Is Virtual Screening the New Normal in Hollywood?

Over the past year, the worldwide pandemic has significantly changed the way in which most businesses and industries operate – especially where entertainment is concerned. Strict social distancing measures meant that movies could not be recorded in their usual manner and cinema screenings could also not be hosted. As such, a number of Hollywood producers turned to the option of virtual screening so that the show could literally go on. 

A New Venue – Online

Before the spread of COVID, movie screenings would involve the use of an upmarket venue that literally involved rolling out the red carpet and sparing no expense for attendees. However, the closure of entertainment venues and the fact that numbers of physical attendees were strictly limited or even forbidden in most cases meant that all the bright lights, fanfare and after parties had to grind to a halt.

While many thought that this would spell death for the film industry, it merely provided an opportunity for stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and get creative so that screenings could still take place by using online event platforms instead. 

Potential Challenges

Virtual screening can make it easier for several people across the globe to see a movie. However, this option does come with a few challenges of its own, such as a lack of experience and training among industry professionals because of the fact that technology is evolving so rapidly. 

Although virtual movie screening is ideal for ensuring that social distancing measures are being followed, it’s not by any means the perfect all-round solution because several stakeholders would still prefer to attend events like these in person. Sadly though, this option may still not be available for quite a while to come. 

Benefits of Virtual Screening

1. The Event is Easier to Manage

Virtual screening provides event planners with more control over the actual event than if it were to be hosted in-person because there isn’t any of the usual stress associated with hosting a large gathering. Hosting screenings online allows stakeholders to focus on using the right digital platform that will provide a seamless viewing experience for everyone. 

2. No Logistics Issues

Another advantage of using virtual screening is that attendees and organizers won’t have to deal with logistics issues such as making plans to travel out of town or across the globe. Fewer logistics issues will mean that more attendees will be able to attend the screening online. 

3. Costs can be Cut

The fact that several films couldn’t be produced during the pandemic meant that producers and all associated crew members had to look for ways to cut costs wherever possible. Hosting screenings online provide the ability to reduce the overall cost of these events by anywhere up to 70%.

While the pandemic may be showing signs of slowing down, this doesn’t mean that in-person film screenings will be coming back anytime soon. This coupled with the fact that virtual events can save producers and all associated stakeholders millions of dollars, could indicate that online movie screenings will be here to stay for quite a while yet.