Movie sets are often like rush hour traffic: flurries of activity followed by endless waiting. And crowds: actors, directors, producers, camera people, lighting and sound people, makeup and wardrobe people, caterers, production assistants, drivers, and the list goes on. It’s a community!
So Covid-19 put an end to that, and filming has been on hiatus for months. But even now, as some restrictions are being eased, a crowded set would not be a safe environment.
Recently, according to the Los Angeles Times, a joint report was prepared by the Director’s Guild, SAG-AFTRA, and the Teamsters that outlines the new guidelines under which filming can resume. Called “The Safe Way Forward,” it lists requirements, such as frequent COVID testing, routine temperature monitoring, social distancing, and safety zones for cast and crew who can’t wear protection or safely social distance due to their responsibilities.
These guidelines will obviously slow production and increase costs. Instead of a normal 12-13 hour per day shooting schedule, the industry will potentially be limited to only 10 hours. All sets will be closed to extraneous personnel, and monitors will have to be hired and given authority to implement the guidelines and stop production if there are violations. Hollywood is known for its creativity, and this will be sorely needed to get the industry back on its feet.
Some production companies have come up with unique ideas for creating content. Enderby Entertainment, an independent film company started years ago by Daniel Petrie, Jr, who wrote Beverly Hills Cop and The Big Easy, among many other movies, and Rick Dugdale, recently paired with a company called Draganfly to improve compliance and safety for cast and crew, Draganfly uses proprietary technology and has created a unique pre-screening tool that maximizes safety as film production is ramped up.
Enderby Entertainment is known for the newly released Intrigo trilogy, Blackway, starring Anthony Hopkins, and An Ordinary Man, starring Ben Kingsley.
The company just completed a unique production during the pandemic called 92, a thriller that was shot virtually in six countries, with the actors having no physical contact with each other! 92 was directed by Rick Dugdale, CEO of Enderby Entertainment. “There are a lot of great stories to tell,” said Dugdale, “and it’s up to us to create new ways to tell them.” Indeed, we may be living with this virus for some time!
Thanks to Hollywood ingenuity, we can expect to once again have a lot of great movies to experience. Check out the podcasts with Daniel Petrie, Jr and Rick Dugdale on Manopause.com!