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Hollywood is restarting its engines. Cinecittà to follow soon

The film industry, along with other sectors, such as tourism and catering, has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid emergency.

Considering the cancelled or totally reorganised film festivals – such as Cannes and Venice – and all the postponed releases (there is great anticipation for Peter Rabbit 2, Minions 2 and Black Widow, just to mention a few of the most sensational films whose releases have been postponed), and considering the many streaming TV series that couldn’t be dubbed (since many dubbing companies, such as ours, had to shut down for quite a while) and the halted productions worldwide, the whole industry is estimated to have lost some 10 billion dollars.

But here is finally some good news: on 5th of June, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, announced that film shooting in Hollywood may resume. Starting on 12 June, the world’s major entertainment industry restarted its engines, albeit amid some brand new rules.

Newsom’s press release, published by the magazine Hollywood Reporter, stressed that “[…] film production may resume […] subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data, […] rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing, […] To reduce the risk of transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labour and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers”.

The guidelines, set forth in a document drafted by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force — whose members include AMPTP, SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, IATSE and Teamsters – were submitted to Mr Newsom, to New York governor Andrew Cuomo and to other U.S. governors. The 22-page document recommends abiding by a number of rules to restart production while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19, thus effectively reshaping film production in the post coronavirus era.

Limited physical contact, staggered timing for refectories, automatic doors and regular swab testing for actors: that’s the protocol the first productions must abide by. From Matrix 4 to Mission Impossible 7 (which Tom Cruise shall be presenting in Venice in September), many film productions are waiting to resume shooting, in Italy too. Here, on 27 May, a health protocol was drafted to safely resume film and audio-visual productions, signed by ANAC, Anica, Apa, Ape, Lara and other trade associations, as well as the relevant trade unions).

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Apparently we had reached a great height in the atmosphere, for the sky was a dead black, and the stars had ceased.

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