Coronavirus: freeze frame for movies and series

Movie TV show
With the arrival of Covid-19 on our territory, the whole chain of the French film industry has been put on hold. The list of films and series on the set that have been stopped in their tracks is getting longer and release postponements are multiplying.

Culture devastated by coronavirus

Since March 15, our country has been under lockdown. Schools, restaurants and other bars are closed. This is also the case for cinemas. With no more spectators, like other industries in France, the sector is in great suffering.

How far away the staggering figures for the year 2019 are now! With 213 million spectators and a 6% increase over the previous year, they set a record since 1966. The 2020s are in danger of collapsing.

The National Film Centre (CNC) is putting forward the first figures on the impact of the coronavirus. Six thousand cinemas have closed and 15,000 employees are unemployed. In March 2019, the turnover of the operators was 123 million euros, this year’s turnover (only 15 opening days) is down by almost 70%.

Aid for cinemas

In addition to government measures (partial unemployment but also the deferral of social security and tax charges) and in order to deal with the most pressing problems, the CNC has put in place two kinds of aid for these companies: the suspension of the tax on tickets (TSA) and the advance payment of subsidies for Art et Essais cinema. There are 1,200 classified rooms of this kind all over the country. Finally, aid for producers and distributors has also been made available.

Added to this are the difficulties for intermittent workers in the entertainment, film and audiovisual industries, whose regime is based on the declaration of 507 hours of work per year. Some of these artists or technicians are afraid of being disbarred from Pôle Emploi. They were assured by the Ministries of Culture and Labour that the period of confinement would not be counted in the calculation of the entitlement period. For the month of March, 15,000 intermittent workers were deprived of work.

The Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, has committed a total of 22 million euros in emergency aid for all sectors of culture. Will that be enough?

Shooting stopped and postponed

Government measures to halt the spread of the Covid-19 virus have therefore resulted in the cessation of film and series production. They have had a significant effect on the cash flow of producers, putting a strain on the companies themselves.

If it seems logical for the actors in the industry to finish the current shootings, what about the following films? How will productions be able to juggle with the schedules and other availabilities of actresses, actors, technical teams, equipment and locations serving as sets (physical or studio)? Often, schedules are closed over several years. Some actors also alternate with theatre.

It should also be noted that some companies had already been in the red for some time, such as Mars Films, the distribution company of Stéphane Celerier and Valérie Garcia (Bridget Jones, Billy Elliot, The Spanish Inn, Eight Women) in receivership but also Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, which has been taken over by Vine Alternative Investments, an American investment fund. This economic crisis is also coupled with the recent drop in co-financing by television channels, which had already put a strain on the productions of some feature films.

Let’s now go into the details of the shooting of series or films that were stopped by the health crisis:

Feature films stopped or postponed

As already mentioned, Ridley Scott’s Last Duel was interrupted in the Dordogne, as was Fred Cavayé’s film, Adieu M. Hafmann à Paris, leaving its sets as if frozen in time.

Other French producers have even decided not to shoot before May, including Worso and Aurora Productions.

With 21 days to go, Christophe Barratier’s Envole-moi was stopped, while Pascal Elbé’s On est fait pour s’ entendre also had to stop. Les Tuches 4, Petite Solange or François Ozon’s future film had not yet started and are therefore postponed.

Let’s take a look at the interrupted shots:

International films

The international series


There are many interruptions. We can mention season 2 of The Witcher filmed in London, season 4 of Stranger Things, The Haunting of Hill House the new series by Mike Flanagan, Grace and Frankie, but also the sequels of Lucifer, Riverdale and Russian Doll.

NBC Universal

No less than 35 shoots were suspended, including Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Disney Marvel

The American firm stopped the production of three series because of the coronavirus. Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a mini-series of six episodes with Anthony Mackie, but also Loki created by Michael Waldron with Tom Hiddleston and finally WandaVision the series with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. You also need to add Big Shot for Disney +.

Warner Bros

Season 6 of The Flash was interrupted by the production company.


After a first season in 2019, Amazon had started shooting the second half of Carnival Row before being stopped. Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne and Tamzin Merchant will have to wait before resuming.

The Lord of the Rings, the series produced by Amazon Prime Video, has also been paused.

Apple TV +

Apple’s streaming platform has suspended many shoots, including For All Mankind, Foundation, Lisey’s Story, Little America, Mankind, The Morning Show, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, See and Servant.


The channel’s two flagship series, The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Deadwere also interrupted.


Season 4 of Snowfall and Fargo, as well as season 3 of Atlanta were not continued in April.


NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans, Bull and The Good Fight have been shut down. The seasons whose shooting was almost finished, will not resume and will thus count less episodes than planned in the script.


Shooting of season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy has been paused indefinitely.


Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty had their filming suspended due to the coronavirus.


The fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been discontinued.

Streaming in top form

While music streaming platforms did not see a significant increase in March, those for films or series were in good shape.

Feature films just released in the week before the lockdown have suffered enormously. The French government was working in March on an exceptional derogation from the media chronology. Perhaps they could be put directly on the platforms (instead of the usual four months) or have their theatrical life extended. But for now, the project seems to be on hold.

A few films, notably Marjane Satrapi’s Radioactive and Martin Provost’s The Good Wife, would prefer to wait for the theatres to reopen before continuing on their way.

Other producers have decided to stream their feature films directly without going through the cinema box. This is the case of Monsieur Deligny, Richard Copans’ efficient vagabond who was to be released on March 18, but also The Lovebirds visible on Netflix or Forte by Katia Lewkowicz with Melha Bedia put online on Amazon Prime.

Other distributors play the game of limited rental. Thus at Universal, The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma are visible for 48 hours for just under $20.

Oscar rule change

To be eligible for the Oscars, a film must have been screened for at least seven days in Los Angeles theatres. Scheduled for February 2021, the 93rd ceremony will exceptionally be able to see feature films that do not meet this criterion.

Previously the Golden Globes had also announced a relaxation of their rules because of Covid-19.

The Fantrippers Buying Board

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The coolest guide in Paris!

The café of Amélie, the mansion of Untouchables, the jazz club of the finale of La La Land, the Hôtel du Nord of the mythical replica of Arletty “Atmosphere”, the cinema of A bout de souffle, the restaurant of Ratatouille, the quays of the Seine of Midnight in Paris, the secret places of the Da Vinci Code, the grocery store of January in La Traversée de Paris , the Bridge of Inception and Peur sur la ville, the addresses of the spectacular scenes of Mission Impossible 6, but also series Call my agent, Gears, Le Bureau des légendes, Sense8, Sex and The City, Gossip Girl…

Etienne Daho’s Café de Flore, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hotel in Nas in Paris, Serge Gainsbourg’s Poinçonneur des Lilas metro station, Serge Reggiani and Marc Lavoine’s Mirabeau Bridge, Mc Solaar’s Lyon station…

The places evoked in the comics Adèle Blanc-Sec, Largo Winch, Blake and Mortimer, Michel Vaillant…

But also in the novels of Ernest Hemingway, Victor Hugo, Leo Malet, Daniel Pennac, Marc Levy, Guillaume Musso… you’ll find all the must-see places of Parisian Pop Culture in this new guide.

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By Damien Canteau

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Passionné par l'Histoire, les animés, les Arts et la bande dessinée en particulier, Damien est le rédacteur en chef du site spécialisé dans le 9e art, Comixtrip.

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