Coronavirus Outbreak: The Batman, Fantastic Beasts 3 among other productions likely to resume shooting as UK eases restrictions
New guidelines passed in the U.K. would officially give films like The Batman and Fantastic Beasts 3 permission to resume work once again.
The British government and health bodies have formerly endorsed a comprehensive set of guidelines that will allow film and television shoots to restart months after they were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The guidelines, drawn up by the British Film Commission and the British Film Institute, include rules on physical distancing, safety training and temperature tests. Titled “Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-End TV Drama Production", the 27-page list of practice protocols document has been signed off by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. However, it will still be up to each individual production to decide how, and when, to restart filming.
According to The Guardian, producers of Hollywood productions including The Batman and the next Fantastic Beasts film are keen to resume production as soon as is safely possible. Other major productions in the UK include the live-action movie Little Mermaid, which Disney halted filming at Pinewood Studios, and Netflix’s big-budget series The Witcher.
The Batman was about a quarter of the way into production when it was shut down, which forced the DC film to leave its original June release date for 21 October. Meanwhile, Fantastic Beasts 3 was just about to start filming before the shut down was put into effect.
The BFC guidelines include induction training for all crew members prior to the start of shooting; the inclusion of a dedicated COVID-19 health and safety supervisor to oversee health and symptom-checking along with an optimized number of trained medical staff depending on crew size; safe pre-employment screening for all cast and crew; stay-at-home precautions for those in close contact with anyone contracted with COVID-19, reports IndieWire.
As with most of the world, almost all production in Britain was shuttered in mid March amid the virus outbreak. The news that they are set to return should come a welcome relief to an industry.
"Our film and TV industry has been growing faster than other any other sector, generating over £7.9 billion ($9.74 billion) a year in GVA (Gross Value Added) to the UK economy and employing 166,200 people – so creating scaleable guidance to help restart film and high-end TV production as safely and as quickly as possible has been paramount," said BFI chief executive Ben Roberts.
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The London Film Festival was scheduled to take place from 7 October to 18 October by when coronavirus restrictions were expected to be eased out