Entertainment companies are doing business online while the world confronts the epidemic.
Online film fest
Online film platform Stage32 is inviting filmmakers who were accepted to SXSW to screen films via their platform, saying it will promote the titles to its community of more than 600,000 creatives and industry executives. Patton Oswalt endorsed the idea of an online film festival in a tweet, but others say streaming can’t duplicate the value of holding premieres with live audiences.
Vox is among the companies that have decided to present a SXSW panel via webinar in the wake of the festival’s cancellation. Expect more to follow, though many companies are choosing to postpone conferences for now in hopes of not writing off all the lost revenue from canceled events.
The importance of film and TV markets has long been diminishing due to the ease of global communication. That trend is speeding up due to the coronavirus, with companies like Asian online rights marketplace Vuulr servicing buyers who, following travel bans, still need to license hours of content to keep their businesses going. Likewise, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival live-streamed the pitching forum of its annual Agora Doc Market after the Greek film festival was postponed earlier this month.
Amid upfront market cancellations, A+E will hold a virtual upfront the week of March 23 to showcase its programming and talent for 2021 across A&E, History and Lifetime networks.
Skype it up
CAA and SAG-AFTRA are among the showbiz players asking for most meetings to be held via Skype, Facetime, Zoom or other means. Meanwhile, shares in Zoom have increased as much as 38% since the beginning of the crisis.