‘Poppy’ is the first New Zealand film to resume shooting after the coronavirus – various2 min read
New Zealand’s drama film “Poppy” resumed production on Friday, becoming the first local film in the country to begin with adverse reactions due to a coronavirus outbreak.
The film was in its final week of shooting when New Zealand’s ‘Level 4’ lockdown took effect on March 23. With the country now returning to level 2 on virus alert, “Poppy” will now end six days of filming and wrap up on Thursday.
“Poppy” features the debut of writer-director Linda Niccol. It tells the story of a young woman with Down’s syndrome who refuses to be defined by her disability and decides to take control of her life. Produced by Robin Laing and Alex Cole-Baker.
Production finance comes from 125 funds from the New Zealand Film Commission, a bespoke source launched in 2018 to celebrate 125 years of New Zealand universal suffrage. Other support for production comes from TVNZ, NZ On Air, IHC Foundation and private charitable backers.
After the break, almost all the original shooting crew returned to finish the film. The NZFAC said: “The final six days of shooting will be held at a single private venue off the coast of North Island and will include only three main cast and reducing crew numbers to allow for minimal interaction between social distances and departments.”
New Zealand has established a two-part production protocol, which was created by government departments and industry representatives. Manufacturers have spent most of their time in lockdown, contacting health and safety officials about how to finish production safely. And as the protocols are updated they are expected to revise their work practices.
New Zealand imposed one of the strongest responses in the world on COVID-19, but the government was largely praised for its clear communication of issues and process. It has infected 1,504 confirmed diseases and 22 people have died from the disease.
James Cameron and John Landau, directors and producers of “Avatar,” returned to New Zealand on Sunday to resume production at the studio. Before that, they will spend 14 days in a hotel in Wellington.