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  • Writer's pictureErol Mehmet

'Covid-19 Invaded Earth' will it be a blockbuster starring Tom Hanks?

Updated: Sep 19, 2020

Someone somewhere will be writing a film about it already.

In a few years, we will see something like ‘Covid-19 invaded earth’ on the big screen starring Tom Hanks.

Why Tom? He’s had the virus and I have been reminded lately of what an awesome actor he is. During the lockdown, I re-watched so many of his great films - most recently, Castaway, The Terminal, Forest Gump and Captain Phillips. If anyone can do it, Tom Hanks can.

In March 2020, Covid-19 rocked and knocked back the entertainment industry. Most film, TV, theatre and music productions froze in time and whilst things appear to be thawing out slowly, theatres and other venues remain under threat of going into administration.

Those that worked in the industry waited patiently to see what support the government would offer, Equity said the government’s self-support scheme wasn’t enough for a lot of freelancers.

On the 28th July 2020, the Culture Secretary announced the launch of a government-backed £500m scheme for UK film and TV productions. On the 17th of September 2020, the government released their Film & TV Restart Scheme draft documents on their website.

Read about it here.

The scheme will help productions across the country that have been halted or delayed by an inability to obtain insurance for Covid-19 related risks to get back up and running. Companies can register for the scheme in due course. Claims made under the scheme can be backdated to the 28th of July 2020. The registration deadline for the scheme is the 31st of December 2020.

The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) are doing a marketing push to help get the industry moving again. Aiming at young audiences on social media #thisisyourcinema. Find out more about the BIFA

It's going to be a bumpy ride for a while...

The entertainment industry is in survival mode worldwide at the moment. Cinema doors may be open now but behind closed doors, it has been a nightmare for production companies, performers and venues. There are rescue plans, testing, isolation, no more mass catering or crowded hair and makeup trucks. We are going to have to ride that bumpy ride for a while whilst we get through this challenging time.

Disneyland wasn’t magical for months as it sat like a ghost town. Stages gathered cobwebs and musicians cancelled tours. I missed out on seeing Tom Jones live at Hampton Court Palace in June and each day when I cycled passed the Palace with its gates closed and no tourist insight it was a cold reminder of the effect the pandemic is having on tourism and the economy.

Was it curtains for everyone?

Our industry didn’t go to sleep, performers and presenters did self-taping, voice overs and photo shoots from home. Our newsreaders did their hair and makeup and celebrities took to social media platforms such as TikTok.

Personally, my hair grew so long that I could create the Elvis Presley look. Interestingly the Elvis Presley biopic movie starring Tom Hanks was put on hold as were lots of top movies.

The latest Batman movie with Robert Pattison has started filming again after Robert contracted Covid-19 and had to go into isolation for 14 days. The production company and the rest of the 130 crew members continued to shoot scenes that didn’t involve Pattison or they used a body double. It’s ironic considering that the virus is supposed to originate from bats.

Just about everyone knows that the latest James Bond movie release has been pushed back to November but what other movies and TV productions were affected? Fast & Furious 9 won’t be speeding into a cinema anytime soon.

I’m a fan of the TV series ‘Line of Duty’ and ‘Peaky Blinders’ both were put on the back burner. Jurassic, Mission Impossible 7 and Matrix 4 were the big action movies that saw no action.

If you want to stay up to date with industry related news in the UK, go to the BIFA website.

The latest advice from the government is ‘wash hands, cover face, make more space’, it’s a bit difficult when you are a stunt performer but when I was working recently I was impressed by the new protocols on set even though my nose is sore from five Covid-19 tests!

For those of you that have suffered physically, financially or emotionally during this challenging time take care and we will get through this.

I may start writing the movie ‘Covid-19 invaded earth’ now.

Cheers! Erol.

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