(File photo)

B.C. film industry given go-ahead to restart productions halted due to COVID-19

The industry will likely look very different than it was before the pandemic

British Columbia’s film industry has been given the go-ahead to restart production after WorkSafeBC released new health and safety guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The guidelines will ensure social distancing during film and TV production and they cover everything from costumes and makeup to transportation and catering.

Film production companies are allowed to start working once they have a COVID-19 safety plan that meets both their protocols and the provincial health officer orders, WorkSafe said.

The WorkSafe protocols call for work such as casting and location scouting to be done remotely, if possible.

More than 30 films and television shows stopped production across B.C. when the province imposed a lockdown due to COVID-19 in March.

Pete Mitchell, the president of Vancouver Film Studios, said he views the protocols as a ”good first step.”

“What’s great about it is it’s not overly prescriptive,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. “It’s saying ‘here’s another health and safety issue you have to deal with.’ “

ALSO READ: Horse mascot dressed in Dr. Bonnie Henry outfit a hit on Vancouver Island

The film industry was operating over capacity before the novel coronavirus forced productions to stop work, Mitchell said.

He said the industry will look very different than it was before the pandemic.

“There will be changes over time. In the short term, I don’t think you’ll see any crowd scenes in productions around the world,” he said. “The film industry is nothing if not adaptive.”

He estimates 40,000 jobs were lost due to the pandemic but said he hopes British Columbia’s reputation as a safe destination will lure business back.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the province’s total to 2,669.

The province saw no deaths from the virus for the fourth day in a row.

ALSO READ: Nine new positive COVID-19 tests in B.C., no new outbreaks

Henry said she hasn’t seen the WorkSafe guidance for the film and TV industry but noted that the issue of non-essential workers looking to travel to Canada will need to be addressed.

In B.C.’s four-phase restart plan, film and TV production were listed alongside hotels, resorts, parks and theatres as part of Phase 3 reopenings.

Henry said COVID-19 is still a major problem around the world and the virus “recognizes no borders.”

“And just yesterday was the highest single day for new cases globally since this pandemic started with more than 136,000 people being affected,” she said.

Creative B.C., a provincial organization that supports a range of creative industries, is leading a group that will release a guide in mid-June for film for production companies to follow.

It has estimated that film and TV production contributes more than $3 billion annually to the provincial economy.

The Canadian Media Producers Association, a national trade association for English-language media producers, estimated in April that the COVID-19 pandemic would lead to job losses of up to 172,000 workers and a $2.5 billion loss in production volume.

Nick Wells , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

British ColumbiaCoronavirusFilm industry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Semiahmoo Peninsula girls to host Black Lives Matter fundraiser

‘We are doing this because the world is full of systemic racism,’ organizer Sabine Lapointe said

Community fruit harvest program returns to Surrey, White Rock

Sources will send a team to harvest fruit trees, so less goes to waste

East White Rock crosswalk, speed bumps proposed

Report on costs and implications requested by council

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Most Read

l -->