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    The Positivity of Postponement in the Age of Coronavirus

    By Peter Grasse - Mar 26, 2020
    The Positivity of Postponement in the Age of Coronavirus

    Hurrah! They’ve postponed the Olympics. Cancelation was in the cards, but sweet postponement is the call. With a view to vanquishing what ails us, humanity calmly carries on.

    I am not afraid. This isn’t my first walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I lost my home and livelihood to SARS. That version of this same virus turned my life upside down; left me sick, unemployed and alone. It providentially transferred me to another hemisphere and pushed me into film production. Nonetheless, I survived, and will again with the positivity of postponement now within reach.

    But, what does this future hold? Analogous to a pitch never won for a client that can’t pay in a holding company that shuns responsibility, the long term economic effects on our business are unpromising. Yet, fear not. This is far from our first rodeo.

    “I am not afraid. This isn’t my first walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I lost my home and livelihood to SARS. That version of this same virus turned my life upside down; left me sick, unemployed and alone.”

    From the procurement-solution of the Financial Crisis to the silver-solution of Covid-19, the seasoned producer knows better than to buy into bad news. Budgets will drop and work will be scarce. However, our production community is resilient and wise.

    We openly share information and collectively shape our healthy self-reliance. Of course, bottom feeders will predictably return to exploit the weakest of mad-men at the worst of times. And still, together we are strong. Despite hard times, we can be confident the pillars of experienced production will perpetually prevail.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald said of the Spanish Flu from quarantine in the 1920s, “ I can discern an unremitting penance that has been heading this way for a long, long while. And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow”, to which Hemmingway reportedly punched Fitzy in the gut to get to the point, and so here goes…

    Remote robotic productions are not the future. Local talent will not replace traveling the world’s best. Inspired filmmakers will not be doused, and the craft of commercial filmmaking will inevitably resume. If I’m wrong, you can take my mask and soap, because I can’t think of anything worse.

    The unique perspective of a foreign eye revealed through provincial tools & labor. The overseas producer who’s seen and won the war. The distant driven director that transforms our every day into exceptional excellence. Without these positive personas, my life as a line producer, would simply not be worthwhile.

    Production only just survived the bean-counters. Technology didn’t derail filmmaking but, instead, the craft of filmmaking motivated technology. Year after year, we continue to tell stories through commerce, and our appetite to make more keeps this art alive. Now they want us to give up rubbing shoulders with the best? No. Never!

    “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived, and our future is bright. Many places are back on track, and when the crisis passes – which it will – filmmakers will have a renewed energy eager to nourish audiences hunger for real, raw, mind-expanding content.”

    Mind you, the poor players that strut and fret their hour upon our local stage can forgo the trip. The wanna-be business class hacks dreaming of sushi will never be better than our own, and so should stay home.

    Yet, the fun-geniuses, the inspiring special people…The Kuntzs, the Hoytemas, the Huuskas, the Traktors, Kefali’s, Ohes, and Wrights. They need to travel to new landscapes far & wide to open our eyes and enliven our hearts. They help us, locals, to be our best and entertain the world in return. Not to mention the stories, the wisdom, and spirited good-natured camaraderie….we wouldn’t give it up for the world.

    And so, the world should not give up! A life lived in fear is a life half-lived, and our future is bright. Many places are back on track, and when the crisis passes – which it will – filmmakers will have a renewed energy eager to nourish audiences hunger for real, raw, mind-expanding content. The stuff that robots and remote controls cannot make.

    Besides, you can’t fake Tokyo in Toronto. And why would you? Like many locations, Japan will re-open for business. Spring and production plans are already in the air. Tokyo experienced the initial bog-roll rush that gripped the rest of the world and put a lid on it quick-smart to produce a speedy and hopefully lasting, recovery. Now low on the global list, and looking to the 2021Olympics, Japan is rising back to being the safest, cleanest, and friendliest production place on Earth.

    So, rather than kowtowing to fear and trying to sell production some soft remote solution, let’s support our top talent to get back on the horse and create work we can all be proud of. The resulting interactivity is what sustains our future and gladdens us all.


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