Film & COVID-19: What’s Next?
The arts and entertainment industry has taken a significant hit this year, thanks to COVID-19.
Actors and directors quarantined overnight as movie sets were officially locked down back in March. Film festivals, theater releases, and promotional parties are also on hold for the unforeseen future. Filmmakers and creatives everywhere are challenged in a way never before seen in our lifetime.
Good thing creativity thrives during adversity.
The Show Must Go On!
Back in early June, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation Television (SAG-AFTRA) released detailed protocols in “The Safe Way Forward,” a guidebook for testing and on-set safety.
Both SAG and Hollywood unions base their new guidelines on the latest science and recommendations from epidemiologists.
President of the Directors Guild of America, Tomas Schlamme, was one of the coordinators that worked with COVID-19 safety committees and experts on The Safe Way Forward. Here is what he had to say about the daunting process:
“Safely getting back to our work of storytelling, and reuniting with our creative community is at the top of all our minds. But in these fast-changing times amid such a complicated virus, figuring out how to get that done right was no easy task. We knew the only way forward was to consult with leading medical experts and let science guide us to the right approach for our unique work environments.” -Thomas Schlamme
Some of the guidelines film sets will need to follow include:
- Every cast & crew member must be tested for COVID-19 before their first day of work. They are then tested frequently throughout production, depending on their role.
- Performers, and those with whom they come into close contact with, are tested at least three times per week due to the nature of their roles and close proximities.
- Production office staff in work areas where social distancing is possible are tested less frequently, at least once per week.
- A Health Safety Supervisor (HHS) or a COVID-19 compliance officer needs to be in charge of testing processes and has the authority to shut down production if a breach threatens the crew.
- A Health Safety Unit Manager (HSM) must oversee the execution of HSS directives.
Critics of the guidelines are concerned that certain protocols are missing. Producer Johanna Vanderspool, the lead organizer of the NonFiction Union, told the LA Times:
“Many of these documentary and reality shows (across all genres) often don’t allow for reasonable schedules, staggered meal times or ‘health coordinators.’ -Johanna Vanderspool
While the guidelines may not have all the kinks worked out, there’s no doubt that this new protocol is a good start. The Safe Way Forward will likely be modified as industry professionals follow these new standards.
As with every other component of reopening society amid a pandemic, “we will have to wait and see,” is our only certainty.
Creation in the Midst of COVID-19
While there are still many uncertainties and the ever-looming possibility of stricter shutdowns, art doesn’t stop.
Virtual sets and virtual film techniques provide solutions. Creative distancing and remote practices may soon be the standard in filmmaking. With how far technology has come in recent decades, redirecting the focus from in-person production to virtual production may be the new norm.
How the Film Industry Will Look in the Future
Just as no one could have predicted the tumultuous 2020 the world has endured, it is difficult to say for sure where the film industry will go from here.
Artists from all avenues will tell you that pain, adversity, and suffering offer the necessary nutrients to fuel worthwhile art. It will be no surprise if the film industry undergoes a permanent change that involves more than just on-set safety protocols. As our world will be forever changed by this virus, so too will our movie-making experiences and consumption.
While COVID-19 may have disrupted the film industry as we know it, the pandemic is sure to awaken the ingenuity artists and filmmakers need to continue their craft.
As we adapt as a species to the threat of an ever-growing virus, so will the film industry.
About Us | Portland Catering Services
Mundo Catering is a 5-star rated film and wedding catering company located in beautiful Portland, Oregon. We work with producers, filmmakers, artists, as well as brides and grooms. From the film set to wedding venues and even business get-togethers, we provide exceptional meals for any event.
Here are some recent film projects we worked on in Oregon:
We are dedicated to diverse, creative, and personalized menus that guarantee a memorable dining experience for your wedding guests, film crews, business associates, and more.
Work With Mundo Catering | Portland, OR
Our catering accommodates every dietary need or restriction. We have ideal and delicious menus for vegans and vegetarians, as well as gluten-free and dairy-free options. We commit to building a menu that serves you and your taste buds.
Want to take a look at some of our decadent and delicious meals? Check out our Gallery Page for a glimpse into what we have to offer.
Want to schedule catering services for your wedding, film set, or another event? Visit our Contact Page to tell us more about your next get-together and how we can best serve you.
Speak with our caterers in Portland at (971) 302-5041.