SHOOT STORY | XXX XXX XXX FEATURE | P ODUCT ION RESTART
A NEW CHAPTER As the film and television worlds emerge from lockdown, how are productions moving forward in ‘the new normal’?
WORDS JUL I AN M I TCHELL
W e all know where we were when global lockdown happened – apart from countries like Sweden, which decided to balance economic survival with the spectre of mass deaths by staying open. Overnight, production ceased, impacting the whole industry – from equipment sales to craft services. It affected all levels, from big projects in the middle of production, like The Batman at Warner Bros in London, to the smallest corporation. Ever since lockdown, the ingenious production world started thinking how it could come back. The big problem, apart from the danger of catching Covid-19, was
insurance hurdle, and there was a big sigh of relief from within the industry. Once insurance is covered, the next problem is paying for the huge organisation involved in keeping people safe. Who is going to bear this cost? For the new Jurassic World movie, the rumour is that Universal has paid out a further $5m just for coronavirus safety, based on new daily medical help. Rate that huge amount down to cheaper productions and it’s still unclear who is liable. If the production company has to pay this extra amount, then that could also be their profit margin, so life isn’t getting any better.
finding insurance companies that would cover against any virus infections. Insurance underwriters were never going to do that, but the big studios managed that risk themselves so they could restart. As a result, Avatar 2 is starting again in New Zealand with special dispensation from the Kiwi government, the last Mission Impossible film is picking up its tools in Norway and Jurassic World: Dominion is back at Pinewood Studios near Uxbridge. For everyone else, the finger’s pointed at governments that need to come up with packages to help – it wasn’t until last month that the UK government found £500m to help UK productions with this
42 DEF I N I T ION | SEPTEMBER 2020
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