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Crew Death Sparks Concerns Over Film Set Safety During COVID-19

COVID-19

Coronavirus numbers spike puts Hollywood's back-to-work plans in trouble.

Assistant director dies from COVID-19 after returning to work on a commercial sparking fears about Coronavirus safety on sets.

A 51-year-old assistant director who’d died from COVID-19 after returning to work on a commercial production has shocked the film industry and renewed fears of safety on film sets.

According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, Texas-based assistant director John Nolan went into cardiac arrest and died on August 26th after battling the illness for weeks.

Currently, it is not known where or when Nolan contracted the disease, it is clear he developed symptoms of the virus after he worked on commercial production in Austin, Texas in mid-July and tested positive for the Coronavirus on July 29th. By, August 5th he was in ICU at a hospital and placed on a ventilator, according to public journal entries made by his family on website CaringBridge.

Chicago Tribune reports Nolan’s death has sparked a conversation by film industry professionals about the safety of TV and film production sets. Currently, commercials do not require COVID-19 testing under local health orders or industry guidelines.

According to John Elmore, a 20-year veteran assistant director who worked on “Spider-Man” and “The Oath” says, many industry professionals are reportedly considering “getting out of the business completely” until people can “get back to work safely.”

Thousands of actors and crew members have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus. Now, they must choose between the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or finding a new position in other career fields. That said, producers, unions, and state government officials are working on creating safety protocols for productions.

In relevant news, Hollywood abandons filming in the U.S. due to the lack of Coronavirus tests. A movie starring Ben Affleck was supposed to start filming in the United States. However, due to the lack of COVID-19 Coronavirus testing material and fast lab results, producers moved the filming location to Canada. Ben Affleck’s latest movie is just one of several projects leaving the U.S. for Canada, the U.K., and Australia due to the Coronavirus.

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