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Making Movies During Coronavirus

An Expensive and Exhausting Road to make movies during pandemic

Shooting movies has become more expensive and more time consuming, and that’s not likely to change. Rising coronavirus cases also mean that despite the great strides film sets have made in cobbling together thorough safety protocols, the pandemic is a force that can’t be contained. That may result in another round of widespread shutdowns, which could soon halt filming in places like London and Georgia.

In any environment, blockbuster filmmaking is an extremely tedious and labor-intensive process that requires hundreds upon hundreds of hands: from actors, directors and extras to hair and makeup artists and catering staff. In other words, it’s the stuff of nightmares at a time when a deadly airborne virus is circulating. And in many ways, the blockbuster franchise wrote the rulebook for pandemic productions, consisting of intense and scrupulous measures — like electronic temperature checks, routine swab tests, daily safety briefings and color-coded zones to organize cast and crew — that will likely become de rigueur for movie sets across the globe.

Masks and physical distancing are commonplace everywhere these days. But to protect against a flare-up, sets are divided into different “zones” to distance the crew accordingly. After each person arrives on set and goes through a temperature testing station, they are given wrist bands that correspond with the color zone they’re assigned to work that day.

Instead of crowding around monitors, everyone has their own iPad to individually monitor what’s happening on camera. Aside from coronavirus testing, perhaps the most necessary – and priciest – expense was renting out space for principal cast and crew members to limit their exposure to the outside world. 

So, if you want to make a movie in 2021, think again and again…

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