It wasn’t too long ago that California was named the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its confirmed case count having surpassed 120,000. But in the past few weeks, the state has started to ease restrictions, both because hospitals have stabilized and in an effort to provide relief to hurting businesses. So what's the next step? Hollywood productions have been given the go-ahead to resume filming as soon as next week.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has just announced that movie and television productions can resume beginning June 12, though they will be subject to approval by county public health officers. Hollywood is still expected to observe social distancing measures and restrictions, and filming on sets are no exceptions to abiding by safety protocols. The California Department of Public Health said it will continue to monitor the rate of cases around the Los Angeles area, per a Friday statement (via THR).
We don’t know the specifics of how each Hollywood production will observe maintaining social distancing and other health protocols, all while serving a scripted story. Maybe smaller productions isolated to sound stages will take precedence over more lofty, on-location filming? Sets crowded with hundreds of extras isn’t going to be high on the list, that's for sure. How does a production go about capturing a intimate moment like a sex scene in the age of COVID-19?
Creativity will be key. A couple major sets in Atlanta are starting to get ready to open up too. Tyler Perry’s studio was one of the early companies to propose its guidelines for reopening. In order for shows like Sistas and The Oval to resume filming, the cast and crew will be tested for COVID-19, ordered to self-isolate for 16 days, fly out on private jets and be tested again before starting work.
The CEO of Atlanta’s Pinewood Studios (where many Marvel productions take place) plans to open in June as well, with pre-production crews working on constructions of sets and its workers being subject to testing and social distancing measures.
This ease of restrictions will come three months after many Hollywood productions were delayed in response to the global pandemic. In the past few days, we’ve heard good news about a handful of major films across the globe as well. Warner Bros’ The Batman and Fantastic Beasts 3 can get back to work later this summer, and Mission: Impossible 7 is eyeing a September resume date.
And thanks to New Zealand staying ahead of the curve, the continuation of James Cameron’s Avatar sequels are already underway. Movie theaters are also looking ahead to open their doors as early as next month. Just in time for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on July 17 perhaps? Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on film productions.