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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to the point of closure. Some people and companies, however, have been able to pivot their business models and learn to adapt to the “new” way of normal. This is especially apparent in the entertainment industry, with music and film. Musicians, filmmakers, and performing artists have had to learn to embrace technology and find new ways of performing, teaching, and working virtually.
Collaboration and creativity have been at the forefront of learning how to adjust and continue to work, from taking on new roles in technology, to just collaborating for advice and assistance with others in the field who have already been flourishing online. Here are some ways in which the pandemic has pushed those throughout the entertainment industry to collaborate more and find new ways to innovate.
#1. Virtual Concerts and Performances
Since no one is able to attend a concert or live performance, many musicians and theater performers have taken to creating a virtual stage for themselves. Some are doing pre-recordings, laying down the vocals, and then adding in the video, almost like a feature film for their audience to enjoy.
This has led to musicians developing relationships in collaboration with video editors and those creatives who know post-production techniques, to coordinate and create a worthy concert or performance. Sometimes, working with sound mixers and audio technology experts also comes in handy to create an authentic sound.
Live concerts and performances previously would not have required post-production work, so this opens the door for not only a new way of offering video performances, but also a new route for musicians and performers to offer their services and abilities.
#2. Filmmakers, Actors, and Animators
Since it is impossible for people to work in close proximity unless in smaller groups, recruiting a bunch of actors, camera people, and production crew to direct and produce a film is not easy. Filmmakers have had to find creative solutions to make their films, sometimes with animation, which leads to collaborative works with video editors and animators.
Many actors are having to do work solo at home, especially when auditioning or table reading, only interacting with the camera. This can prove to be difficult, as directors have to work more closely with their actors from a distance to evoke the emotions, passions, and expressions that they need to see in order to correctly produce their films.
#3. Music Makers and Filmmakers
In post-production for film, there is a lot that goes on in the background. One of the most essential elements in this is the music. Indie filmmakers are more wary of hiring custom music composition, which has a higher cost, due to the loss of income in the film industry as a whole during the pandemic. However, there has been an uptick in the need to license music that does not have excessive royalties at a cheaper cost. So while musicians may not be finding the same opportunity to work exclusively on a film’s soundtrack, many are finding opportunities by submitting their original work to music licensing libraries. This has opened the door for collaboration between artists and music licensing agencies.
#4. Online Lessons, Tutorials, and Courses
One way that independent artists have pivoted their way of earning income is by offering virtual and online courses and lessons. Musicians who play a specific instrument or sing have developed their own curriculums and lesson plans, and filmmakers are developing ways to teach their techniques in finding the perfect camera shots and angles. They have the opportunity to reach out through their computers in a new, innovative way.
This encompasses many realms, and collaboration happens in the creation, development, and execution stages alike. The collaborations that can happen include:
- Musicians collaborating with marketers to learn the best ways to promote their services.
- Musicians and/or filmmakers working alongside online teachers to learn how to teach in a virtual setting.
- Independent filmmakers collaborating with camera crew and actors, as well as animators and other production gurus, to show how a film is actually made or how to go about creating a film online from start to finish.
- Post-production video editors working with filmmakers to help create online tutorials and lessons for fellow filmmakers.
- Musicians learning from audio technicians and sound designers how to lay down their own tracks, and then helping other musicians to utilize their audio in the best fashion.
#5. Group Workshops and Masterclasses
One last way that artists can collaborate together is through online group workshops. Creating a course or lesson completely on one’s own can be time-consuming, so sometimes it helps to lean on others and do a collaborative lesson with multiple parts. In a virtual setting, this is a great way to lean on others for support as well as increase your audience.
Filmmakers and musicians can actually work together in tandem to demonstrate how to direct and incorporate music within the film, for example. People will be willing to pay for an expert in one field—but how about two or more?! That’s when group masterclasses can become really great for helping to sustain income. It makes sense that people would pay more when they see that they are getting double, or perhaps triple, their value by learning trades from multiple sources.
There are many ways that collaboration can happen for musicians, filmmakers, and other independent artists. The most important takeaway from this is that we need to help one another and support each other throughout this process. Working together has become an essential tool in how we are all going to survive and keep our businesses from going under during this period of uncertainty.