This week: California set daily records this week for new cases, and Texas has paused its reopening and ordered all bars to close. Productions are still figuring out their safety workflows, and Georgia talks about canceling its film tax incentive.
Testing proves to be the hardest challenge
TESTING IS THE CORNERSTONE
in all caps. Perhaps it’s no surprise that developing an effective workflow for testing is proving to be a major obstacle.
Deadline, reporting on The Bold and the Beautiful which recently resumed production, says that
there were a number of positive or inconclusive test results that were deemed unreliable, creating a chaotic situation that led to the production pause for testing to be sorted out.
This makes sense, the situation is complex! The Hollywood Guidelines say that Zone A personnel (performers and crew who are working in close proximity without masks)
should be tested three times a week at a minimum, with the understanding that certain circumstances may require daily testing.
Zone B personnel (those on set but who are able to always maintain social distance) need to be tested weekly.
Imagine sourcing this many tests, then coordinating the testing of multiple zones of personnel while handling false positives and real positives should it come up. As you can imagine this is hard! And it’s also vitally important as new cases of Covid-19 continue to surge.
It turns out that The Bold and the Beautiful production was using saliva tests which produces a higher number of false positives compared to the more invasive but more accurate nasal swab test. It’s good to know that if you’re designing a testing system for your own production.
Some KitSplitters are starting to coordinate and work on smaller productions right now. It seems like it would be easier (but far from simple) to coordinate daily tests on a 3 day shoot vs. an on-going TV production. I’m curious what y’all are doing. Reach out and let us know! We’d love to hear how you are incorporating a testing protocol and general safety on your productions.
Georgia Senators Float Idea of Shrinking Film Tax Credit
As Covid-19 continues to reshape the filmmaking industry, one high level industry-shaping incentive could be on the chopping block: the Georgia state film tax credit. Variety reported that Georgia senators were considering shrinking the credit. This comes after “the state Senate recently passed $2.6 billion in cuts, including more than $1 billion in cuts to K-12 education.”
There is no clear suggestion on what the limit or cap should be, however:
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, has recommended capping the program at $100 million per year.
To put that into perspective, last year a record $860 million was subsidized.
Now, to be clear, this is all far from being official policy. Past audits have shown that the Georgia bill has not been as effective as intended to the local community, with a large number of benefactors living and operating out of (perhaps unsurprisingly) California.
That being said, this bill has directly shaped and grown the Atlanta and Georgia film production industry over the last decade. It has drawn a large number of talent to the state and has resulted in a large amount of money invested into the state’s production infrastructure. It’s unlikely the credit is going anywhere just yet, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Light & Face: The Art of Cinematography [Affiliate Content]
Our friend Alex over at Indie Film Hustle has been sharing his incredible filmmaking knowledge online for a long time, and we’ve often shared and tweeted his work. If you haven’t already, check out the Indie Film Hustle podcast for informative and inspiring conversations about filmmaking.
Recently, Alex has branched out and started the Indie Film Hustle Academy as a repository of high quality online classes for filmmaking. One that we wanted to highlight and bring to your attention is the course Light & Face: The Art of Cinematography.
This course covers lighting from the ground up: from using a barebone single light bulb through a full 3-point lighting setup. It is taught by cinematographer Suki Medencevic, A.S.C, and he does a great job of guiding you through the basics of lighting. He starts with a single light bulb, then steps through different light sources (such as paper lanterns, LED panels, Kino Flo) and shows how they affect how light falls on the subject. He explains color temperature and shows you how different temperatures change the mood of the scene. He explains and shows the effect of 250 diffusion, 251 diffusion and much much more.
If you’ve struggled to cobble together your own Youtube syllabus then it’s worth trying this course. The knowledge you learn is equal to what I covered in a semester-long class back in film school (in my case Film 2600).
Use this link for a KitSplit-only discount and for more info.
Shine a Light
Shout out to Bridget Barbara, Nader Yousef, and Colleen Brady, winners of the most recent Film Fund contest. KitSplit has partnered with The Film Fund to provide gear to all the winners, so all 3 will get KitSplit rental credits as part of their winning package. We can’t wait to see your final cut!
Sony is giving out $100 million in Covid-19 relief.
The Toronto Film Festival is following in Venice’s footsteps and will be having live events in addition to online screenings.
Broadcast series order volumes have plummeted. What are we going to watch in the fall? Probably any of the thousands of hours of the amazing content not on broadcast TV.
“Street-based documentary photography is a patient, disciplined practice of observation. Embroidery too requires the artist to focus on and draw out the small details that can elevate a composition from a one-off happenstance to beauty” — Artist Joana Choumali combines the two to create amazingly intricate and beautiful images of African life.
See you next week.