Back-to-work guidelines have been produced to get productions up and running during the ongoing coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic.
In Hollywood a 22-page white paper has been delivered to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, containing the guidelines for resuming film and TV productions in Hollywood. Variety reported on the document, which hopes to create an environment around hygiene and distancing best practice, “Cast and crew must practice physical distancing whenever possible. Physical distancing involves maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from any other person at all times, except when doing so is incompatible with one’s job duties. Cast and crew should avoid congregating in groups. When practical, separate work locations into zones to facilitate physical distancing.”
Frantic productions with crews and cast packed into tight spaces will be a thing of the past.
In the UK the British Film Commission and the British Film Institute have drawn up similar plans. these have been approved by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. One of the first to be shut down was the latest series of Line Of Duty in Belfast, also The Batman, The Little Mermaid and The Witcher in the UK.
A note of caution has been raised by Andrew Eaton in an article in The Guardian. He points out that Covid-19 will be excluded as an insurable risk, “if production is delayed due to the infection of a cast or crew member, that cost, which could run to millions, will have to be borne by the production and its financiers.” – maybe not such an issue for the major studios, but it could be a major obstacle for small budget indie productions.