Film Grad Stephen Beres Talks TV Production During COVID
Published on Jan 27, 2021 by Abby Stassen
The Full Sail Hall of Fame inductee spoke about new industry procedures during a November Hall of Fame Session.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit pause on the film and television industry, and after months of waiting, industry pros were eager to get back to work. But one question loomed: How can you safely create entertainment on a set that's crowded with cast and crew members?
Film grad Stephen Beres, Senior Vice President of Studio & Production Services at HBO, talked about the general industry safety protocols he's observed, as well as unique opportunities that have sprung up during the pandemic, in the Producing a TV Show in the Time of COVID Hall of Fame Session.
"At a large-scale show, testing becomes the cornerstone of how you safely move people on and off set," says Stephen. Some shows work with a healthcare provider to give workers daily rapid tests. Masks are required on many sets, meals are often socially distanced, and departments work in pods to avoid close contact with other departments. Many productions also shorten workdays to reduce opportunities for exposure.
Stephen also gave some examples of how the industry responds to positive tests. Someone with a positive result will be sent home and the production's compliance team will follow up for contact tracing. The team might also provide information on how to deal with symptoms and when to check into a hospital.
Working during the COVID-19 crisis is challenging, but there are some unique opportunities in the pandemic's landscape.
"There's a huge opportunity right now in remote work, [like] remote conferencing, remote edit reviews, watching dailies" Stephen says. Much of the post-production process can be done remotely, and many of these opportunities might stick around after the pandemic is over.
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