Effect of the Coronavirus

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  • #16
    Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

    Originally posted by Friday View Post
    I don't know if you live in L.A. But, has this changed your habits? Are you still going to continue to go to the movies? I had been looking forward to that Bond movie and also seeing Jane Austen's Emma. I still might go, but it's causing me anxiety. It's not so much the virus itself, but the guilt of endangering loved ones and getting quarantined for 14 days.
    LA life is still pretty normal. I went to the movies last weekend to see Emma at Arclight and it was fine. But Coachella, scheduled for next month, is (imo) almost certain to be either canceled or postponed and that's when **** is going to feel like it's getting real here. Also, the cancelations of school classes or remote working that is happening right now up in SF and Seattle is probably going to start hitting LA this week or next.

    Of a more macro concern for Hollywood (the industry) is the fact that markets are tanking and look closer to collapse tomorrow than any time since the housing market meltdown in 2008. If credit dries up that has major implications for studios and production companies that rely on debt financing to do their business, which will then trickle down to the front line workers on shows and films. Buckle up!

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    • #17
      Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

      Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
      LA life is still pretty normal. I went to the movies last weekend to see Emma at Arclight and it was fine. But Coachella, scheduled for next month, is (imo) almost certain to be either canceled or postponed and that's when **** is going to feel like it's getting real here. Also, the cancelations of school classes or remote working that is happening right now up in SF and Seattle is probably going to start hitting LA this week or next.

      Of a more macro concern for Hollywood (the industry) is the fact that markets are tanking and look closer to collapse tomorrow than any time since the housing market meltdown in 2008. If credit dries up that has major implications for studios and production companies that rely on debt financing to do their business, which will then trickle down to the front line workers on shows and films. Buckle up!

      It's that community spread that's freaking everyone out. I think Riverside had someone who was exposed to someone from D.C. There are so many people that are connected to people in San Francisco, that it's worrisome. It's already affected movies like Mission Impossible that had to postpone filming some of their scenes in Italy.



      I still went out to restaurants and saw movies the last few weeks, but are you going to go to the movies in the upcoming weeks? Normally, I can only write in coffee shops, but I am rethinking that.

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      • #18
        Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

        Originally posted by Friday View Post
        I still went out to restaurants and saw movies the last few weeks, but are you going to go to the movies in the upcoming weeks? Normally, I can only write in coffee shops, but I am rethinking that.
        We here in flyover country are doing fine so far (knock on wood). I’m a high-risk candidate (not due to age) to contract the current dangerous strain of coronavirus, but I go to the grocery, go to the movies, the symphony, and generally do what I always have been doing. As a rule, though, my social profile is much lower than that of most people. The saying, “He doesn’t get out much,” applies to me. Except for those activities listed, I’m at home reading and writing 98% of the time. There’s a list of projects I have to complete, and all have a deadline. In my case, this virus outbreak easily could spell my demise, but it’s also a good reason to continue to burrow deep and write more.

        Even so, here and there, Life goes on, too. On Saturday I took vintage manual typewriters to a “Type In” held at a local coffee shop. There must have been twenty or more of us there. The organizer didn’t say so, but I suppose the theory was that if people take laptops in and sit at a table for hours, why couldn’t they just as well be typewriters?

        With more typewriters than typewriter enthusiasts, each bringing in more than one machine, coffee shop patrons had a chance to take a turn on them, too. In a humorous aside, it confounded some who were new to a typewriter that older typewriters did not have a “1” available.

        All those people touching typewriter keys, sharing and taking turns on one another‘s typewriters from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States, and at no time did anyone wipe down their keyboards before or after the event. There’s no telling what people did when they got home, though.

        Since more people are staying home than going out, for me it’s been a great time at afternoon matinĂ©es. A couple of times I’ve had a theater all to myself, which is a great experience, I assure you.

        The COVID-19 virus lives about nine hours on a surface, and lives longest on metals, I’m told. Masks are useless against it, and antibacterial hand-sanitizers don’t cut it, either, but the good thing is that suddenly everyone is more aware of personal hygiene.

        Avoid people who have a cough, as I do, which is always a good practice. The simple fact is, though, that people can be carriers of the virus and not display any symptoms at all, rather like heterosexual women and the AIDS virus.

        The best thing to do is to spend 20 seconds singing the chorus to your favorite songs when you wash your hands with soap and water in a public (or any) bathroom. “Goodbye Stranger” works for me, and when I attempt it aloud, it reduces my risk of contraction of the virus by running people out of public bathrooms. Carry disposable travel tissues to use on door handles; it’s a small price to pay to avoid the virus in cities where international travelers throng.

        My main concern is for the quality of food in restaurants where less than a living wage is paid to food-service persons. Already underpaid, they cannot afford to be absent from work. Whether or not they know they have the virus, they show up for work. If the virus lives nine hours on surfaces, there’s ample opportunity for virus transfer to occur in restaurants.

        Worse, though, is who knows who has the virus without testing kits? Have we as a global society arrived at the point of wearing latex or nitrile gloves to conduct ourselves in public?

        As screenwriters, we ought to be thankful of the technology that now allows us to send a PDF by e-mail rather than everyone handling printed scripts. A backlog of extra material could result as more screenwriters stay in rather than go out. The virus can-xed a venue like SXSW, so what’s next? Only time will tell if profitable online screenwriting contests will become the new norm of studio gatekeeping.
        Last edited by Clint Hill; 03-08-2020, 10:32 PM.
        "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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        • #19
          Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

          Originally posted by TigerFang View Post
          We here in flyover country are doing fine so far (knock on wood). I'm a high-risk candidate (not due to age) to contract the current dangerous strain of coronavirus, but I go to the grocery, go to the movies, the symphony, and generally do what I always have been doing. As a rule, though, my social profile is much lower than that of most people. The saying, "He doesn't get out much,- applies to me. Except for those activities listed, I'm at home reading and writing 98% of the time. There's a list of projects I have to complete, and all have a deadline. In my case, this virus outbreak easily could spell my demise, but it's also a good reason to continue to burrow deep and write more.

          Even so, here and there, Life goes on, too. On Saturday I took vintage manual typewriters to a "Type In- held at a local coffee shop. There must have been twenty or more of us there. The organizer didn't say so, but I suppose the theory was that if people take laptops in and sit at a table for hours, why couldn't they just as well be typewriters?

          With more typewriters than typewriter enthusiasts, each bringing in more than one machine, coffee shop patrons had a chance to take a turn on them, too. In a humorous aside, it confounded some who were new to a typewriter that older typewriters did not have a "1- available.

          All those people touching typewriter keys, sharing and taking turns on one another's typewriters from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States, and at no time did anyone wipe down their keyboards before or after the event. There's no telling what people did when they got home, though.

          Since more people are staying home than going out, for me it's been a great time at afternoon matinées. A couple of times I've had a theater all to myself, which is a great experience, I assure you.

          The COVID-19 virus lives about nine hours on a surface, and lives longest on metals, I'm told. Masks are useless against it, and antibacterial hand-sanitizers don't cut it, either, but the good thing is that suddenly everyone is more aware of personal hygiene.

          Avoid people who have a cough, as I do, which is always a good practice. The simple fact is, though, that people can be carriers of the virus and not display any symptoms at all, rather like heterosexual women and the AIDS virus.

          The best thing to do is to spend 20 seconds singing the chorus to your favorite songs when you wash your hands with soap and water in a public (or any) bathroom. "Goodbye Stranger- works for me, and when I attempt it aloud, it reduces my risk of contraction of the virus by running people out of public bathrooms. Carry disposable travel tissues to use on door handles; it's a small price to pay to avoid the virus in cities where international travelers throng.

          My main concern is for the quality of food in restaurants where less than a living wage is paid to food-service persons. Already underpaid, they cannot afford to be absent from work. Whether or not they know they have the virus, they show up for work. If the virus lives nine hours on surfaces, there's ample opportunity for virus transfer to occur in restaurants.

          Worse, though, is who knows who has the virus without testing kits? Have we as a global society arrived at the point of wearing latex or nitrile gloves to conduct ourselves in public?

          As screenwriters, we ought to be thankful of the technology that now allows us to send a PDF by e-mail rather than everyone handling printed scripts. A backlog of extra material could result as more screenwriters stay in rather than go out. The virus can-xed a venue like SXSW, so what's next? Only time will tell if profitable online screenwriting contests will become the new norm of studio gatekeeping.

          A major tennis tournament was just cancelled. It's almost impossible to avoid people who cough. You'll see them walk by and that spray will be in the air invisible to cling onto people. I saw on 60 minutes, a scientist say that it qualifies as a Pandemic. Italy has taken drastic measures. They have effectively shut down much of the country. Public places are shut down. Restaurants are only allowed limited hours. LA marathon decided to proceed, but they had a steep decline in spectators this year. I actually prefer to watch movies in theaters, eat out and write in public coffee shops or outside venues, so this will take adjusting. I wish the government had just shut down air travel from those affected countries several months ago, so that the possibility of this coming in was reduced. Now, it's already here.

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          • #20
            Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

            Originally posted by Friday View Post

            Are you still going to continue to go to the movies? I had been looking forward to that Bond movie and also seeing Jane Austen's Emma.
            They pushed back the Bond release date to November.

            https://deadline.com/2020/03/no-time...gm-1202873876/

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            • #21
              Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

              Here in Connecticut there are only 3 cases, but surely it's in several places. The masks help contain when someone is infected.

              No one has really changed their habits here even though we're so close to NYC and they have over 100 cases.

              What will most likely happen is things will start to shut down fast if we double or triple the number of infected cases.

              Italy went from 2500 cases, to over 5800 cases in four days and this morning they're reporting over 7000. That's in less than a week.

              There are a few people who have been in quarantine for weeks because they keep testing positive for COVID-19. They interviewed a man from a cruise ship that's been in quarantine since Mid-February and tested positive again last night. He won't be released until he tests positive for 3 consecutive tests.

              There are stories of people testing negative then testing positive after being released.

              Crazy what's going on in the market. The first circuit-breaker seems to have worked. Who knows. There's talk already of an airlines bailout. And zero or negative interests rates, because the interest rates are already so low.

              What we have to watch out for is more hot spots like Italy.

              Until the numbers increase significantly or are near us, I will be doing the same-o. But then I've been working from home, so I'm less at risk.

              People can't just stay home out of fear, because it may destroy the economy-- that's why I think everyone's telling the public not to worry. Keep the economy as stable as possible.
              "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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              • #22
                Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                Originally posted by Southern_land View Post
                Anyone got a good pandemic script...
                (Yes, I still check in to DDPro every few days, but only to read.)

                I have a pandemic trilogy, published as a Kindle on Amazon in 2012, but written well before 2011 when Contagion came out. That one is probably the current standard in these types of stories.

                Anyway, mine was in part inspired by the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009, and by films such as 12 Monkeys/Outbreak: ie. no zombies or space invaders! My main character has a SEVERE Cassandra complex; ie. nobody believes that the end is coming, despite her credentials and the references to the 2009 pandemic. (After COVID-19 is over, and we see how it turned out, I'll probably have to update my story to refer to it.)

                Whatever, if you want to check it out, the first 28 pages is available for a free preview (Amazon supposedly allows the first 10%): The Mawr Pneumonica
                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008EDNAW0

                We're storytellers, not documentarians, so theme, pacing and entertainment are disproportionately more important than facts for this type of tale.

                So, in retrospect, while this project is not very good, I do remember how it necessitated a ton of research. Most of that was about how to balance the technical stuff to establish the characters' bona fides and to inspire terror in an audience, against a bit of dumbing-down so that the audience could be more than a few thousand post-grads.

                As for my days, nowadays, while living on a wee pension my typical week has been reduced to a single grocery shopping trip, and one for a lottery ticket. That's it. Like this for about two years now.

                However, my week is still full of script polishes and marketing (pitching). I also have a couple of low-bud projects for which I'm trying to find attachments, so I can then offer up the I.P. + attachments + some possible funding (via LinkedIn connections etc.) to producers as an enticement. No hits so far, but there appears to be interest in (and respect for) writers who think outside the box like that. In the typical writer model, I do have some solid reads going on via cold pitches, but it's no tougher or easier than ever on that front.

                I'd say that a little less time socializing may be what many writers can use but, as has been stated in this thread, the effects on the industry specifically and the economy/society as a whole are very worrisome. As people, we and our loved ones have to be careful but not paranoid. As writers, it's an opportunity to hunker down and prioritize our time so as to concentrate on things that are smartest and/or most productive.

                Good luck to all!

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                • #23
                  Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                  Hey Catcon,

                  We were just talking about Canada this weekend. You guys have a ton of movies (TV series/features/MOW) being shot up there.

                  Any disruption to those projects that you've heard of?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
                    What will most likely happen is things will start to shut down fast if we double or triple the number of infected cases.

                    Italy went from 2500 cases, to over 5800 cases in four days and this morning they're reporting over 7000. That's in less than a week.
                    More specifically, the jump in known cases in Italy is because they started testing at scale when they figured out they might have a real outbreak on their hand. So the cases were always there, they just didn't know the actual scope until they robustly tested the population.

                    We have not been robustly testing our population, and still aren't apparently.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                      Originally posted by socalwriter1 View Post
                      Hey Catcon,

                      We were just talking about Canada this weekend. You guys have a ton of movies (TV series/features/MOW) being shot up there.

                      Any disruption to those projects that you've heard of?
                      Zero (that I've heard of). I don't pay much attention to trends in our Cdn. industry. "Backwater" is how one ex-pat (now long-time producer in U.K.) described us, and I tend to agree. As far as the effect of COVID-19, we're totally "followers" up here, so as the news gets worse from the U.S., the industry here will jump on board and go all panicky, and then go on the hunt for bail-out funds, no doubt.

                      Sorry to be so cynical, but I get far, far better and more frequent responses from U.S., U.K., even Australia than I do my very own country: You'd think Canuck producers would be eager to find out what a native writer has done ... given that having a Canadian writer virtually guarantees access to those big fat govt production grants up here.

                      But, a very poor response over the years, except occasionally I get the time-of-day, at least, from Darius, Chesler/Perlmutter Productions and White Pine (all Toronto), Original Pictures (Manitoba), or Bardel or DHX (for animation). Goldrush Entertainment claims to be looking, but has never asked for anything of mine despite being fully pitched.

                      PS. Sorry, this doesn't mean you shouldn't pitch up here, though, especially if you have the right type of politically-sensitive material, low-budget, etc. Go for it!
                      Last edited by catcon; 03-12-2020, 11:20 AM. Reason: Added PS

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                      • #26
                        Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                        For those in LA, how safe is it for LA residents to go out in public?


                        I saw on the news that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson came down with it...and an NBA player that had the NBA suspend their season. I don't know if any of you have been shopping. I went late at night when there was no one at the supermarket and noticed that all the water was gone. That's crazy. It's usually well stocked, but not one single water bottle. Where are we supposed to get bottled water?

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                        • #27
                          Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                          Originally posted by Friday View Post
                          For those in LA, how safe is it for LA residents to go out in public?
                          I think it's relatively safe to go out here. Just use what precautions you can. Wash hands, use any hand sanitizers available at a location, wipe down any shopping carts before going in the store, use your elbow(s) to open doors when possible or to push elevator buttons, etc. All the things that are being recommended.

                          The grocery store near me was relatively quiet yesterday but still people out. (The stores are starting to feel a strain, I will add. Supplies are starting to run thin quickly, it seems.) And not to bore anyone too much, but I normally go to the gym four times a week. Not going today and not so sure about this weekend or even the next couple of weeks.

                          Also, my wife (and her entire office) is working from home for at least the next two weeks -- maybe longer. Looks like many other companies are doing the same. Don't stop living and doing what you need to do, I'd say, but do be as conscientious as possible about all, if you go out.
                          Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 03-12-2020, 03:00 PM. Reason: Update
                          Will
                          Done Deal Pro
                          www.donedealpro.com

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                          • #28
                            Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                            I'm starting to see the effects in LA. School events are getting canceled. Traffic is getting better. Fewer people at the gym this morning. People are hoarding supplies. It's definitely starting to creep in here.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                              I have two different friends who were on shoots in Europe - one in Budapest and one in Prague. They were both put on planes home today, and production suspended. I wonder what kind of ripple effect that will have?

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                              • #30
                                Re: Effect of the Coronavirus

                                I think it's only a matter of time before all productions shut down. And by "matter of time" I'm thinking Monday, at the latest.

                                There are already lists circulating about the plans for agencies and production companies. Many are moving to a Work From Home format starting Monday, but with things moving so fast, I wouldn't be surprised if they shutter their doors by the end of today.

                                Things aren't "dangerous" here. There's a certain tension in the air when you're out and about, but it's not mass hysteria. It's not scary or unsafe. But everything is shutting down and closing for business.

                                Oh, and there is no toilet paper in the Valley.

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