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Hollywood film production can resume June 12

Audrey Conklin

California can restart film and music production starting June 12 with approval from public officials, the state's department of public health announced Friday.

Major U.S. streaming services and film production companies have halted the production of movies and TV shows amid the coronavirus pandemic, leading some to wonder what the near future of the industry will look like after a months-long pause in work.

"Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020, and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing," the announcement stated.

The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force sent a 22-page white paper to California Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week suggesting additional safety measures producers can take as the state reopens so they can simultaneously resume work and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Safety measures include required personal protective equipment (PPE) for makeup artists, PPE for actors when they are not being filmed, virtual casting, or in-person casting with social distancing measures in place as a last resort, cleaning furniture and props in between scenes and so on.

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"To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers," the state's announcement said.

The release added that back-office staff and management should follow "office workspace guidelines" published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations in order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

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Hollywood has taken a major hit from COVID-19. Crews have lost jobs, up-and-coming directors missed chances to show their work and make names for themselves due to film-festival cancelations and studios have spent a significant amount of money on ads that won't air for weeks or months.

Movie theaters have been impacted perhaps worst of all due to lockdown restrictions that have resulted in a spike in streaming service use and drive-in theaters as alternatives. Some theaters have started brainstorming additional safety measures customers and employees can take when theaters reopen, such as seating limitations to enforce social distancing.

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