of course, this limits plot potential greatly. Seeing as this one includes very few characters and is limited to one location within which action takes place, most future productions will likely have to follow. The inability to film in public spaces, the constraint to smaller casts and crews, and the potential inability to leave a set until the end of a shoot, will require more creativity than ever for quality productions to take place.
With new themes having become dominant in people’s lives, and with new issues arising every day, future films will most likely come to explore those new challenges.
However, it is not only the physicalities of the filming process that will change. With new themes having become dominant in people’s lives, and with new issues arising every day, future films will most likely come to explore those new challenges. Malcolm & Marie is based in the 60s, and the story is said to cover issues resembling those seen in Marriage Story (2019), but it is also said to present themes which are relevant to our personal worlds at the moment.
The support and amount of funding this film has received only shows how much people appreciate and support the art of filmmaking, even in times like these. Specifically during a time when people have discovered the importance of art and entertainment, it is crucial not to cease creating and producing.
Depending on its success, this film could become emblematic for the filmmaking era that we have entered. Despite current limitations, humans have proven to make the impossible possible, so we are eager to see what the future holds for the film industry.
Featured image: Twitter user @Zendaya