Independent Filmmaking News: When Can We Go Back to Work?

When can we get back to work??? Well that really is the question isn’t it!

And the answer is….it’s all depends.

It depends on whether you are working on a studio project, which means the proper rules and regulations and insurance coverage. So in that case the answer would be yes, but “On-location film production taking place at this time is subject to strict adherence to health and safety guidelines.” – FilmLA

This will of course drastically reduce the number of projects currently shooting, not just here, but anywhere in the country really.  Entertainment unions, not just SAG, are notorious for safety…as the should be!

Independent films are of course an entirely different breed.  So, while they are still giving out permits, if that’s your thing, they are few are far between, highly regulated and therefore will add substantially to the cost of filming.

So if you want to follow the rules, as usual, it will cost you.

I suppose if you want to do something small, like we have tried to do on and off during last year, then you could.  Ensuring everyone is safe, masked, distanced, and not a ninny about covid.

To be honest, the few things we tried work okay, but once in the edit where disappointing.  Because, I think, all this safety stuff, however necessary, seeps into performances and technique and, in the end, quality and purpose and results.  Even if you don’t notice during the day, the pressure of covid and everyone involved’s stories connected to that – family members vulnerable, or ill already, etc – doesn’t exactly lift the mood, does it?  Understandable, I think.

So why try then?  Well, perhaps your experience might be different to my own, or perhaps you have something up your sleeve that is absolutely perfect for this nutty time. A solo project, something weird and wonderful that needs no one at all, or just your roommate or kid sister or your entire family with whom you are hunkered down, or your ”pod.” So my advice is to do only projects that are completely at ease with this shutdown. Don’t try to force anything that you would have shot before, in a way that you might have previously envisioned it anyway.  Find something, not necessarily about covid, I’m sure we are all a bit over that, but something forged by it.  Creativity, for some, is birthed in chaos after all.

I have nothing planned now.  I am helping on a small something my husband is trying out, but I have set aside my project.  I did plan to shoot my feature in 2020….oh how the universe chuckled over that one, I’m guessing.  So now I am writing a book.  Which seems sensible for the present. I’ll be last on the list for a vaccination, which Is fine, so seclusion and purpose and finally doing a thing I have promised myself I would do, sounds like a good idea.

While this doesn’t fit neatly into the realm of filmmaking, I do think that as creatives we have to adapt to our surrounding, our predicaments and our parameters. Actually that, in my experience, is the essence of making films.  Nothing ever goes to plan, and sometimes that’s frustrating and sometimes that’s illuminating.  But it is what it is….(I’m taking that back!).