Production on Marvel Studios next Disney Plus streaming series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, was about halfway complete when things abruptly came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When production resumed on the project under the ironically named Pandemic Productions company, the cast and crew had to adjust on the fly to an entirely new set of circumstances. I asked director Kari Skogland how the pandemic impacted the project and to find a silver lining in what was a scary and surprising time.
Charles Murphy: “You guys had quite a bit of work done when the pandemic shut things down. What’s something good that came out of that downtime on this project?”
Kari Skogland: “For us, it was actually quite positive because we were able to, first of all, we had an amazing team. Everybody was very willing to pivot as necessary. So there was no panic as a result we just got on with it. Once the sort of surprise of it all, perhaps we all sniffed it coming? I guess I don’t know. But nonetheless, it was still a surprise. Once we sort of got over that, it was very much…we just sort of picked up and kept going because there is always work to be done-cause we were midway. So the positive side to it was when we were able to gear back up we were really targeted. We knew exactly what we were shooting. We knew where the series was and where it needed to go. I think we were able to use the time very wisely to make all kinds of decisions that we wouldn’t have had time to make otherwise. The best and most positive thing was that the team responded incredibly well, actors, everybody included, we all just got on with it.”
More than once during the shutdown, I heard how Marvel Studios was using the time they wouldn’t otherwise have well and wisely. Having more time to think, discuss and evaluate their projects provided a rare opportunity to strengthen what were some already great projects. As Skogland said, the shutdown gave them time to really reflect on things and make decisions without being up against deadlines. As you’ll see when The Falcon and The Winter Soldier debuts next week, the downtime was time well spent.