SINGAPORE – Fans of local television have to be prepared for a delay in new content as circuit breaker measures have shut down much of Singapore's media industry.
With non-essential workplaces closed until June 1, production shoots for drama series, films, commercials and other projects where telecommuting is not an option have generally ground to a halt.
Actor Andie Chen says he has been jobless since February – a drama in which he is starring, and which was slated to start production in Malaysia, has been postponed until further notice.
The 34-year-old, who is married to actress Kate Pang with two children, had his last shoot in January: the pilot for 18, a psychological thriller currently available on meWatch.
He says: "We're drawing on our savings and there are some payments coming in for projects that wrapped earlier."
He is now promoting his short film The Last Song, which he produced, on social media. The work is part of the online film festival Storeys, which is organised by media agency CreativesAtWork and supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority.
Television host Dasmond Koh, 48, who is also the founder of media and talent management company Noontalk Media, says artists under his charge have seen their incomes dip and schedules change.
One of them, actor Xu Bin, 31, was supposed to start production on a new project, but it has been shelved due to the circuit breaker measures.
Veteran actor Zheng Geping, executive producer for the second season of Channel 8's dialect drama series Ho Seh Bo (How Are You?), says production is also on hold.
The 55-year-old had been looking forward to releasing his first action movie, which he stars in and produced, this year. The film, Deleted, was in the final stages of post-production with a possible release this month or next, Zheng says, but it has been delayed as cinemas are shut.
Some exceptions have been made for national broadcaster Mediacorp, as well as production of pandemic-related messaging and content.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, Mediacorp says: "As Singapore's national media network, Mediacorp provides essential information and public service broadcasting.
"All Mediacorp services and selected productions will continue to ensure that we can continue to serve our audiences with engaging Covid-19-related content and provide timely, trusted news and information that are especially critical during this period."
The broadcaster, which declined to specify which productions are allowed to continue, has put in place safety practices such as travel declarations, split-team operations and safe-distancing measures.
Broadcast hours have been extended for Malay and Tamil channels Suria and Vasantham, both of which begin airing at 9am daily instead of the usual time of around 3pm.
There is also new content such as Get Fit With Me on Channel 8, an infotainment series which airs on weekdays at 10am, to encourage seniors to exercise and stay healthy at home.
ST understands that at least one drama series wrapped production after circuit breaker measures kicked in.
The leads of A Quest To Heal – Qi Yuwu and Carrie Wong – posted about the drama's wrap on their social-media accounts on April 12.
Veteran host Quan Yi Fong, 46, also wrote on social media on April 6 – a day befRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]