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By March 2020, the spread of COVID-19 had reached pandemic proportions, forcing widespread shutdowns across industries, including Hollywood. Studios, networks and production companies, and the thousands of workers who make film and television possible, were forced to adjust their time-honored business and labor practices. In this book, Kate Fortmueller asks what happened when the coronavirus closed Hollywood.
Hollywood Shutdown examines how the COVID-19 pandemic affected film and television production, influenced trends in distribution, reshaped theatrical exhibition, and altered labor practices. From January movie theater closures in China to the bumpy September release of Mulan on the Disney+ streaming platform, Fortmueller probes various choices made by studios, networks, unions and guilds, distributors, and exhibitors during the evolving crisis. In seeking to explain what happened in the first nine months of 2020, this book also considers how the pandemic will transform Hollywood practices in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Kate Fortmueller is an associate professor of film and media history at Georgia State University. She is the author of Below the Stars: How the Labor of Working Actors and Extras Shapes Media Production.
The value of Fortmueller’s book is as a contemporary historical record of what’s happened to the entertainment industry thus far [during the COVID-19 pandemic], and as a source of informed speculation on what might happen next...Despite its compact size, the book contains an impressive amount of information and analysis, all of it accessibly written and clearly explained. — PopMatters
Hollywood Shutdown is a slender but information packed analysis of the motion picture industry’s response to a crisis that recalled any number of Hollywood disaster movies. — Shepherd Express
One of the first (if not the first) books about the impact of COVID-19 on film and television production. Hollywood Shutdown covers how and why the production, distribution, and exhibition of entertainment has shifted so dramatically. Fortmueller explains that because of the pandemic’s ongoing nature, she 'did not have the kind of temporal and emotional distance from my subject that is usually part of the writing process.' But this perspective serves to make Shutdown even more vital as an in-the-moment chronicle of how Hollywood responded to COVID. — The Film Stage