For historical perspective, it's April 24, 2020. You probably knew that already based on the date of this blog. It's COVID 19 all over the place and that means Hollywood is standing still. (6 feet apart, of course).
A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook. He'd seen my turn on Better Things, which means he's a real stickler for detail. Although, 50-60 frames did give my wife, daughter and me a chance to see my mug on the screen, it wasn't much. The best part was seeing my name in the credits. But, to be honest, I didn't think anyone else would notice. My friend had to be pretty vigilant.
The fact I'm mentioning it at all speaks to the level of production inactivity in the world right now. We know it's temporary. But, isn't it extraordinary too? That we should share this remarkable period in film history together, as it happens?
I think about these things, the stages of film. From the birth of cinema to the golden age to rebellion and dissent to present day profiteering cynicism. In the midst of each something extraordinary happened. The Roaring 20's. World War II. Vietnam and counterculture. The collapse of Wall Street and COVID. It doesn't happen enough to be normal. Just enough to be special.
Not special as in good. But special as in unusual.
Someday I might be asked what it was like to live through COVID. Let's hope I can answer. If I can I'll say it was unifying, unique, unequaled. I'll also say it was restrictive, isolationist and separative. No air raid sirens. No marches on the mall. No counter demonstrations. Just face masks, social distancing (who knew that would become a catch phrase?) and adjustment.
But, the thing I'll remember most is COVID's unifying current. We like to say we're all in this together. While that is never completely true, it's more true at moments like these than at any other time.
I hope we return to some semblance of routine. I suspect things will never go all the way back, but we can live with a new normal. The one thing of which I'm sure is people don't really change. We will still need television and movies and radio and theater. When the fog lifts Hollywood will film again. And, that's a good thing.
Until then it's a whole lot of nothing.