First Entertainment Production Guidelines Released
On Monday, Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force submitted its 22-pages long “white paper” to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom. The report provides recommendations how to continue shooting TV shows and movies in the times of an unprecedented global pandemic. Among its recommendations are physical distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), regular temperature checks, and separating work locations when practical. Organized through the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, this collaboration is the work of 50 participants from Hollywood production companies, unions, and guilds.
On the other side of the pond, The British Film Commission and the British Film Institute revealed guidelines for safely resuming movie and TV productions. This 44-page document was created in consultation with health experts. It suggests crew members undergoing COVID-19 Safer Working induction training online before a production starts, having a designated Health and Safety supervisor on-hand on set, and giving daily symptom checks.
Mind you, none of these documents are in any way mandatory. They are, at best, guidelines producers and directors may choose to use or ignore as they wish. However, with pandemic still far from over, there will probably be a strong push to utilize them as much as possible.
Mission: Impossible 7 to Resume Filming Outside in September
And while we’re talking about resuming film productions, AVClub reports filming of Mission: Impossible 7 will continue in September. In a recent interview, actor Simon Pegg confirmed the filming would take place outdoors (at least, at first) on locations in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.
Christopher McQuarrie, who already directed the previous two installments in the series, will helm this one as well. Naturally, Tom Cruise will return as the superspy, Ethan Hunt. One of the staples of Mission: Impossible franchise has always been the strong supporting cast. Besides Cruise and Pegg, next film will also feature Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, and Ving Rhames, all reprising their performances from earlier M: I movies. Newcomers will include Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire).
McQuarrie was getting ready for filming in Venice this February when COVID-19 broke out. Production was halted just in time. In the next several weeks, Italy became one of the hardest-hit countries outside China, with thousands of new coronavirus cases reported daily. As the pandemic spread around the globe, movie and TV productions were stopped. They are now resuming, slowly and tentatively. McQuarrie’s current plan is to film the next two Mission: Impossible films back-to-back to lower the costs.
Cinemark Still Hopeful about Reopening; AMC Less So
The ongoing drama of US movie theater chains continues. SlashFilm reports how Mark Zoradi, CEO of Cinemark, expressed confidence that Warner Bros. will release Tenet all over the world if the decline of COVID-19 and reduction of government restrictions continue at this rate. While we’re still about six or seven weeks away from this date, odds of movies like Tenet and Mulan opening on time are still somewhat shaky. Cinemark owns over 500 cinemas, mostly in North and South America. It is the largest theatre chain in Brazil, controlling 30% of the market. However, when it comes to COVID-19, both Brazil and USA are among the hardest-hit countries in the world. Brazil currently has almost 300 000 active cases of coronavirus while the United States has over 1,3 million active cases.
Meanwhile, people in charge of AMC remain worried. The largest cinema chain in the world still has $300 million in cash on its balance sheet as of late March. AMC also raised an additional $500 million through a private debt offering. Despite that, in its recent regulatory business filing, AMC cast doubt on their ability to stay in business if the current situation continues. To make matters even worse, Wall Street research company MoffettNathanson predicts this year’s US box office revenue will drop over 50% when compared to the 2019 box office receipts. And that’s the best case scenario.