California Governor Delays Film Production Reopening Guidelines

people in masks
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he would unveil new guidelines on Memorial Day for TV and film production reopening.

However, the holiday came and went without any guidelines released. Instead, the governor’s office unveiled only plans for how churches and malls can begin to reopen as the country continues to recover from covid-19.

Last week, Newsom teased the announcement of film production reopening as part of an online discussion with Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, former Presidential candidate Tom Steyer, IATSE Local 80 member Danny Stephens, hair and make-up artist Stacey Morris, and This Is Us’ actor Jon Huertas.

But the idea of reopening shocked entertainment industry professionals who say that it’s way too soon, given that covid-19 infections are still on the rise in some areas of the country. Can social distancing be observed on set? Is there enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for all crew members? Will actors feel safe enough to film close scenes? Will insurance too expensive for film and TV budgets?

The governor’s office did not explain why the release of film reopening guidelines was delayed – but perhaps the state is taking time to coordinate with local officials, entertainment industry unions, and film studios. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has put together LA’s own entertainment industry covid-19 task force.

Although California is home to much fewer covid-19 cases than New York, Los Angeles is California’s covid epicenter, with half of all the state’s cases.

“It remains a challenging part of the state for us still,” Newsom admitted about L.A.

So it’s possible that any film production reopning guidelines won’t apply to Los Angeles, at least for now.

But much film and TV production has moved out of California, anyway. So even as any production will have to adhere to its specific local and statewide guidelines, it’s possible that film and TV could begin shooting soon in other cities and states.

Do you think we’re ready to restart film and TV production? Sound off in the comments below!

In The Industry