April 13, 2020
It reads like the script of a bad Hollywood movie, but Covid-19 is having a very real impact on the film and television industry.
The pandemic is continuing to halt productions in New Zealand, including Amazon Studio’s Lord of the Rings series and James Cameron’s latest Avatar film.
Work dried up virtually overnight for local actors, directors, writers and producers due to the virus.
Screen Actors Guild Aotearoa president Brendon Durey says upwards of 5000 Kiwis in the industry are now out of a job.
“There are a lot of layers connected to the screen industry and make a living off it.”
It’s not just productions that are on hold, film release dates are too. Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gunn: Maverick and the latest Bond film won’t be seen until later this year, while Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder has been pushed back to 2022.
Small screen favourites are also suffering. TVNZ favourites Shortland Street and Coronation Street have both stopped production and have reduced the nights the show goes to air, until further notice.
Film producer John Barnett says he knows a lot of people in the film and television industry who are “going through the seven stages of grief”, as a result of lost work and halted productions.
“A lot of people are going to need counselling.”
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