Returning TV Film Crews will find Working on Set ‘Difficult to Navigate’

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On-set guidelines include banning “buffet-style” food, requiring face coverings when possible and increasing disinfection of equipment.
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Production time could increase as safety recommendations, which include frequent testing for performers, staggered meal times and paid sick leave, are implemented.

With California and Los Angeles County declaring that production can restart as early as June 12, it’s becoming more apparent what film and television production in a COVID-19 world may look like.

white paper published June 1 by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force presented new safety protocols agreed upon by unions, guilds and employers to all 50 state governors including Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo. Employer-provided personal protective equipment like masks; a COVID-19 “compliance officer” who reviews safety conditions on set; regular testing as a condition of employment; staggered meal times and paid sick leave have been recommended, all of which multiple union sources say they pushed for.

Entertainment company members of the task force “didn’t necessarily feel” mandatory testing and paid sick leave should be included in the white paper, one labor source says and others confirmed, but unions felt strongly about those two points given their discussions with medical experts and pushed them through. 

Said one cinematographer of paid sick leave, “If a worker feels like them might be sick, they can’t be tempted to go to work because they need money. We can’t put financial need into the equation.”

Even as Hollywood waits for state feedback on the white paper to determine how sets will proceed, its internal negotiations process is far from over. As the paper notes, “several elements of the protocols, including testing and PPE, are subject to further discussion and agreement” among employers, unions and guilds. “In our view, the white paper is a very solid platform from which to continue working out the detailed protocols that will allow work to resume,” SAG-AFTRA COO and general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland says.

Read more  HERE.

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