Universal’s Donna Langley calls on LA County to resume film production – Variety2 min read
Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, called on Los Angeles County authorities to resume all film and television production after submitting an outline of the 22-page blueprint of the Cornavirus Safety Guidelines.
Representing the larger industry at a conference call with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Economic Resilience Taskforce on Tuesday, Langley presented a white paper report to California Governor Gavin News on Monday urging immediate resumption of production. TV and film sets have been shut down since mid-March due to the epidemic taking over the country.
“If there is a delay in lifting the overall restrictions on filming activities based on the protocols and methods outlined in the white paper, we want you to identify and approve specific sector roles and functions that can properly restart appropriate security protocols,” Langley said.
Low-risk work Langley includes pre- and post-production, set construction, video editing and music scoring – all areas that work in relative isolation and are not as popular as the filmed scene where the sections call.
Langley noted that the industry has demonstrated innovation in creating and delivering new content to audiences around the world, but stressed the need for “regional continuity”, especially to re-open the stage as well as lose potential business in other states.
The taskforce meeting was also attended by Casey Wasserman, attorney representing the live event and sports sector, and Karen Irwin, president of Universal Studios Hollywood, representing the theme park. They echoed sensitivities about preparedness in line with local and national health guidelines and discussed inviting the public to use the reduced capacity.
The protocols outlined in Monday’s white paper include regular screening, access to personal protective equipment, diagnostic testing, cleaning and disinfection work sites, and any employee with appropriate feedback should face COVID-19 or contract.
The White Paper is the result of a collaborative effort by the manufacturing companies, unions and guilds to provide the government with a set of guidelines for safe resumption of production.
This taskforce of about 50 participants was brought together by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee, a long-established entity that deals with safety and training concerns related to manufacturing. The committee includes officials from SAG-Afra, DGA, TeamStars and IATSE’s main studio and union representatives, as well as safety, physical production and labor relations officials. It was organized through an alliance of motion picture and television producers.