If all you have are three actors and a room, what you can do with those resources?
The answer to this question is the key to where the film industry would go in the next few years post-COVID. This virus has ripped everything away from the film industry and left us with the absolute basic storytelling tools- characters, conflict, plot, and theme. In other words, the art of storytelling is what will survive. The limitations that the COVID-19 protocols will bring on the table will make it very hard for the HUGE MONSTER blockbuster films with the $100 million budget and more to move. You have to be lightweight and healthy to be able to jump over the obstacles. These are the times for agility, not pure power. You can only get that kind of swiftness only in independent films with great stories that truly move the audience.
Unlike some articles that are floating around town talking about the death of independent film, I think it's quite the opposite. The producers (the smart ones) who never trusted original ideas and small films to attract profit will sooner or later come to terms with the fact that the explosions and crazy camera movements and the massive number of extras, etc. are not at their disposal anymore. At first, they would try to make small genre films, but sooner or later, they will find out that there is not enough juice left in there to milk. And they are genuinely left with the fundamental- Actors, conflict, theme. They have to find talented young storytellers who are passionate and have something to say.
We are abandoned in a small room. This is the renaissance of the story- Actors, conflict, theme.
I am sure that the big-budget films will sooner or later adapt to the new conditions, but the big machine is very slow to move, and it gives the small movies a few years window to showcase a new vision for the industry. The films that are getting an enormous amount of viewers on YouTube are not necessarily mainstream content. The combination of modern technology that makes access to content much more accessible, the new filmmaking protocols, and the change of political landscape will make independent films a very lucrative business model to explore.
The audience is hungry. They are hungry to see their parents, friends, lives, feelings, passions, anger, and happiness on the screen. They want to feel welcome and acknowledged. The small films will give them that.