LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After weeks of being forced to shut down, Hollywood productions are trying to figure out how to safely revive an industry that has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
In February, just in Los Angeles, around 1,100 productions were shooting. By the end of March, all had been shut down. Entertainment productions support nearly 750,000 jobs and $68 billion in wages every year in California alone.
One of the largest challenges facing the industry will be getting all of the unions and studios to agree on safety measures, industry insiders said.
“The major studios in Hollywood — Disney, Warner Bros., Universal — are working with the guilds and unions to determine a new set of protocols that’s going to make being on set safe,” said Bryn Sandberg, a senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter.
New safety measures will not be cheap, said Oscar-winning writer-producer Nick Vallelonga.
“Movies are different, because time is money,” said Vallelonga, who is a co-writer and co-producer of “Green Book,” which won Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the 2019 Oscars. “Big productions have anywhere from 75 to 200 people on a crew. So, to have those people every single day get checked…it’s very time consuming.”
Even when safety measures are agreed upon, productions may struggle to continue to show human connection on screen while enforcing social distancing.
“Does that eliminate love scenes? Or, not even love scenes…just a simple kiss,” Vallelonga said. “I don’t know how you’re gonna work that.”