Michael Bay's new thriller Songbird, which is about a pandemic, has been accused of not following safety protocols installed to help productions cope with the ongoing pandemic. The movie, which is produced by Bay and is set to be released by STX, filmed in Los Angeles over the summer. It became one of the first movies to film in these unprecedented times, but it reportedly did not go smoothly.
A recent report detailing the chaos that has been going on in Hollywood right now paints a chaotic picture, with different studios having different safety measures in place. It has been messy. One person who worked with Netflix, who is said to be quite prepared and handling things well, also worked on Songbird. The experience between the two was said to be "night and day." The 19-day shoot allegedly had sets that were more crowded than they probably should have been and subpar sanitation measures, among other issues. The individual, who chose not to be identified, had this to say.
"Some of the protocols went out the window because there isn't time in the day to get done what needs to get done in order to shoot a feature film in that many days... It's a slippery slope, because once certain protocols aren't taken seriously, it becomes, 'Well, I don't really have to be 6 feet away.'"
The Michael Bay produced movie is set two years in the future, as a lockdown to prevent the spread of illness is reinstated as the virus continues to mutate. It centers on an essential worker, played by KJ Apa, who has a rare immunity and is able to work as a delivery man. Speaking further, the source also said the designated coronavirus monitor was not on set as much as they maybe should have been.
"They were not monitoring. They were almost like a production assistant, where you're like, 'Hey, go get so-and-so another mask!' There was no one looking at me, saying, 'Stop what you're doing and put on a face shield.' And to me, that should have happened."
Producers of the movie pushed back against these statements. Catchlight Studios' Jason Clark said, "I personally didn't witness any of that. I feel like, as much as humanly possible, we ran a safe set." Producer Jeanette Volturno also added the following.
"When you're the first out, it's challenging because you're figuring out what works and what doesn't work and what needs to be adjusted."
The production had been hit with a SAG-AFTRA stop work order earlier this summer, though it was not in place long and had to do with a paperwork issue. The movie is directed by Adam Mason, who co-wrote the script with Simon Boyes. The cast also includes Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Peter Stormare, Jenna Ortega, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Walter Hauser and Demi Moore.
Filming has begun to pick up recently. More TV shows and movies, such as Jurassic World: Dominion and The Batman, have resumed operations. Though it has not been without its hiccups. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.