While there are reports productions won’t start filming until 2021, a new report by Variety, says studios are getting ready to start production as early as this Summer.
According to reports, much of Europe is easing restrictions on businesses and travel. Now, Hollywood studios are looking at this summer and early fall to restart production in Hungary and the Czech Republic, which are Central Europe’s largest filming locations.
Mid Atlantic and Stillking Film executives, who have co-produced Warner Bros. and Sony’s “Blade Runner 2049,” 20th Century Fox’s “The Martian,” Netflix’s “The King,” and Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” are hoping international productions start filming as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
“The shows that left are all starting to formulate calendars on the basis of expectations…that would allow them to move forward,” said Adam Goodman of Mid Atlantic in Budapest, who expects to begin prepping for his international clients in June and July in order to commence shooting by September.
“People within the film industry in the Czech Republic are cautiously optimistic,” said Stillking’s David Minkowski, who oversees productions in both countries.
“The government has managed the crisis wisely, citizens in general acted responsibly, and the result is the infection rate has remained relatively low, allowing the country to re-open commercially and the industry to get back on its feet quickly.”
Disney was forced to shut down production of the Disney Plus series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” in Prague due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Amazon’s “Carinval Row” starring Orlando Bloom was also filming in Prague and placed on hiatus.
In Budapest, “The Nightingale” a period drama from Dakota and Elle Fanning was in production prior to the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
But, there is a level of uncertainty as lockdown measures could be reimposed if coronavirus cases rebound and rise again.
The Czech Republic government is expected to announce new safety guidelines for all film productions. Currently, social distancing rules are in place for local productions. But, public gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed as soon as May 11th.
“The film industry have been working with the Ministry of Health to plan the way forward in terms of health and safety protocols that will allow production to resume efficiently and safely,” Minkowski says to Variety. “Smaller shoots are already happening in the country, and it is entirely conceivable that larger films and series will be back up and running in June.”
Adam Goodman of Mid Atlantic in Budapest told Variety, “The initial stage (of the pandemic response) was wrapping up the shows that left, and wrapping them up in such a way so that we could open up the proverbial box quickly and efficiently when they returned, so we minimize the amount of prep that needs to take place,” said Goodman. “We want to be able to hit the ground running.”
Overall, studios are excited to start filming as soon as possible. “Our expectation is that we’re going to be jammed going into next year, and hopefully for most of next year, as a result of the backlog.”
He added: “Everybody’s waiting to see who’s going to be first. What’s the first show that’s going to put down roots and make it happen and show everyone that it can be done safely?”
Most studio productions have shut down indefinitely and others are figuring out ways to reopen their facilities.
Despite the health crisis, studio executives are looking into ways to safely resume production. According to Variety, studios and production companies are researching how to accomplish a safe and secure production facility to resume filming movies later this year.
However, according to Elsa Ramo, an attorney who has represented Skydance Media, warns filming may not start until after 2020. “I have a lot of clients with productions that they want to shoot in 2020,” Ramo told Variety. “But it would be arrogant and misleading of me to offer them any sort of assurance that’s possible.” Especially, if another outbreak returns, later on, this year, any plans to restart production in 2020 is far too optimistic for major productions.
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