Los Angeles: It’s the ultimate rewrite.
To restart halted productions while protecting against the coronavirus, Hollywood heavyweights are recommending that scripts be changed to minimize touching — and that filmmakers use computer-generated images to replace real-life interactions on screen.
The recommendations are part of a white paper written by major studios and trade unions. They hope to get the industry moving again after an almost complete shutdown in March, when the coronavirus pandemic ravaged Europe and the U.S. Actors, crews and filmmakers have been out of work since then, and the closing of theaters has cost the industry about $1 billion a month in domestic sales.
Though it’s still unclear when the more physical aspects of the entertainment business can restart, the paper shows the industry has begun to agree on safe working conditions — a crucial component for bringing back halted productions like the new “Matrix” and “Mission: Impossible” movies.
The recommendations suggest that the virus will have an enormous impact on working conditions in the months ahead. Live TV programs like talk shows are advised to bring back guests only on a case-by-case basis. People who don’t need to be there in person, such as writers, should work virtually. And auditions should be done via videoconference.
The paper also recommends that actors and those on set be monitored for coronavirus symptoms, and stay six feet apart when possible. It suggests that surfaces be sanitized, and staff presence should be staggered as much as possible to avoid physical interaction.
The paper was written by a task force that included representatives from Walt Disney Co., Netflix Inc., Apple Inc. and other studios. Trade unions representing positions across the industry and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers also participated. –Bloomberg