Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announces plans to reopen the state’s film industry as a way to jump-start the economy after the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the statement by Gov. Brian Kemp, an estimated 40,000 production workers will find jobs at 75 projects, which are expected to start filming over the next 18 months.
The estimate will also impact other second-line businesses including 17,000 Georgia businesses. These production companies have added a huge impact on Georgia’s economy. In fact, in 2019, nearly 400 movies and TV shows filmed in Georgia impacting 3,040 motion picture and television industry businesses.
“Production companies want to be in Georgia and create tens of thousands of jobs for workers across the state, and today’s announcement is welcome news as we continue safely reopening our state,” Governor Kemp said. “I thank the Georgia Film Office for their work during the pandemic, and I thank the production companies who always vowed to return to Georgia when the time was right for them to safely get back to work.”
Tyler Perry is set to start production on July 8th. Then on July 28, his other BET series “The Oval” will start production. On April 27, Tyler Perry released his guidelines, which include testing, quarantining, and other safety precautions.
Several major TV shows and movies have filmed in Georgia including “Jumanji”, “Stranger Things,” “Jungle Cruise,” and “Ozark”.
“The creative arts and entertainment – particularly television and film – have long been driving forces in our economy, and they will be instrumental as we recover from the impact of the pandemic,” said Georgia House of Representatives Speaker David Ralston.
“Georgia is ready once again to resume the state’s thriving movie, TV, and streaming production industry,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman, and CEO of Motion Picture Association. “The terrific collaboration between the Georgia Film Office, local studios, production companies, and industry stakeholders to create these important guidelines will ensure a safe return to work for Georgians in our industry and play an important role in helping restart Georgia’s economy.”
In relevant news, TV executives are asking writers to rewrite scenes to allow productions to follow Coronavirus safety guidelines, which means fewer extras, more CGI, and fewer opportunities for smaller speaking roles.
As Coronavirus COVID-19 reopening process is spreading across the world, many studios are preparing for upcoming productions. That said, there is a level of uncertainty on how to film a TV show or movie and still follow Coronavirus production guidelines.
According to a new report by the Hollywood Reporter, studios are asking showrunners to cut background extras, reconsider filming sex and fight scenes, and remove some scenes.
This news comes after last April, where Hollywood producers and executives said that despite Georgia’s reopening since the pandemic, not many were interested in filming in the state. According to a Deadline report, even if Georgia plans to relaxed restrictions to include more film and TV production, Hollywood studios were not planning on taking advantage of filming in Georgia any time soon. Not until testing across the nation increases dramatically, and industry guidelines are created to provide a safe environment for their cast and crew. It appears Georgia leaders were listening and have followed through with safety guidelines and additional testing.
The Georgia COVID-19 Best Practices guide include social distancing, limiting the number of background actors, temperature checks, testing, and hiring an Occupational Risk Prevention person who will monitor all parts of production to ensure safety is followed. Other recommendations include:
- Actors wearing masks except when on camera
- A clear barrier between actors while establishing positions
- Using camera tricks to make actors look closer than they really are
- Reducing Background extras when possible
- Virtual location scouting
- Casting virtually as much as possible
- Eliminating the sharing of mics, costumes, and camera equipment
Companies are asked to follow these Georgia recommendations.
“We are so grateful to the hardworking people who make up and contribute to Georgia’s incredibly successful film and TV industry, and we thank them for all the ways they have given back throughout the state’s response to COVID-19,” said Governor Kemp. “The Georgia Film Office has maintained their close work with industry executives to develop these outlines for how productions can help protect cast and crew members.”
“Georgia is open for business, and we look forward to an even stronger relationship with the film industry moving forward,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Thanks to the historic best practices guide, Georgia is able to safely send the tens of thousands of film and TV industry employees back to work and restart production. The economic impact of the film touches local communities and small businesses across Georgia. We look forward to resuming the hundreds of productions across the state and to keeping Georgia as the nation’s film and TV capital.”
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