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How will Hollywood North rebound once we return to a 'new normal' in B.C?

Last Updated Apr 29, 2020 at 9:17 pm PDT

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving Hollywood North scrambling to figure out how they can start calling action once again

Local writers say the first change we will see when it comes to the industry will be surrounding scripts

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You can expect plenty of changes for the province’s film industry once people get back to work.

Netflix added 15.8 million subscribers in the first three months of this year alone, proving we are all watching movies and tv shows like never before.

But the people behind these films have yet to get back to work, leaving Hollywood North scrambling to figure out how they can start calling action once again.

“The last thing anyone wants is to be the production that was first out of the gate that is rolling again,” says Dennis Heaton, a writer and showrunner from Vancouver. “All that only to be forced to shut down again because of an outbreak.”\

Heaton says the first change we will see when it comes to the industry will be surrounding scripts.

“Any scripts that were written before this all started, they could be looking at a lot of rewrite notes before they go to the floor to be shot,” he says. ”

Allan Harmon is the BC Charmain of Director’s Guild of Canada, and says there will likely need to be workarounds to maintain physical distancing, like using long lenses to make actors appear closer than they actually are, and reducing the number of extras needed for a scene.

But even with new safety precautions, there’s no timeline for when the cameras will start rolling again.

“There’s a real hope that in June or July, the potential is in the wings,” he says. “What I think is more realistic expectations is later in the summer and more like in the fall, September or October.”

He says an information session is being held this Friday by the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC. It’s being called “the beginning of a roadmap to recovery and re-opening”.

“It’s just to let all the stakeholders know all the different associations are working on their behalf so that we have a safe return to work when the time comes.”

Another worry is American filmmakers; There’s no word when they’ll be allowed back in Canada to work, given current travel restrictions.