Ken Julian is a producer at Julian Entertainment, who served as executive producer of the film ‘The Appointment.’ Mr. Julian was recently interviewed to discuss how he believes the recent Covid Pandemic has affected the film industry.
“Very few industries have been affected by this pandemic the way the film industry has,” says Julian. “This pandemic has ushered in a paradigm shift in movies. With people being locked indoors, away from each other, the only way to connect is through movies. So films have to be made for that environment.”
Julian has been working in film since 1975. He was inspired by his love of movies as a child. His favorite films are Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Aliens. Other favorites include Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Pitch Black.
“It’s a changing landscape,” says Julian. “Films are the last form of connection that can be made in this country without being with someone. People don’t read books anymore. They don’t interact in the real world. They can only connect – outside of work, which is their primary focus these days – through movies. It’s no secret that the film industry has suffered a double blow with the Covid Pandemic and, of course, the recession that’s resulted.”
Julian went on to say that he believes the film will remain the top form of entertainment for many years to come. He said, “We are at least ten to fifteen years away from something dethroning film. When we think of the internet, it’s not really a place where you go to be entertained. You go there if you want information.”
Julian says that films have had to “morph” in ways to ensure their survival, emphasizing pandemic-friendly ticket prices such as $2.99 or $4.99 and the allowance of a single person to purchase multiple tickets for one movie at once.
The producer also said he believes that films will have to focus more on creating emotional experiences rather than full sensory ones if they are going to succeed in this environment. He cited the upcoming Axon Entertainment release ‘The Educator’ as an example of a film likely to succeed in this environment.
“I wanted to make a movie that you could only see in the theater,” says Julian. “When I go watch a movie, I want every sense stimulated.” The Educator’s director agrees with his producer’s assessment of how films will need to be made going forward, saying, “I think this is a new movement of film,”
The Appointment is currently in post-production. The producers are looking to release the film near mid-summer when they believe it will be most effective with audiences. “This is definitely a gamble,” says Julian. “But I think we’re going to need movies that are willing to take some risks. Our industry has to adapt to this new world the pandemic has created if it wants to survive, and we’re taking a big risk doing so. The Appointment is the right film at the right time for this market.”