This week: We look at the reports of new productions starting up and compare them to the most recent coronavirus updates. Also, we’re highlighting new events and offers from our partners.
Coronavirus Cases Are Clearly Rising
Across the world the film industry has jumped back into work. This appears to be the case in spite of surging Covid-19 cases in certain places. For example, productions are returning in Georgia. It appears that all of the large studios in and around Atlanta have people on campus either shooting or preparing to shoot. The state of Georgia, meanwhile, is still dealing with large numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Georgia has been named in a document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force as a “red zone” state, meaning it is one of 18 states that had more than 100 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people last week and had more than 10% of diagnostic tests coming back as positive.
Los Angeles is not faring much better. California is also a “red zone” state, and
One day after Los Angeles County reported a record number of new coronavirus cases, the Los Angeles Public Health Department confirmed that Wednesday saw the highest number of COVID-related hospitalizations reported since the pandemic began.
The new numbers are discouraging, and Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles warns that a total shutdown in LA could happen if the current trend continues. This comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom further rolled back the state’s reopening earlier this week.
For some international context, it seems like India, one of the largest film production countries in the world, is still mostly closed. India has the 3rd highest total number of Covid-19 cases (just behind Brazil at #2 and the US at #1) with over 1 million infections. From Deadline:
Some smaller TV production has been rolling in recent weeks, but films are on the whole still closed shops.
In the UK, Jurassic World has returned to production only to be locked down 1 day later. No Film School reports that the production is officially refuting this, but there are conflicting reports from cast and crew members who have spoken out about production troubles.
Back in the US, Vice reported on Hollywood’s reopening plan and asks the question: Should Hollywood reopen? The 3 main concerns outlined are:
1) Is it actually safe enough? There will be a risk with even the most careful production.
2) Is it too expensive? Cutting corners on coronavirus precautions will guarantee that your shoot gets shut down, which means that either the budget will be inflated or costs will be cut elsewhere, which leads to
3) The quality of work will be greatly affected–without time or money, crew members will have to do more with less, and generally that means cutting corners which results in a lower quality product.
In my humble opinion the safety of crew and cast (and of yourself!) should be the #1 concern. You may be able to find a little bit of work now, but at what cost? It could mean the loss of jobs later in 2020 or into 2021 because infections will not be under control. Worse, it could mean your long term health or even your life.
Of course every person will make this calculation for themselves, and not every type of production will have the troubles outlined in the Vice article.
At KitSplit we’ve seen small/tiny shoots, commercials, music videos, and other small scale productions figure out a way to return safely. If you’re in this camp, we continue to urge you to be vigilant about your safety and the safety of your team.
This week we want to highlight some of the great events and offers available to you from some of KitSplit’s partners.
First, KitSplit has partnered with Sundance Co//ab. For those of you unfamiliar, Co//ab is a relatively new initiative from Sundance to create an online community and resource center for filmmakers and content creators. It’s free to join as a guest, and I recommend at the very least doing that as joining gives you access to some great content.
With a Co//ab membership, however, you’ll get additional perks including access to high quality online Master Classes and feedback from Sundance advisors.
If you use this link, you’ll get to signup free for the first 3 months. Highly recommended!
Next, we’d like to highlight an initiative from Safe Sets International to encourage health and safety on sets around the world. They’ve created a certificate program that lets individuals take a test to ensure they are up-to-date on facts as well as on-set health and safety techniques. The program is a great primer to send to cast and crew to ensure they have read and processed basic coronavirus information.
Here’s a list of upcoming partner events:
From Sundance Co//ab: Monday July 20 is a Master Class on “Creating a Compelling Pitch Package with Producers Nina Yang Bongiovi & Larissa Rhodes” (link)
From Seed & Spark: Monday July 20 is an online workshop titled “Crowdfunding to Build Independence.” (link)
CBS commits 25% of its development budget to BIPOC Projects.
Malcom & Marie: A film produced and shot entirely in quarantine.
A new filmmaking grant has launched in honor of Lynn Shelton for U.S.-based woman or non-binary filmmaker, age 39 or older, who has yet to direct a narrative feature.
Telluride is cancelled (not culturally just due to the pandemic).
Twitter got hacked. Big yikes.
See you next week.