The Oklahoma Film + Music Office has released guidelines for filming in the state during the coronavirus pandemic. Titled “Filming During COVID-19: Considerations for Oklahoma Filmmaking,” the eight-page document includes the word “consider” more than 50 times.
Oklahoma is not a major filming location, but Tava Maloy Sofsky, the director of the state’s film office, said, “Over a dozen new films have shown interest in bringing business to Oklahoma.”
The list of considerations her office has put out includes:
• Individuals who have been sick should consider not returning to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
• During the workday, if someone develops a temperature above 100.4° and/or symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath), they should consider immediately notifying their supervisor and separate from the group.
• Consider temperature checkpoints during check-in and before arriving to set.
• Medical personnel should consider taking temperatures/check medical credentials/approvals.
• Consider daily deep cleans before the start of day and during daily wrap procedures.
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See all of the considerations here.
These guidelines, however, are not mandatory to qualify for the state’s generous 35%-37% cash rebates on qualifying expenditures. If producers, for instance, don’t want to “Consider PPE size & adjust to sufficiently fit minors,” they don’t have to, and they can still receive the tax credits.
As a disclaimer at the bottom of every page notes: “The information and actions listed herein are recommendations and not mandatory or required to utilize the Film Enhancement Rebate Program or complete prep, production or post in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is not responsible for, nor monitors, health and safety regulations on set. If you have additional questions regarding COVID-19 precautions, please use the recommended links provided in this document, located on page 8.”
Said Sofsky: “As one of the first states in the country to begin re-opening, [the Oklahoma Film + Music Office] has been strategically collaborating with film industry leaders and state government leaders to prepare to open safely.”
Protocols that industry leaders are working on are expected to have considerably more teeth. As the OK film office notes: “Considerations provided in this document are not exhaustive nor comprehensive in scope. Guilds, Unions, Companies, Studios, local, state, and federal guidelines may be more restrictive. As film productions make decisions about operations while the pandemic persists, they may consider and continue to adhere to local, state, and federal guidelines.”
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