When productions were forced to shut down, it was unclear when they’d be able to resume. Weeks? Months? Years? These were unprecedented times. The film industry couldn’t wait around until things went back to normal — what if they never did? More importantly, in show business, time is money. The solution: remote work. Aspects of preproduction and postproduction were more intuitive in work-from-home environments, but to make up for the lack of on-set productions, storytellers got creative. Cast members like those from the TV series “Community” reunited for virtual table reads, audio dramas like Jesse Eisenberg’s “When You Finish Saving the World” were released, movies like “Host” were filmed entirely over Zoom, and small casts replaced big ensembles like in Sam Levinson’s “Malcolm & Marie.”
In May 2020, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers released a set of COVID guidelines, and a reopening plan was on its way. As for those working in offices at companies such as WarnerMedia, Disney, and Viacom, it was discovered that working from home came with its perks. Not everything needed a face-to-face interaction. Money could be saved on real estate, and productivity increased. Remote work was reshaped into a hybrid. Two or three days out of the week could be spent working from home, while the rest of the work week was spent in guideline-abiding offices. In many ways, this new work culture couldn’t have been achieved without the pandemic.