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With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much a part of our everyday lives, the world is still figuring out how some semblance of normalcy can be safely created – and that very much includes Hollywood. There are still many questions that not only need to be answered regarding distribution and the opening of theaters, but also the continuation of film productions.
When it comes to the latter, it's surely going to create a challenging atmosphere in the early going, but one filmmaker who is excited to dive back into the work is Michael Bay, who seems overwhelmingly proud of the fact that the new movie that he is producing, the pandemic thriller Songbird, is going to be the first film to start rolling cameras in Los Angeles since the city ostensibly shut down back in March.
Discussing the process preparing for the Songbird shoot, Michael Bay recently told The Hollywood Reporter,
We worked out the safety issues months ago, and we resolved [the latest issue with the unions] over the weekend. I don't even think it was a safety issue. It was a money thing. But we are literally going to be the first film shooting in L.A. And we have a kind of special sauce with how we're doing it where there's zero contact.
According to the trade article, the movie has been active in recent weeks just going around Los Angeles and shooting empty streets (free production value), but only this week is Songbird starting to bring the cast into the mix.
Directed and co-written by Adam Mason, Songbird is set in the year 2022 and follows a collection of characters as they try and survive in a world that has been ravaged by a deadly virus. The cast includes Demi Moore, Paul Walter Hauser, Craig Robinson, and Peter Stormare – who is notably one of Michael Bay's go-to characters actors, having played supporting roles in Armageddon, Bad Boys II, and Pain & Gain.
Of course, the most intriguing part of Michael Bay's quote about the production is the mention of the "secret sauce" that the film is using to ensure that there is "zero contact." Obviously it will be extremely realistic if all of the characters in the film follow standard social distancing protocols and wear masks, but one has to wonder if maybe there is more to Songbird than just that. Perhaps there is something special about the way the movie is written that allows for the creation of an extra safe production environment. We'll just have to wait for more details about the project to emerge.
Songbird doesn't have a release date at present, but filming starting up now suggests that we could see the finished cut sometime in 2021. Stay tuned for more news and updates as the project as it moves through production.