In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has reached a low that it hasn’t seen in more than a decade. For the entertainment industry, this hasn’t been the most convenient in terms of more than just finances. Since March, we’ve seen a steady increase in adjustment from live television producers and technicians that have given their audiences a new light that they’ve also been welcomed to in the same way. This alternative normal in the realm of entertainment has brought up ratings in television, but can we say the same for live awards shows amid a pandemic?
Coronavirus hit our nation during the most crucial times in the entertainment industry, as our biggest award ceremonies occur in the middle of the year. While many of these award ceremonies were postponed, or worse, canceled, the rules of social distancing and PPE forced producers and the business to strike down the traditional process of gathering guests and nominees in one sitting for a live audience. Not only are production staff have been met with a foreign challenge, high profile celebrities are also met with the same. The 2020 Emmy Awards featured many victory speeches, at-home watch parties, and visible PPE, all via Zoom and updated production gear.
The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards was hosted by comedian and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel; from his perspective was a close to empty Staples Center on a Sunday evening in Los Angeles. From the at-home viewer, however, was a live star-studded showcase of a new world that their favorite stars also seem to be trapped in. With many jokes here and there regarding the pandemic, watching Kimmel present his monologue and one-liners to cardboard cutouts of “attendees” gave all of us insight on the shared anxieties, but also how a sudden halt in typical production is actively being solved and welcomed as the new normal.
Given the largeness of an award ceremony such as the Emmy’s, there are endless opportunities for independent award ceremonies, international film awards, etc, that are in need of a COVID compliance-friendly facility for live broadcasting.