Well, 2020, that was quite a year. I’m not sure we’ll be able to sum up its impact and affects for a while–and I think the events of this year will ripple out a lot further as time goes on.
The pandemic has been terrible; a lot of us have seen relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours pass away. A lot of us have had our way of life affected–threatened even. The entire world’s ways of working and employment may have changed forever. Children’s lives all across the globe have been impacted. Mental health has become a pandemic too, as the fabric of things got a little shaky for many.
Politically, in the USA we’ve seen the end of Trump, in office at least, responsible for many deaths on his watch, and a total lack of empathy now clear to many, and a questionable take on reality (even his intelligence is seriously in doubt). In the UK ‘super forecaster’ Dominic Cummings didn’t see the pandemic coming or the end of his employment in Downing Street. He couldn’t see much at all if his trip to Barnard Castle is anything to go by. He might have been better testing his eyes by reading slogans painted on the side of buses.
Boris Johnson and his government have proved themselves shamelessly incompetent, with contracts to pals for undelivered projects the norm, the government who chased heard immunity at the start of the pandemic (but now say they didn’t) have pulled more u-turns than Smokey and the Bandit stuntmen. The lack of real world experience delivering projects (or doing anything beyond lying) has shown a government unable to function – AND the Brexit deadline approaches at the end of this month, with businesses still unable to plan for the future, as the so called ‘easiest deal in history’ (and most stupid act of self sabotage) is still not dealt with.
My industry, film and TV has been affected alongside all the others. We’ve had cinemas closed, and TV shows paused as Covid ran ragged. Poor old Tom Cruise has been screaming at crew members – worried about the future of the industry – he would be, the film he’s making costs a fortune, and has already been shut down twice, and there’s no guarantee any cinema chains will be open, or still in business to show it, and help recoup its HUGE cost.
TENET (which I liked a lot – don’t read too much into it and just enjoy it as a windup toy) is a warning to all, it’s a great fun, crowd pleasing blockbuster and it SANK during the pandemic, at a box office barely open. TENET may have been the last film many cinemas showed… a film about time, time travel, and the end of the world. It may be the end of many screens, and the end of that type of blockbuster… No wonder Tom’s worried, maybe he should roll back time in TENET 2; Mission Unfilmable.
Normally, I’d list some of the work I’ve completed this year etc, and to be honest, I’ve been surprisingly busy as a scriptwriter for hire and UK script consultant. And as a director, I’ve completed and released one feature film and just shot another feature which will be released next year. Part of a horror trilogy. But really, the work is the same year in year out, pandemic or not, I get to tell stories for a living, and that’s enough for me.
So, rather than list my achievements, my biggest achievement this year is the same as the person reading this, I’m alive and so are you. We’ve made it through 2020. Let’s hope we can get to the end of next year too. That’s all we really need to worry about.