All Rise, a TV show, produced a virtual episode. (hollywoodreporter.com)

Movie Production During a Pandemic

While many people are glued to their screens binging Netflix series, the entertainment industry has hit a pause. According to an article in The Medialine, “Everything is on hold and you can’t shoot anything now.”

As for movies produced before the pandemic, there are two options for how to release them. Either film studios can wait until the pandemic is over and show them in movie theaters, or release movies online.

A major issue for entertainment workers is that many are suffering financially and were already having trouble before the pandemic. Somehow, there are still a lucky few who have found employment during the pandemic.

As a Jerusalem Post article wrote, “Of course, the actors have to take off their masks to do the scenes. You can’t do dialogue with a mask on!” These productions are kept on the down-low as producers are afraid they will be shut down again due to health reasons. Keshet and Yes, Israel’s largest television producers are working to avoid attention and concern from the government.

In America, Covid-19 movie production policies vary by state. For example, the season finale of All Rise, which is usually filmed in Los Angeles, is being conducted over Zoom with actors lighting their own scenes. They are also using computer generations for shows that require people to stay together.

Both in Israel and America, in-person movie filming is hard on the studios financially. A lot of money needs to be dedicated to Covid precautions. Corona tests and daily temperature checks are mandatory for everyone on sets, which could add up to multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars. Social distancing causes a need for more supplies to avoid people crowding together. These implemented policies slow production. Additionally, every time someone tests positive for the virus, the production is halted. Some movie studios could not afford to continuously halt their production, so the executives decided to pay for hotels for their actors to live in during the production. These precautions can lead to anxiety for some actors. 

Covid-19 has created challenges for every business. While it is incredibly exciting and hopeful to hear that the entertainment industry is slowly starting to reopen, we need to first and foremost ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew.

Sources:

  1. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mercurynews.com/2020/08/20/tel-aviv-launches-first-sail-in-cinema-for-pandemic-safe-viewing/amp/ 
  2. https://themedialine.org/life-lines/coronavirus-steals-the-show-as-israeli-entertainment-industry-hits-standstill/ 
  3. https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.jpost.com/israel-news/culture/how-israeli-filmmakers-are-managing-to-work-during-the-coronavirus-crisis-636440/amp 
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/variety.com/2020/film/global/coronavirus-israel-industry-protest-benjamin-netanyahu-1234588967/amp/ 
  5. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-26/coronavirus-crisis-sparks-a-young-israeli-protest-movement%3f_amp=true 
  6. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-promoters-and-theaters-go-online-to-offer-at-home-entertainment/amp/ 
  7. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.haaretz.com/amp/israel-news/business/.premium-the-coronavirus-crisis-has-set-israel-s-economy-back-four-years-1.9078632
  8. https://www.wrapbook.com/covid-19-film-production-guidelines-by-state/
  9. https://variety.com/2020/film/news/film-sets-hollywood-pandemic-1234826994/
  10. https://www.haaretz.com/life/.premium-freeze-frame-israel-s-film-industry-paralyzed-by-coronavirus-1.8742A370 

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