(File photo)

(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

Just Posted

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

A rendering of the proposed “Aqua” resort in Kelowna’s Lower Mission area. (Contributed)
Towering waterfront resort planned in Kelowna

Mission Group’s ‘Aqua’ resort has been in the works for more than a decade

A pair of Okanagan Regional Library reference librarians have created a podcast called Hard Cover that takes a zany but informative look at books, libraries and librarians. (File photo)
Okanagan reference librarians produce quirky podcast

Davin Helkenberg and Peter Critchley are behind Hard Cover

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra music director Rosemary Thomson in action at the podium. Photo by Lynda Miller.
Kelowna filmmaker gets funding to create new ‘Local Heroes’ documentary

The documentary will be focused on the director of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Opera

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Most Read