TV, film industries meet with California leaders to discuss navigating pandemic

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Leaders in the TV and film industry met with California leaders on Wednesday.

The business roundtable wasn’t lights, camera, action, but more so Zoom, unmute, and discussed the current conditions of the TV and film industry.

Governor Gavin Newsom virtually met with film and TV leaders like Hollywood director Ava Duvernay and Netflix executive Ted Sarandos.

Sarandos says Netflix has productions underway in places like South Korea and Iceland.

Leaders say these are paving the way for the future of production protocols.

“In places like Sweden they’re not doing testing but they are doing voluntary quarantine. In Korea, anyone with symptoms is immediately tested and the production is shut down,” Sarandos said. 

Actor Jon Huertas noting this is a frustrating time for American middle class actors.

“The middle class actors have side hustles that other job that they have and a lot of them are in the restaurant industry so they’ve lost jobs on two fronts, so of course people want to get back to work now because we have to work in order to sustain ourselves,” Huertas said. 

Union leader Danny Stephens raised concerns of the necessary but high cost of making productions safer amid the pandemic.

He suggested California consider more incentives to keep productions in state.

“Someone needs to pay for all of this. There’s a fine line to have protocols to keep everyone as safe as possible, but also in the construct to make it financially feasible,” Stephens said. 

Duvernay asked the governor the question lingering for so many industries.

“The question I’m hearing from a lot of crew members and all of us that work is when are we going to be able to shoot?” Duvernay said. 

Newsom says Monday he’ll release more guidelines for some counties meeting requirements for further reopening, including TV and film production.

But the governor says Hollywood’s home is likely not included for now.

“The challenge is LA proper, the county, they’re seeing some good signs but it remains a challenging part of the state for us still. we are concerned they will be a few weeks behind everybody else,” Newsom said.

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