Our lockdown-inspired 100-Day Creative Challenge has now come to an end, and we hope it’s given you some useful diversions, structure and new thoughts and insights! We’ll now meld the Challenges into new courses and materials, for example for our Academy Lite and Academy subscribers to help guide and structure their daily mentoring services: if you’d like our input from as little as $99pcm let us know! Don’t forget we’ve also been requesting you to let us know what career goals you have and what help you’ll need – results will be collated this week but you can still submit to the survey here!

As we’ve also been taking stock of our current projects and starting a new phase of outreach to industry, it’s a good time to look in more detail at my thoughts from the start of the crisis, and how they compare to how things have turned out. Here’s a point-by-point reassessment of what I recommended to writers then, and how all those things look now…

Narcos on Netflix, as displayed grandly on Sunset Blvd! How did your viewing habits change through lockdown?

How the world would be changed by the Coronavirus, published April 13th 2020: https://writemovies.com/keeping-positive-through-the-coronavirus-crisis-personal-thoughts-of-our-director/

  • “the world looks utterly different to how it did a month ago – and perhaps it always will.” – the reasons I gave for this still hold up as true, now and for the foreseeable future. In our sector, apart from online streaming, the film industry has basically lost 6 months of output in most areas. That will affect finances and decisions for years to come – and the continued uncertainties, and lack of a clear end in sight, are continuing to extend the disruption.
  • “We actually can’t take for granted that there will ever be a full return to the era of go-anywhere travel.” – The reasons for this are still true; will the developing world ever be COVID-free, or just forced into eventual ‘herd immunity’ by the lack of viable alternatives?
  • The politics will look quite different this decade to the last.” – The 2020 U.S. Presidential election will be a first chance to test this, though the reactions to Black Lives Matter will now be an important factor too – I would say that the environment (as brought up the agenda by the California wildfires etc) will be key as well, but perhaps everyone already knew whose side they’re on about that, so maybe not.
  • “the sad fact is that as usual, the poor will be disproportionately affected by the virus for many reasons. Maybe this time – as we share a global experience for the first time – we’ll resolve to make things better in future. In the 2010s healthcare was often controversial, but now we’re seeing global outpourings of public support for the professionals putting their lives at risk to save ours – perhaps a sign of other public feelings to come.” – Well, the first half is definitely proven right. And the second half may be too – cross-party polling in the UK has pointed to this change of view already happening there, but the Presidential election will test it for real, and the ‘law and order’ questions may set things in a different direction.
  • amid the tragedies and crisis, a lot of things in the world are going to – accidentally – get better during this crisis, from pollution and wildlife, to shared global perspectives on our peoples and future.” – we’ve seen many signs of this happening in the media, but it’s equally true that a lot of people’s views on these issues were already entrenched.
  • “The restrictions are bringing families and partners together for far more time than they are used to spending together – often in small homes with no chance to go out and get some space. Some relationships will be strengthened. But I’m worried that many won’t make it, and some people will do lasting harm to each other.”
  • “Promoting positive approaches every day to help writers through this unprecedented scenario” – We still think it’s the best thing we could do to help you all through.

Setup for a Westworld premiere, Hollywood Blvd – one of the last to happen before lockdown.

How writers should respond to lockdown, published April 20th 2020: https://writemovies.com/how-writers-should-respond-to-lockdown-a-unique-opportunity-for-renewal-and-progression/

  • “Anyone who self-identifies as a writer should make this time count” – definitely still agree. With so much normal activity restricted, it’s been a great time for business development and writing.
  • The industry needs new material like always” – it’s hard for anyone to plan ahead right now, least of all producers. But as I expected, streaming services have boomed, so content is much needed for them.
  • Fact is, nobody knows how long the lockdowns will last, and which aspects of them will be lifted at what times – and if lifting them leads to renewed spreads of the disease, full lockdowns may quickly result again.” – Yep, we were right and this is still true!
  • If you identify yourself as a writer, and are living under lockdown but not currently ill, we urge you to COMMIT to this plan, or something a lot like it, so that you can come through these strange times confidently with the best attitude and outcomes possible… Make a conscious choice that, while doing whatever you need to for your living and the people around you, you will ALSO seize this one-off opportunity to focus on your personal development and your writing” – We still feel that planning and executing those plans are a powerful tool to sustain positive momentum through tough times.
  • “Reach out to all the people in your friends and family, colleagues and ex-colleagues, who might need help or reassurance right now, especially those living alone” –  We’ve felt the benefit of doing this has worked both ways: people have been helped, and we’ve felt better for helping them. Keep this up when you can.
  • “Set a daily routine, that mirrors your most comfortable natural patterns for waking, working, sleeping etc – and keep to it” – definitely still feel this has helped keep us positive and progressing. For example I often exercise in the late afternoon and return to work in the evening, which really suits me and gets positive daily exercise and escape into my routine too.
  • Commit your first few weeks of lockdown to doing those jobs at home which you’ve been meaning to do for a while” – this helped clear my head from distractions in the Work From Home era, hope it did yours too.
  • You may be stuck at home, but you can still bring natural entertainment to you, and do your bit for nature” – doing this has given me daily releases and pleasant exercise and distractions every day without having to leave our property. Probably my biggest positive of the lockdown period.
  • Commit to the NEW WriteMovies 100-Day Creative Challenge” or something like it, such as daily mentoring from our Academy Lite – well, you’ll know whether you did and how well it worked for you, but even writing and sharing it was an enjoyable focus for us, full of insights and neat little tests. Hope it’s done you some good too!

So what did we miss?

  • Well, the big upsurge in the Black Lives Matter movement may have surprised many, but summer is often a time of protest around the world, and until the root causes can be resolved through mutual trust, we think this will continue to be a big part of the world agenda, as we have reflected in many of our choices of winners over the years.

Thanks for all your support and good luck through the next months of uncertainty. Keep positive and keep progressing.



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