March 15th, 2020 will always be remembered as the day that Hollywood closed its doors. The Novel Coronavirus of 2020 caused the film industry to shut down completely. Now it is mid October and as we are quickly approaching Halloween this year, film and television are just starting to reopen their doors to productions.
A few of the television shows that are back up and running currently are the following:
- A Million Little Things
- America’s Got Talent
- The Bachelorette
- Big Brother
- The Bold and the Beautiful
- Punky Brewster
- Top Elf
- Days of Our Lives
- General Hospital
- Stranger Things
There are a handful more shows that have been able to go back to work in production starting in August 2020. The inside scoop on working as a crew member on set right now is that everything is dramatically different. Craft services, the beloved “hang out” spot for crew members to find a moment of solace in the midst of all the hustle and bustle on set, is now limited to a specific number of people in that area. Allowing for all social distancing to take place.
In the working environment there have been drastic changes made to accommodate for safe air spaces when working indoors on sound stages. Crews have been limited to only the absolute necessary amount of people that are required to get the job done. Working days have been limited to less hours on set. This “New Hollywood” is something that is going to take a lot of getting used to.
The viewers are so excited that their favorite shows have started working on new content again. Some of the new rules that are in place for working on a film crew are mandatory Covid 19 testing three times per week. Some productions are taking extreme measures and separating the working crews into shifts for prep and wrapping out for on set location.
Once the Director and Cinematographer have planned out their shot list together then the gaffer and key grip get involved planning the lighting set up. Prior to the pandemic all departments would work together on set simultaneously. Now, it is my understanding that once the plan is made by the decision maker, then the lighting department gets full control of the location and sets all of their lamps. After that, the camera department comes in separately and prepares and sets all their gear to be camera ready for shooting. The camera team then leaves and the grip department comes in with the Cinematographer and Gaffer to sculpt the lighting and tweek everything for lighting purposes. After the lighting is about perfect, the grip team then leaves the location for the talent to arrive on shooting day, stepping into the set scene and performs their character in a sanitized and secure air space.
All these new regulations for how productions are run adds significant time, sometimes even weeks of pre-production onto the schedule. Everything needs to be set to exact specifications for the talent to then come into work. This eliminates the possibility of minor adjustments to camera, lighting and grip due to the limit of persons able to be present on set. Every shot will need to be planned out ahead of time down to the most minor decisions. This is something to keep in the front of your mind if you are a producer of any kind, trying to plan a production.
Even though the preparation time to go into a production has probably now doubled for all of my hard working PA’s and production staff, do not let the extra hoops that need to be jumped through sway you from following your goals of producing original content. Never forget that content is King in the entertainment industry. New content and fresh faces for talent are always something that is looked at as progressive and beneficial to the world in a general way of creative expression. Now more than ever this new world of post pandemic 2020 needs your original voices, words, opinions and rhymes most.
After the whole world has been cooped up inside their own spaces for the last 7 months the bloom has begun. The world, especially in Los Angeles California, needs to get back into action. Lights, Camera Action that is. Something to consider when planning for your next movie or television series, moving your production to a location outside of California. Quite a few shows have gone on the road to places where there are not as many Covid 19 restrictions so that they can get back to work in a more efficient and familiar way in a more timely fashion. For example, Riverdale has moved to the North and has its production in Canada.
Covid 19 may have halted the progression of what we once knew Hollywood production to be. Although now, Hollywood is starting to see the light of day again. Netflix and other streaming platforms have been thriving during the last 7 months. Companies such as AMC Theaters are looking at billion dollar bankruptcies. This is going to be a bumpy ride but California will shine through and make it out on top. Give it a few more months and you will see how much more is going to continue to change. This is now just a test of our ability to be flexible and adaptable to the new standards. Cheers to the rebirth of Hollywood picking back up and continuing to make dreams come true one original idea at a time.
If you are bored with the content that is currently on air, and tired of waiting for the new TV series currently in production, then come on in to the Scarless Medspa. Dr. Dugar will entertain you with his charm and skill by enhancing your already beautiful features. He is an injection specialist focusing on facial features.
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