Steven Soderbergh, a former DGA national vice president and the director of the pandemic thriller Contagion, will head a Directors Guild committee to address getting members – and the town – back to work.
DGA president Thomas Schlamme and national executive director Russell Hollander told members Thursday evening that the committee has been appointed “to do a thorough examination of the issues at hand, and to make recommendations to the Board. The committee is consulting with top epidemiologists in the field, and we will collaborate with our sister guilds and unions and the employers as we put together a comprehensive guide to help us all return safely to work.”
“A major concern we’re hearing most right now is about when we’ll be returning to work, and how we can be certain that it’s safe to do so,” they said (read the full letter here). “Rest assured, this is something we’ve been spending a great deal of time thinking about as well. While we don’t have an answer as to when production will resume, we are taking steps to address how we can be safe when it does happen.”
A second national board committee, they said, has been appointed “to focus on preserving the communal theatrical experience so that when it is safe to do so, your feature films intended to be seen on a big screen will have that opportunity. The committee, comprised of feature film directors, assistant directors and unit production managers, will begin working now to examine ways to promote that safe return to theatrical exhibition that’s so important for our culture and our art. Simultaneous to our planning for tomorrow – we continue to act with tremendous urgency in the here and now to get members through today.”
“As we all keep focused on today and tomorrow,” they wrote, “we hope we can also find some comfort and solace in our yesterdays. Both in having the backing and foundation of a Guild that’s over 80 years strong – and also in knowing that our work done up to this point is keeping people entertained and engaged, and possibly even lifting some spirits the world over. That need isn’t going anywhere. And when the time is right, we will go back to work, return to set, and do what we love…tell stories.”