Computer Graphics World

Edition 1 2020

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2 cgw e d i t i o n i , 2 0 2 0 GETTING USED TO THE 'NEW NORMAL' hesitate to begin writing this editorial because I know the information that's current today will be totally different tomorrow. Yes, change is occurring at a pace that's difficult to keep up with, thanks to the virus sweeping the globe. And in all likelihood, I will have updated and revised what I have written here many times before it is published. (I will post it online, which will allow for constant alterations, but keep in mind that once I send this to be published in our print magazine, there is a time lag – much wider than is typical, in all probability, as those involved in the production chain (prepress, the printers, the post office…) also adjust to their new, altered situations. 3/6. For the past several days, our staff wrestled with whether or not we would at- tend the annual NAB conference in Las Ve- gas. Many large industry conferences were being canceled, moved to a future date, or held virtually (GDC, SXSW, and so many others) as the coronavirus swept the globe and began arriving in the US. NAB held fast, maintaining the show would go on. That is, until it wouldn't, as that conference, too, fell to the concerns associated with COVID-19. Prior to that decision, however, CGW and its sister publication, Post Magazine, decided to go forth with CGW-TV and Post-TV, re- spectively, only instead of doing interviews from the show floor, we would offer remote video interviews for companies opting not to attend, so they could get their message out and non-attendees could keep up-to- date on the latest industry news. 3/9. Conferences are just one of the many casualties during these times. Cin- ema closures in China, at the epicenter of the virus, were closed, resulting in big losses to the global box office (an estimated $2B at the very beginning of March) and in delayed openings of new films there. It didn't take long before studios began moving release dates (mostly those sched- uled for March and April), initially in the hard-hit areas and then in the US due to low attendance at theaters. Among those films being reshuffled are Mulan, No Time to Die, A Quiet Place Part II, and Peter Rabbit, to name but a few. Even some summer re- leases, such as Fast and Furious 9, are being pushed down the road even as far as 2021. Productions are also impacted, as film- makers and crews fight against infection and struggle with quarantines – whether self-imposed or required. For instance, Italy was particularly hit in February (and is still under siege from the virus), forcing Paramount to alter production plans for a three-week shoot in Venice for the upcom- ing Mission: Impossible 7. It didn't take long for other productions – cinema projects, and network and streaming titles – to tem- porarily pause. The current list of movies and series is long and is continually chang- ing. In fact, fast forwarding a bit to around St. Patrick's Day, in addition to all those celebrations and parades getting canceled, Universal Pictures announced that it was temporarily closing its Illumination Mac Guff studio in France in accordance with French government guidelines. As a result, work on the Universal film Minions: The Rise of Gru will cease and not be ready for its planned release this summer. On a positive note, TV shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Good Doctor are donat- ing their supplies of medical masks and equipment. Also, 3D printing companies are stepping up to fill the void in production of much-needed medical supplies, particu- larly personal protection gear, such as face masks, for health-care workers. In mid-March, Universal Pictures an- nounced that it will make its major movie releases available on home entertainment on the same day as the debut in theaters, starting with Trolls World Tour (April 10). Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker also was added to the list of available films for purchase on most digital platforms – four days earlier than planned. (While four days does not seem that long, for many stuck at home, those four days are very much welcomed!) And a big kudos to Disney+ for releasing Frozen 2 three months ahead of schedule! Moreover, Disney•Pixar's Onward, released in US theaters March 6, became available for purchase two weeks aer its theatrical debut. And less than 30 days aer hitting theaters, it became available on Disney+. 3/11. In the US, government leaders be- gan to show concern, followed by warnings against unnecessary travel and so forth. Nearly immediately came warnings against large gatherings: first no more than 50, then no more than 10. 3/16. States across the nation began getting serious, taking matters into their own hands by closing theaters, dine-in restaurants, government offices, and more. In a matter of hours came the order for ar- eas in and around San Francisco to shelter in place until April 7, in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Other cities followed. In days, people have rushed to set up home offices and home schooling. Stu- dents from college level to kindergarten have been schooled in distance learning. Animators and visual effects artists are establishing remote setups that are en- abling them to continue working on current projects for as long as possible. 3/19. Many of the DCC studios in our industry have multiple offices around the globe, including Pixomondo. Right now, all of its eight global offices remain open. Here is their situation. "Pixomondo operates on three continents and in four countries, each with their own local regulations and guidelines – and now - restrictions on movement. We have taken steps to operate within these guidelines (including the closure of our two China offices for a while last month – although they have now reopened) and have empowered our studio heads to make the right decisions locally, in real time. We were actually able to learn from our experiences in China and prepare for the current situation in Europe and North America – we had already researched and started to implement solu- tions when the current restrictions began," says Jonny Slow, Pixomondo CEO. "We are in active communication with all our clients to match their needs with our ability to execute work on time. We are also adhering to the operating policies that we have put in place in each facility designed to protect the well-being of all of our employees. In some cases, that means relocating workstations internally to increase the physical distance between artists, or working from home through Pixomondo's Remote Work Plan, which we have designed, tested, and executed wherever we can. The latter is only in place, I

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