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California Film and TV Guidelines To Be Released on Monday
Variety announced that California will issue Film and TV guidelines this coming Monday. Between that and reading this LA Mag think piece, I started wondering what filmmaking will actually look like when it’s back. I know you film and TV folks out there are wondering the same thing.
The writer of the LA Magazine article says:
If scripted filming does proceed this year, it will be in a stripped-down skeletal fashion—similar to how many documentary crews operate.
which might be true, but even documentary crews are grappling with how to shoot and under what conditions is it safe. There are a lot of private discussions being held right now about how and when to shoot again. It seems like collectively there is a desire to figure this out.
Variety mentions that
production is already underway in South Korea, Sweden and Iceland
so I was curious to see what those productions look like. South Korea and Australia have reported some of their guidelines, but the most interesting and comprehensive document I found was this Nordic rule book that
seeks to provide comprehensive and relevant information in regards to film production in Sweden and Denmark during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
It lays out a set of rules for film productions based on the government regulations in those countries. There are a lot of Sweden and Denmark specific references, but generally speaking the rules and implementation guidelines that are outlined will likely be very similar to whatever is developed here in the US.
I recommend reading the whole thing if you want to paint a picture for yourself of what life on set may look like in 2020. The two big takeaways for me are that there will need to be brand new workflows created by each department, and this will be an extra challenge for producers coordinating each of the new workflows.
Second, all of these workflow changes will require more time and therefore more money. Tasks will need to be done one-by-one e.g.
electrical should not start work until art department is done.
This will likely affect both the quantity and type of projects that get greenlit in the near term, and it will affect the size of crews working. Ideas and scripts will start to fit the parameters of pandemic filmmaking.
I’m curious to see what is announced in California on Monday. At the same time, Ava DuVernay’s quote in Variety sums up the weight and seriousness of our current situation and serves as a reminder of the responsibility with which we must move forward:
There are too many lives lost, and too much we have to learn so those deaths aren’t in vain.
Meanwhile, our friends over at Video Consortium have released the first episode of season 3 of their podcast Rough Cut. For all you non-fiction folks out there curious about how to interview under lockdown, take note! Guest Joe Coscarelli describes his experience creating the NYTimes video series “Diary of A Song.” They’ve been shooting interviews via video conferencing since before it was cool, and he makes some interesting arguments on the benefits of remote interviews.
The discussion on the positives not only for the content itself but from a production point of view was interesting, and it was great to hear Joe describe how the show went from a high cost, time consuming original video to the series that it is today. I think depending on who your subject is and what you’re trying to achieve, the techniques that work so well for this series may not translate, but it’s interesting to hear and think about regardless.
For Joe, the artists he interviews are already comfortable speaking to their front facing camera which gives a sense of intimacy to the interview. They are more likely to be conversational and are generally more vulnerable and less guarded. In a formal interview with lights and crew, they may unconsciously or consciously notice and censor themselves, whereas
on the phone it’s just immediately like we’re friends. The fact that I’m even able to Facetime some of these people, that automatically breaks down some barriers.
Check out the whole thing. Highly recommended.
Shine A Light
We love spotlighting our community and are so proud of all the incredible work you do.
Shoutout to KitSplit cofounder Kristina Budelis for her video “Finding Colors in Darkness” for The New Yorker. A part of the @wpthejournal project, this piece is first and foremost a great feature on photographer Elisabetta Zavoli and a great examination and contemplation of life under quarantine. Additionally, it is a wonderful example of producing new work in quarantine. Bravo Kris!
Props to KitSplitter Michael Barnett who recently released a dance music video for NYC singer Dru Serkes, shot using KitSplit gear and made with connections formed from the KitSplit community. You love to hear it. Amazing job and great VFX!
Have a project to share? Let us know about it!
Le Cinema Club recently featured Isabella Rossellini’s Mammas for Mother’s Day, and I can’t recommend these shorts highly enough. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis released their series of conversations with dozens of luminary filmmakers entitled Dialogues–one standout is the interview with Agnes Varda. The Disney Songbook Table of Elements (and related thread on the 18 types of Disney songs). Independent movie theaters in the US 😍. Roger Deakins, always a treat for the eyes, now a treat for the ears. Enforcing social distancing with stuffed Capybaras. Quarantining with ghosts.
See you next week.