Hollywood Goes COVID-Safe

Ethan Qin, In-Depth Editor

As the world continues to adapt to the new norm that is a global pandemic, Hollywood is no exception. Many shows and movies have resumed production with new industry-wide safety protocols. Movies like “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Avatar”, and TV shows like “The Witcher” and “Supernatural”, and even reality TV shows like “The Bachelorette” and “Love Island” are some of the ones that have recently continued filming. In order to run effectively, productions like these require a large number of crew employees, and can often lead to logistical nightmares even before a global pandemic is ad

PHOTO COURTESY OF UNSPLASH.COM

ded. Although productions are spending a lot more time and money to create content for the world, it is incredibly reassuring to see how serious Hollywood is about following COVID-19 safety guidelines.

While COVID-19 safety procedures vary at different locations and studios, the overall message remains the same: keep everyone safe. Every day at Pinewood Studios in London, where “Jurassic World: Dominion” just wrapped up filming, electronic temperature checks were set up at every doorway and entrance, routine swab checks were conducted every day, daily safety briefings and color-coded zones to organize cast and crew were established, and other safety measures were used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And of course, everyone is constantly wearing masks and physically distancing themselves from others. However, in a business that requires so much collaboration and thousands of hands from actors, directors, extras, hair and makeup artists,caterers, etc. there are bound to be difficulties and hardship.

It’s not unexpected that with all these safety procedures added onto already tedious and labor-intensive operations that are film/TV productions, that some safety guidelines will fall through the cracks and some questions remain unanswered. So while an industry-wide agreement was finalized about COVID-19 safety procedures, how and who enforces it? For example, on “Songbird”— the Michael Bay-produced thriller that has resumed filming, an insider on set tells “The Hollywood Reporter” about how they watched as the production loosened up on certain safety procedures. According to them, there was simply not enough time in the day to get done what they needed to get done. As a result, certain safety protocols were taken less seriously, for example the six-foot distancing was not enforced anymore and masks became more acceptable by themselves instead of accompanied by the industry-wide encouraged face shields.

While there are certain instances where COVID-19 safety procedures have been loosened, overall, Hollywood is presenting a solid example of safety and adaptation considering the unprecedented path of filming conditions and environments they are currently experiencing. As this becomes the new standard for Hollywood productions, it is highly encouraging to see the steps they are taking for the safety of their people and their industry.