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  • Sherri Epperson

California Film & TV Production to Resume June 12

CA Governor Newsom gives greenlight for production but Los Angeles County won't be ready for awhile.



Along with my work in Public Relations, I also work in Film & Television Production. As a crew member in the Motion Picture industry, it's been quite strange, but relaxing, to have so much time off. Most of us are freelance and union members and when we are working we easily pull 10-plus hours a day during filming. We don't have normal jobs. Our industry is quite unique as we are constantly moving from show to show or movie to movie. A project can last anywhere from one day to several months and we choose what project we want to work on. When the project wraps we have the choice to take a break or move on to the next one. It's entirely up to us how much and when we want to work. And it's ideal for me because I can always schedule my time off for vacations and holidays.

In March I was on location in New Orleans, Louisiana working on a large feature film when our production got shut down due to Covid-19. My dog & I (yes, she travels with me) flew back home to Los Angeles where we have been in quarantine ever since. There has been much confusion and speculation as to when our industry would be able to resume. I've received numerous memos and surveys from studios and my union about the proposed safety guidelines and new changes that would have to take place before that could happen.

On May 30th, the leaders of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) union, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild), DGA (Directors Guild), and Teamsters union finalized a 22-page Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee White Paper and submitted it to the Governor's office. This White Paper was just the first phase to set the framework for guidelines to be able to return to work. The second phase included discussions with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and union bargaining about specific departmental procedures. After a few days of review, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, gave the greenlight for Film & Television production to resume on June 12th. However, this date still does not mean that all productions will be ready to resume, especially in Los Angeles County, where the majority of work takes place. Specific job protocols still have to be worked out and Los Angeles County health authorities will have to issue their own guidelines. When all of this will be finalized is yet to be determined and productions could still be on hold until September.

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© Sherri Epperson 2020

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