Coronavirus: Extras replaced by CGI and crew in PPE when TV starts filming again

May 12, 2020

Extras could be replaced by CGI and crews be dressed in PPE when TV and film production begins again, according to draft plans.

Actors flying in to appear in British-made shows could face health checks and a period in quarantine, and more trailers to house stars may be added to increase social distancing.

It is thought call times will be staggered, with those on set encouraged not to share personal items such as pens and phone chargers.

Sets, which would be off-limits to all but essential crew, may be marked with two-metre divisions.

Buffet meals would be replaced by pre-packaged food, while touchless or foot-operated toilet flushes, taps and lights would be recommended.

Another suggestion is that productions have a dedicated COVID-19 health and safety supervisor.

The safety protocols, which have been drafted by the British Film Commission, are being consulted on until Friday.

A date for publication of the final version, which will be presented to government, has not been set.

The use of extras and supporting artists would undergo significant changes.

In addition to replacing them with green screen and CGI wherever possible, real people will be kept on set for less than 10 minutes if they are not two metres apart.

Extras from the same household could also be brought in, and may be asked to do their own hair and make-up if possible.

The makers of long-running dramas will be particularly keen to get going again because episodes are running out after production was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Emmerdale, for example, will run out at the end of May, while Coronation Street will last into June.

In Australia, production of Neighbours got back underway earlier this month on a large production facility with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

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