(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

A woman checks out a jobs advertisement sign during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto in April 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Kelowna’s unemployment rate jumps in April, remains one of Canada’s lowest

Kelowna had the fifth-lowest unemployment rate of major centres across the country in April

The Tolko Mill in Kelowna on Feb. 2, 2018. (File)
Tolko receives extension for environmental assessment of defunct Kelowna mill

The extension gives Tolko time to decommission, remove structures at the site

Spring Valley Seniors Community long-term care home. (Google)
Three people die as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Kelowna care home

Outbreak was declared at Kelowna’s Spring Valley long-term care home on April 28

The administrative headquarters for Central Okanagan Public Schools in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

7 Central Okanagan schools have been sites of potential COVID-19 exposures since April 23

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Vanilla flavouring contains goo from beaver butts

Your morning start for Friday, May 7, 2021

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

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

An unused fruit stand at Highway 97 and Road 1 went up in flames Thursday night. (Oliver Fire Department)
Abandoned South Okanagan fruit stand fire considered suspicious

The timing of the midnight fire is one reason the fire is suspicious

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

Fun 4 All Pet Resort is closed for two weeks following a COVID-19 outbreak among staff. (Fun 4 All photo)
COVID closes Vernon dog daycare

Two staff members test positive at dog boarding centre

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

Most Read