As everything is slowly beginning to open, movie studios find themselves getting back to shooting. Studios like Melody Ranch in Newhall and Santa Clarita Studios are two local locations that are finally up and running again.
You might ask, why is this important? With an increase in production days at Santa Clarita Studios in 2018, the Santa Clarita Film Office reported an estimated $33.1 million in economic impact to the local community with almost 6,000 residents employed by the entertainment industry, according to The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
But with all the new restrictions due to COVID-19 what are the “costs” of re-opening?
Following the governor’s guidelines for the studios brings about change for every aspect on and even off set.
“Having to log on to apps like ‘Check in to Work’ is just one of the many new protocols put in place,” said Michael Henrichsen.Special Effects Technician for Warner Bros.
“Check in to Work” is an app that many companies have been using to ask questions about employees’ exposure to COVID-19 and if they are feeling sick or not.
In addition, wearing masks, getting your temperature scanned, logging in to another app, being given a wrist band that needs to be returned at the end of the day, not sharing tools, staggering lunches, no more craft service, COVID-19 testing every other day and filling out time cards online—just to name a few—are ways the entertainment industry is preventing the spread of the coronavirus, according to Henrichsen. While inconvenient, being able to get back to work, and safely, is the goal.
What about the actors?
The other side of the studio business is the actor side. In-person auditions have taken a back seat to Zoom and self-taped auditions. Of course, without actors, there would be no productions, so it’s important to adhere strictly to the new mandates. Many actors have already experienced being quarantined for 14 days prior to shooting with COVID-19 testing two times before being allowed on set and repeat testing every couple of days.
“Even with all of the new restrictions, the breakdowns are pages and pages long with auditions, which keeps me very busy,” said Lisa Gal.Manager at Volition Entertainment.
Many people are now slowly moving back into jobs that have been halted because of COVID-19, this could only mean there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re nearing the finish line. We will get through this.