Updated: May 28, 2021
The media, film and broadcasting industry was never the same ever since the pandemic hit.
After years of building up familiarity and confidence in the business--building a large network, --we can all remember that day that the production operations suddenly came to a heartbreaking halt. Fortunately, work still started to resume--slowly, as production teams all over the world got creative in meeting clients' requirements, but making sure that safety precedes work.
This is where the industry's leaders were tested in their ability to adapt to major unforeseen changes such as the infamous lockdown situation. Though heartbroken for a while, it's safe to say the industry pressed on.
The good surprise, however, was when people in the industry realized how much they were tightly knit that they had to rely on each other to be able to persevere through these difficult times. Hence, the emergence of the prod's "skeletal team" while client briefings and pitches were made through Zoom or Google meet. Editors and other supporting admin teams worked from home.
...and we now have less manpower because of social distancing."
But if we'll be really honest, we'll have to say that the adjustment was far from easy. The film and production industry was known for being in large groups, rendering long hours of work, and carrying bulks and bulks of equipment. Gone were the much-awaited after-shoot shenanigans where you get to meet and chat with the pool of new and old but super talented people you'll probably work with or bump unto. It's the industry's very own special way of network marketing.
Today, since the priority has been safety over everything else, there's been extreme patience shown in following safety guidelines and required protocols--with the producers and directors going out of their way to excel in their work all the while overseeing the well-being of their crew, especially the ones more exposed to risk while in the production area.
When asked about the differences he observed between pre-pandemic and during, Clayshop's very own Direk William Capistrano stated, "It was easy to communicate during shoot before because we were not wearing masks. Of course, when you're directing artists, and you're both wearing masks, it's more difficult to see each other's facial reactions. So everything must be translated into words, and it's a tedious task, honestly. [We also have to wear] uncomfortable PPE, so it's less comfortable for us to move around the production set, plus you'd really feel hot wearing them! And of course, we now have less manpower because of social distancing."
"[But it also has its advantages such as] We now pack up our shoots early because of imposed curfews. Before, we had an early morning call time, which will end the following morning. Nowadays, our crews are more efficient because we all willingly wear multiple hats (which I found out was surprisingly possible!) at we're all also more health conscious now, no one wants to stay up really late anymore.
When asked what was his biggest adjustments, he noted, "As mentioned, I now take on multiple roles. Before, I was only focused on directing, but since the pandemic, I managed to also be the DOP, Director, sometimes Camera Operator, and POC for VTR shoots or live streaming."
As for how he keeps his hopes up towards the day everything will resume to the "real normal"? 🤔
"I'm sure everything will eventually return to the normal set-up! Everything will slowly [and surely] normalize. I just hope that we'll also be able to retain the good [at advantages ay] we learned from our situation now."