Written by Charissa Roberson
When COVID-19 sent the U.S. into lockdown, something almost unimaginable happened – the entertainment industry completely shut down. Theaters and cinemas closed their doors, film and television production came to a halt, musicians canceled their tours, and thousands of artists found themselves out of work. However, despite being confined to their homes, many actors, musicians, and filmmakers found creative ways to keep bringing entertainment to the world.
Musicians performed virtual concerts on social media, sometimes patching in other band members from the safety of their own homes. Cast reunions began popping up all over the internet, as actors who were normally too busy with other projects now had the time to catch up with old friends and coworkers. We saw many iconic casts reunited, including the cast of the Lord of the Rings, Hamilton, The Office, and many more. A couple of these video chats were organized by actor and director John Krasinski, who started his own web-series during lockdown entitled “Some Good News” (SGN). Filmed from Krasinski’s home, SGN devoted itself to sharing uplifting news and bringing people smiles in the middle of the crisis. In episode two, a 9-year-old girl who had missed her chance to see Hamilton on Broadway got the surprise of a lifetime when the cast of the musical called in and performed a number just for her.
Other members of Hollywood found ways to keep creating content together, even though they had to stay at home. Stuntwoman Zoe Bell organized a “virtual fight,” where she invited actresses and other stuntwomen to send in clips of themselves taking and giving savage punches, which were then edited into a killer fight sequence (CNN). Scarlett Johannson and Cameron Diaz were among the women trading shots in the video. One group of Hollywood stars even produced a remake of The Princess Bride. Dressed in homemade costumes and wielding ridiculous props, the all-star cast – including Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, and Josh Gad – reenacted scenes from the classic film and raised $1 million for the World Central Kitchen charity (Vanity Fair). As the entertainment industry begins to recover from the pandemic, the way that we produce and consume entertainment in the future may be significantly altered. But these artists have shown us that, even in trying circumstances, they will continue to use their creative skills to do what they love most.