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Social distancing and live-action video production don’t play well.

What’s more, gathering an entire team for filming isn’t safe during these times and certainly isn’t going to sit well with the powers that be.

Wonder Woman 1984 moved from May 15 2020 to August 14 2020, No Time To Die from April 2020 to November 25 2020, and many other films are experiencing the same fate. In the worst-case scenario, some may even have to forgo theatrical releases completely.

To keep profits rolling in, most studios are moving content to video-on-demand services and streaming platforms.

Films like The Invisible Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Birds of Prey are now officially available online for digital purchases and rentals much earlier than initially expected.

Disney has plans to release Artemis Fowl on Disney Plus, while Paramount Pictures has inked a deal with Netflix to have The Lovebirds debut on the streaming service.

Clearly, it’s not all doom and gloom – in the midst of the upheaval in the media industry – numerous creative studios have begun to adapt to the new normal.

Taking a step forward

When the Circuit Breaker began, many animation studios had already started to relocate their work stations from the office to their homes.

For instance, Paramount Pictures has officially implemented a mandatory WFH (Work-from-Home) policy in response to the coronavirus crisis.

With a team of 450 people, they’ve transformed into a virtual studio managing four films – Rumble, SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Jersey Crabs, and Tiger’s Apprentice – all of which are produced remotely.

However, other studios like Illumination Mac Guff don’t seem to have been affected very much by the situation. According to the studio behind Minions and Despicable Me, remote working had already been a routine practice way before the COVID-19 crisis. That’s because they were already working with a very international production process with producers, designers, artists, editors, and many other staff distributed across the globe.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros are doing their utmost to fully adapt to the crisis by relying on amazing third-party software and brainstorming to come up with a brand new, decentralised pipeline.

Some companies have also gone as far as acquiring other businesses to ensure work continues. For instance, Skydance Animation picked up Spanish animation studio, Ilion in early April – almost doubling their headcount to ensure that the show goes on. That’s a bold move.

As for voice recordings – it would appear that the inability to record in an actual studio makes little difference for most people. Beyond the inconvenience presented by a lack of real-time feedback from sound engineers, most voice-over artists seem to have no issues carrying out their own recordings from within a refurbished room at home.

What about audience testing? Connected – Sony Animation’s movie by Jeff Rowe and Michael Rianda – has discovered a way to conduct test screenings with a virtual audience. And they’re not alone. Other studios have also begun to embrace this for a number of their own movies.  Big Mouth, Netflix’s animated series has been doing table reads and virtual writers rooms, one of which was livestreamed specially for the fans.

Remote working is the new norm for now

Although the Circuit Breaker has officially come to an end as of 2 June, we won’t be returning to our regular lives just yet. The Singapore government has implemented a three-phase re-opening to carefully manage the pandemic situation post circuit breaker.

We’re currently in Phase 1 – this means more Singaporeans can return to work. Businesses operating in settings with lower risks of transmission, along with services such as aircon servicing, haircut services, motor vehicle services and basic pet services, are allowed to resume operations.

However, most businesses which are not part of the essential services sector will still have to proceed with remote working.

This means continuing with the usual activities such as video-conferencing or even employing flexible working hours to maintain productivity levels due to the change in the working environment.

On the bright side, some surveys have proven that it may be more ideal to continue with remote working in terms of work productivity and efficiency. According to a recent article by task-outsourcing platform Airtasker, a study of 1,004 full-time staff in the US showed that although remote workers workers took more breaks in the day – they also set aside more time to complete tasks than those working in the office.

One other study done as far back as 2013 by a group of Peking University and Stanford University scholars seems to support this finding. The study revealed a 13 percent rise in productivity for all employees working remotely for 9 months.

In light of the results above – will your office continue to allow for employees to work  remotely after the storm?

How this applies to your business

No live-action for your marketing campaign? No problem.

Just leave it to motion graphics to get the job done.

Unlike live-action, the possibilities are endless with motion graphics!

It’s a fantastic way to churn out an explainer video to help your target audience to visualise abstract concepts you can’t usually capture on film.

We offer a wide selection of services – from 2D, 3D animation up to augmented reality and virtual reality! It’s not even necessary for an animation studio to start an animated video or illustration from scratch; sometimes, an existing photo or video is all you need.

Just have your animator weave your preferred animation style into the content, and you could very easily have the beginnings of a compelling, attention-grabbing video or illustrations to help launch your marketing campaign.

So let us know what you need, and we’ll be happy to help.

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