With COVID-19 restrictions being eased nationwide, many production companies will soon be allowed to go back to work. The return to filming, however, is expected to be a gradual process.
Stock photo courtesy of Wix
Film and television production will be allowed to restart in Los Angeles County in California beginning on June 12. The announcement was made Wednesday by the county’s board of supervisors and its department of public health.
Safety guidelines for production will be made available sometime Thursday, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the county’s public health department. Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom of California revealed the state's guidance for Hollywood to resume production, as restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic are eased.
Part of a statement released by the governor’s office from the California Department of Public Health last week read, "To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers."
Even with the green light to get back to work, most film and TV production in the Los Angeles area isn’t expect to restart until the back half of this summer. Safety measures are still being put in place, and unions and studios are still figuring out the details.
The entertainment industry recently released a 22-page white paper, which was submitted to the governor’s offices in New York and California, detailing how production can resume in the near future. The white paper cites the need for social distancing of at least 6 feet to continue, and it also calls for limiting face-to-face interactions, with a note stating cast and crew should avoid congregating in groups. The full white paper can be read by clicking here.
The white paper was produced by the Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Committee Task Force, which consists of union, production company and guild representatives who aim to provide government officials guidance to safely restart production.
While few production shoots in Los Angeles are expected to commence in the coming weeks, it’s expected that late-night and variety show hosts could return to their sets relatively quickly, especially if they choose to film with no live audience and produce scaled-back versions of their shows that are easy to turn out with limited crew.
In addition to film and TV production, movie theaters in Los Angeles County will be allowed to reopen beginning Friday. Cinema attendance will be capped at 25%, or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Many theaters are not expected to reopen until July, however, as there are very few new releases to exhibit. The next major motion picture scheduled to premiere is Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” which is distributed by Warner Bros. Nolan’s film has a release date of July 17, and will be followed by Disney’s “Mulan” remake a week later, should neither film’s release be pushed back.