The entertainment industry has just taken a major step forward in terms of getting movie and TV productions back on track. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Department of Public Health have revealed that they will allow filming to resume on Friday, June 12. This date was previously approved by California Governor Gavin Newsom, which was subject to county approval. Even though this is a step in the right direction, much still needs to happen before the bulk of projects get back on track.
Los Angeles County will issue guidelines that will allow movie and TV productions to begin again. But that is just one piece of the puzzle. Union representatives within the industry must still agree to protocols for individual on-set jobs and departments. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, had this to say in a statement.
"We are not out of the woods. We are in the middle of the woods, and there is a lot of risk."
That risk is something studios and the various unions will need to consider. Recently, studios and guilds released a 22-page document outlining its recommended guidelines to begin filming again. This includes testing for cast and crew members to ensure nobody comes to work sick. Masks will also be a big part of the equation, as will safety training and social distancing, whenever possible. It's expected that these changes will come at a hefty cost, as insurance and production budgets will increase by an estimated 20 percent. That could prove to be cost-prohibitive for certain projects. This will all need to be ironed out on a case-by-case basis.
With that in mind, it's expected that very little filming will be taking place this weekend. It is far more likely that movies and TV shows can get their ducks in a row to begin production in July or August. But this is a step in the right direction. It is also expected that productions that can make use of sound stages will be more likely to get going, as on-location filming presents other unique challenges. That means sitcoms, game shows and talk shows can probably resume sooner. Movies and big-budget TV shows, generally speaking, have a lot more moving parts to contend with.
Production has been shut down for virtually all major movies and TV shows since mid-March. This has forced delays for quite a few big movies such as The Batman, The Matrix 4, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and more. Avatar 2 and other movies have been prepping to resume overseas where restrictions have lifted in countries such as New Zealand and the Czech Republic. The shut down has also forced networks to shift their plans for the fall TV season, with The CW postponing almost all of its new and returning shows until early next year, as opposed to September/October. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news was previously reported by Variety.