26 Oct 2021

How Fresh Air is Keeping the Entertainment Industry on Track

TV production

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for everyone. Fortunately, when much of the world was on lockdown, we had home entertainment in the form of TV shows and movies to keep us occupied. But the entertainment industry has been seriously affected too and is still dealing with the hurdles created by the pandemic.

According to Forbes, the global theatrical and home entertainment market totaled $80.8 billion in 2020. This sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but it’s the lowest figure since 2016 and a huge drop of 18% from 2019. This is largely down to theatrical revenue dropping from $42.3 billion to $12 billion as people were forced or chose to stay at home.

So how is the industry recovering from these drops and what barriers is it facing to getting back to pre-2020 levels?

Getting back to work safely

In the early stages of the pandemic, TV and movie production was completely halted, but as the world began to reopen studios had to get straight back to work to keep up with demand. Streaming services such as Netflix and Prime Video saw a huge increase in usage during the lockdowns, but this meant there was even greater pressure to begin filming new content as soon as possible to keep users satisfied. 

However, COVID-19 is still a significant threat which means extra precautions have to be taken on sets to ensure the safety of staff. While rules and regulations vary between countries and states, most crews are also members of unions who are pushing hard for the highest safety standards. But whether there are legal requirements or not, it makes sense for productions to take all the precautions they can to keep people free from infection - a breakout among the crew or cast will lead to significant delays to filming which will be extremely costly.

This means that shoots have to spend more time and money on mask-wearing, social distancing, and regular testing, employing extra staff purely to oversee these protocols. Insurance costs have also gone up due to the added risk, and whilst some producers are considering mandatory vaccinations to mitigate this risk, this may be resisted by the unions.

So what can you do to keep your sets and studios as safe as possible and minimize the chances of delays to your production due to COVID-19?

Fresh air is critical

We now know that fresh air is one of the best defenses against COVID-19 infection. If you are outdoors and keeping a safe distance from others you’re far less likely to become infected. 

But of course, a large amount of filming takes place inside where social distancing is more difficult. Daily testing, regular cleaning, and widely available disinfectant can all reduce risk, and the crew can wear masks on set at all times. But unless you’re shooting a surgery scene, having actors wear masks in front of the camera isn’t feasible. 

This is where ventilation comes in. Studies have shown that effective ventilation will lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants or contaminants, including viruses, and therefore reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Opening windows can help, but depending on the building this isn’t always possible and isn’t enough on its own. 

Aggreko’s Clean Air Solution has been designed to tackle this problem head-on and keep indoor spaces safe and productive. The Clean Air Solution can deliver up to 12 complete air changes per hour, and it uses UV light and High Efficiency Particular Air (HEPA) filters to remove up to 99.6% of bacteria and viruses. With this much fresh air regularly coming into an enclosed space it is almost as safe as being outside. The solution is modular and available on variable contract lengths so there is no need for expensive upfront CAPEX purchases. The equipment can simply be installed for the duration of your shoot, and the capacity can be increased or decreased as demand fluctuates.

We know there will always be great demand for the TV and movie industry to produce new, original entertainment. But as COVID-19 isn’t disappearing any time soon there is a real danger that many companies could become unprofitable if they are hit by extensive delays. That’s why it makes sense to invest in an affordable solution to provide clean, fresh air and minimize the risk to your entire crew and cast.

Get in touch with Aggreko today and we’ll show you how we can keep your shoot running just like it was before the pandemic.