On Friday, Chair of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors Kartheryn Barger announced progress in the Economic Resiliency Task Force’s work on restarting film and TV production. She said the task force had “gone above and beyond” to try and get key sectors of the county’s economy restarted, singling out NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and Casey Wasserman for their contributions.
Barger said that, on Tuesday of next week, the task force will release guidelines for immediately reopening sectors such as film and digital media and theme parks. Earlier Friday, the same task force’s Sports and Large Venue Entertainment sector, led by Wasserman, sent its plans for the phased reopening of sports and concert venues in the county, laying out guidelines for pro sports and concerts to possibly return as early as July.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had said he may issue state guidelines for restarting production today, punted on that at his own, nearly simultaneous, press conference.
An official at Newsom’s Friday presser said that the state is in touch with public health leaders and local officials to identify the variations in crucial metrics throughout the area, which could mean some areas of L.A. County open to production before others, based on those determinations.
Cinematographers Guild leaders indicated Friday that work was progressing on white paper protocols for the safe return to work.
Newsom has before allowed modifications to regional guidance so long as there are attestations at the county level that there are adequate plans in place should a rise in cases be seen again. On Friday, the governor said 48 of California’s 58 counties currently had made such attestations to move into at least Phase 2. L.A. county is not among them which, of course, has a huge impact on production.
The governor said earlier this week that his health director has been working with L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer and may consider opening some parts of the county sooner than others. Whether or not that would include reopening for production remains to be seen.
This past Tuesday, Newsom announced during his coronavirus press conference that, while he had hoped to present guidelines for restarting production in the state, he was pushing back that announcement to confer with guilds and producers.
“We chose to engage a little more formally” in the conversations, he said. “We want to extend them [the deadline] to later this week, possibly this weekend, because we are working with both industry and labor and they want to tighten up some aspects of the
When asked more specifically last Tuesday about the holdup, Newsom said that “industry and labor asked for more time as they worked through some issues.” He said he sees the delay as a positive development since some of these were issues “that predated this pandemic.”
“It’s been a very positive process,” said Newsom, before saying that the reopening of film and TV production is looking a lot like that implemented by the grocery industry, which the governor called “a model in terms of guidelines for safely reopening.”