Updated: May 3
By Sandy Rodriguez
How paradoxical. On the one hand, the quarantine brought on by COVID-19 has made people—if they are lucky enough to not be ill or putting themselves at risk on the front lines—more appreciative of movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment they can consume in their homes to pass the time.
At the same time, however, the virus has dealt a huge financial blow to the entertainment industry. This field was hit especially hard because it involves many people interacting, physical proximity, and, often, travel.
Production of most projects remains at a standstill. Movie theaters are closed. Film festivals, live shows and concerts have been postponed or cancelled. The same is true for promotional events such as film junkets, which in some instances have been replaced by video calls with members of the press.
Streaming services, it would seem, are the one sector that is doing well, since subscriber numbers are up now that so many people are home. These companies, however, need to keep their subscribers interested once the pandemic is over. Also, producing content at this time is a challenge for them, as it is for all studios.
Fortunately, previously-created shows are being rediscovered by viewers. “Money Heist”, on Netflix, to be honest had not appealed to me a couple of years ago when it debuted. It was only recently, when someone whose judgement I trust recommended it, and I ended up happily binge-watching.
It seems that this show has now even topped the popularity of the fascinating “Tiger King” documentary. This is very interesting to me, especially because “Money Heist” is in Spanish, and set in Spain. U.S. viewers, traditionally, have not been particularly interested in international content. The wonderful reception for “Roma,” from Mexico; “Parasites,” from South Korea, and now this show seems to signal the tide is turning in that regard. If you are interested in exploring another addictive series in Spanish from recent years, I’d like to suggest a favorite of mine, “Club de Cuervos.” It’s a comedy-drama; when the patriarch of a wealthy Mexican family dies, his heirs fight for control of the soccer team he owned.
Hopefully, normal production of movies and TV will resume in the near future, not only for the benefit of audiences, but also because of the many jobs the virus has impacted. Actors, crew members, stunt performers, writers, directors, and more are all eager to get back to work.
In the meantime, some of our Heart of Hollywood friends have used this time to help people affected by COVID-19. Actress Kathy Smyth Stewart, for instance, is also a healthcare worker, and is doing her best to keep patients safe and comfortable. Actor Terroon Kibwe is working at a clinic where patients showing symptoms get tested. A big shout-out to both!
While waiting for life to get back on track, Heart of Hollywood is offering interviews with people in entertainment and beyond who share useful tips and discuss their experiences. You can find and watch these interviews on Facebook Live or YouTube.
Also, Heart of Hollywood is working nonstop to soon offer you access to its brand-new streaming platform. If you have an original, completed movie, TV show, or other form of video content, please contact the company to learn about the artistic and financial reasons to distribute your product through this new platform.
An international online film festival is in the works as well. More details to follow!