Resilient Creatives: Experiences of Filmmakers’ During COVID-19

Conference: The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia2021)
Title: Resilient Creatives: Experiences of Filmmakers’ During COVID-19
Stream: Film Direction and Production
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Austin Ao, US Agency for Global Media, United States
Sharon Greytak, Independent Filmmaker, United States


The COVID-19 pandemic has in various ways affected many industries across the globe, including filmmaking. While many government organizations have instituted specific Covid-19 film production guidelines - from mandatory physical distancing to recommended best practices, other strategies have also been developed within the film communities themselves. Through creative developments like contactless equipment rentals, Zoom auditions, and virtual film festivals, filmmakers across many continents have demonstrated their resilience and innovative spirit to continue working within this "New Normal". This paper employs the methodology of ethnographic fieldwork, which includes material collected from in-depth interviews with individual filmmakers from Japan and the U.S, and reports their individual COVID-19 experiences. Existing research on the impact of COVID-19 has covered such topics as psychology, education, and small business. To date, activity from the film community and their evolving changes have not been explored and reported to any great extent. Some experts argue the impact might be temporary, while other professionals feel these innovations may be more beneficial and point toward future trends. This paper is based on interviews with individual filmmakers across continents and will demonstrate changing ideas and best practices, the resilience of filmmakers', and viable trends for future productions. These findings will have a two-fold implication: potential contributions to the sub-field of film studies as well as the sociological impact of Covid-19.

Virtual Presentation

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Irina Stanova
Thank you for your amazing work, Austin and Sharon! This presentation / documentary / research was much needed in the current context.
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