HOLLYWOOD HILLS— On May 20, California Governor Gavin Newsom held a live Film and Television Digital Roundtable where he announced a plan to roll out new sectoral guidelines which would allow the entertainment industry to begin “moving again”.
From actors and stylists to producers and the Governor’s Chief of Staff, the roundtable aimed to discuss possible guidelines affecting every aspect of production. Hair and makeup stylist Stacey Morris joined the roundtable to give insight on the effects of closures on crew members. From keeping up her children’s education to constantly looking after the house to looking after herself, she says she barely has time to stay sane. This is why she believes the quickest way out of the situation is following CDC guidelines.
“This Is Us” actor John Huertas stated they might decide not to go into production until September. They’ve even been considering putting off production until January of next year.
Amongst the industry professionals joining the debate Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer for Netflix, was first asked for input on the guidelines. According to his information, the streaming service has already resumed production in places such as South Korea and Sweden. He emphasized that there are no “one size fits all” methods of production.
Director Ava DuVernay mentioned the movement of people through the actual sets. As many different departments congregate on stage, reducing large groups and timing movement of the crew is something she suggests in order to ensure safety.
Local 80 member Danny Stephens highlights the financial feasibility of safety measures. He mentioned his Union’s main challenge is the middle ground of safety and finances.
Near the end of the conference, Governor Newsom stated Monday, May 25 would be the earliest release of new guidelines. Productions will be allowed to resume on the basis of meeting the criteria set out in these guidelines. He specifies that the state estimates 53 out of the 58 counties will have the ability to meet the criteria. He clarified that it does not necessarily mean everyone will be cleared for reopening. L.A county was also mentioned to be “a few weeks behind” everyone else.
Ted Sarantos raised the concern of cutting corners to move faster. He stated being “a safe place to work is inextractable from being a great place to work”.
The Governor’s Chief of Staff, Ann O’Leary, closed out the conference by saying that though measures are being put out on Monday, Los Angeles remains a concern.