COVID-19 numbers are dire in Los Angeles County, and hospital beds remain at alarmingly low capacity, forcing Hollywood to delay when most LA-based television shows go back into production. At this stage, CBS TV Studios, Warner Bros. TV, Universal TV and on Monday, most of the major studios, including Netflix, are set to return to the set in mid-January.
But, while the positive case rate in the county is higher than ever, with 10,000 new COVID-19 cases approaching or exceeding every day, the current round of conversations around the city is currently focusing on total closures, such as the spring of 2020, and increasingly by day. Focus on carefully assessing the situation on a day to day basis.
“The closet is open and a lot of money is at stake,” said a TV producer who wished to remain anonymous. “We have somehow convinced ourselves that we can do this safely. Are we doing it safely? We believe we are being encouraged to be what we are. So I think everyone will continue to take calculated risks. ”
He, like many others in the industry, noted that, regardless of the impact of showing the budget, strict security measures have been applied to the set. The protocols that have emerged over the last 10 months include routine cast and crew testing, covid compliance officers, constant mask-wear on set, zones assigned to regularize contact.
Although the entertainment industry has been given time over the past year to test and improve safety regulations, it has in no way risked a coronavirus contract on set. “Mythical Quest: Revenge Banquet,” “Mr. Meyer,” “Lucifer,” and “Young Sheldon” are some of the TV series that have logged the positive COVID-19 case into double digits, such as Diversity Previously reported.
“That doesn’t mean we should be shooting yet, but at least there is,” the producer added.
Beside the agency, the grip of production at this time is not growing at the same time as the concern caused by the prolonged closure of the month, at the onset of the epidemic.
According to multiple talents and published representatives with whom Jenny spoke Diversity, The current situation looks like a reversal on the radar. The one-week extension of the interval for a particular show is not likely to have a physical impact on the production workflow, they said, and everyone expects both the cast and crew to receive their normal salaries. From his point of view, the studio is more of an attempt to alleviate people’s concerns while continuing production, although the studio has invested millions in Covid Defense over the past year.
The only way to see things change is if the guilds and unions interfere significantly; If labor groups officially call for a complete cessation of physical production, the studio will have no choice but to comply. From the point of view of the functioning of the agencies, it does not look like they will shut down completely and there will be a risk of loss of jobs and income again.
On Sunday, SAG-AFTRA, the U.S. Producers Guild, and the Joint Policy Committee issued a joint statement recommending a temporary hold on production, with SAG-AFTRA President Gabriel Carteris emphasizing that “patients are waiting in ambulances for treatment.” “Because the hospital’s emergency rooms are overcrowded. This is not a safe environment for personal production right now.”
Said David White, national executive director of SAG-AFTRA Diversity On Monday that so far, the Covid measures implemented are working but the union continues to keep an eye on the evolving situation.
“We are constantly monitoring the situation and to date, our security protocol has been effective,” White said. “However, it is also important to evaluate the environment, including local data such as hospital capacity and production such as an increase in local infection rates. As everyone knows, at the moment we are all very concerned about these environmental factors. “
Netflix is the latest studio to recall its return-to-work date for less than a dozen shows shot in Southern California by mid-January. (Shooting on the Netflix Lionsgate production show “Dear White People” has also been suspended for an additional eight days.) Heights, which will end in January. Other. Other large studios soon followed.
While industry insiders say minor adjustments can be made to schedules or production dates, they do not expect months-long shutdowns that have stabilized the city during the spring and summer of 2020. The balance between protecting and keeping recreational workers employed is an uncertain one.
“We want the industry to grow,” White said. “We want members to be able to put food on the table for their families.”