They're filming new TV shows over Zoom now

Video camera shoots a young businesswoman sitting at a table in front of a laptop

There are a zillion things to watch while sheltered in place this spring. Thank goodness for the streaming age in the context of a pandemic, am I right? Imagine the horror of navigating a Blockbuster right now… or wiping down mail-order DVDs… I think most of us would have to go without, reliant on whatever’s on live TV, which is currently dominated by Donald Trump’s inept ravings and coronavirus news. Eesh.

However, with Hollywood also on lockdown, future films and TV shows have been put on ice indefinitely — unless they can find a way to tape remotely, like a lot of news programs and late night shows have.

Well, CBS announced this week it plans to utilize Zoom, FaceTime and other apps to film a new episode of its drama All Rise while its entire cast and crew remains on lockdown. The episode, naturally, will be about the coronavirus pandemic. It seems like a given that some artists will use this downtime to create, but goodness, this is an art-imitating-life moment I did not anticipate.

According to Bloomberg, the episode will feature a judge virtually presiding over a trial. All Rise producers plan to edit that footage with video from inside actors’ homes, using visual effects to lay in backgrounds. A cinematographer has been tasked with gathering footage of ghostly downtown LA by driving around the city alone.

This could be the new normal for a while, if entertainment executives hope to keep their shops open in any capacity during the pandemic. That’s a blessing, when you think about it. No matter how scrappy and DIY some of the resulting content may turn out, there are still folks going to work to keep us entertained. Thanks guys, and keep it up.

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