Watching a Disney film. (Photo by Jessica Silva)
Lights, camera, action. As the coronavirus continues to ravage every industry across the world, entertainment is feeling a heavy blow. Around mid-March, filming on most productions was halted due to the pandemic. The sudden halt has left the industry looking for ways to begin production again, even looking to other countries to begin filming.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, “Box office revenue has sunk to virtually zero and more than 100,000 entertainment industry workers have lost their jobs.” In response, the entertainment industry is looking to ramp up production as fast as possible.
As many countries begin to reopen, major players in the entertainment industry are jumping at the opportunity to film again. One such country is Iceland, which announced on May 15 that it would be reopening the country to allow for filming crews to begin production. In order to allow for production, it was made known that “...those entering the country will be offered a variety of quarantine and testing options and will be asked to comply with safety requirements on set.” As the New York Times reported, the Netflix sci-fi series “Katla” has resumed production in Reykjavik after it was shut down in March.
In order to get back on track, the director, Baltasar Kormakur, has introduced a color-coded armband system. The system would have a structure in which those “wearing yellow could be near the camera; the actors, and the makeup and costume professional wore black…and the producers, script supervisors and visual effects people wore red and were sequestered near monitors” the New York Times stated. The armbands allow for everyone on the film crew to “monitor each other” since “people have a tendency to roam, and it’s easy to lose control of it.” As the film production company, Kormakur, continued, they have shared this method through a video on Netflix as a way for other film projects to begin production.
Iceland is not the only country that has allowed filming to resume. As the Los Angeles Times reported, New Zealand has “approved protocols for domestic filming, some of which are already underway.” Disney was one major player filming the “Avatar” sequels in New Zealand before production was shut down due to the virus.
The Czech Republic is also a country in which production is resuming. Projects for Amazon Studios such as “Carnival Row” and Disney’s for “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” were previously halted due to the pandemic. Since then, the Czech Republic has issued new guidelines for film production to resume. As the Los Angeles Times commented, the country “...has exempted actors and performers from wearing masks while working but requires testing proof every 14 days.” Aside from the filming guidelines, the country has also issued that “foreign actors and crew members must test negative for the virus before boarding a flight to the country, and within 72 hours of arrival, undergo a second test, and remain quarantined until they receive a negative result.”
As the coronavirus continues to have devastating effects on the economy, the entertainment industry is trying to bounce back. As the Los Angeles Times commented, “Every country will create effective health and safety plans that account for COVID issues as they move toward resuming production in their countries.”