The COVID-19 Pandemic and Cultural Industries in the Nordic Region: Emerging strategies in film and drama productions
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For producers of film and TV-drama series, Covid-19 was a Black Swan event, a low-probability, high-impact event that is almost impossible for decision makers to forecast. The pandemic, and the government and industry restrictions that followed, rendered physical production work difficult or impossible, and caused significant market disturbances. Unable to rely on normal risk assessments and crisis management plans, producers employed emergency strategies for the survival of their projects. From a project management and strategy perspective, the crisis offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into how a full population of producers develop emergency strategies to increase the resilience of their projects. Data from film and TV-drama projects produced during the pandemic across the Nordic region reveals that producers in response to the initial complete disruption employ emergency strategies in which they relax priorities in many or all strategic areas to secure project survival, and that very few are abandoned. As the crisis lingers, with more foreseeable heightened and enduring uncertainty, emergent strategies transpire in which strategic focus returns to normal areas of content, organization, economy, and schedule. These patterns were observed across country borders, with corresponding variability in the levels of intensity of the pandemic and in restrictive measures.