After the huge hit that the entertainment industry has taken during the pandemic, Hollywood is looking to get back into production. Studio heads are now starting to lay out their plans for reopening and Tyler Perry is just one of the studio heads that seem to be taking the lead with help from the state of Georgia.
Perry's studio, Pinewood, is located in Atlanta where he films two of his shows, Sistas and The Oval. He has stated that he would fly his cast and crew on his private jet to the studio and keep them all quarantined on the 330-acre campus for the duration of filming in July. Back in May, a safety document was created for the studio titled "Camp Quarantine" and laid all procedures that would be in effect.
"We've put a whole lot of thinking into how we should do this safely, and I think we're going to learn and iterate a lot in the next few months in terms of how these protocols work, said Pinewood Atlanta Studios President and CEO Frank Patterson.
Georgia is a hot spot for the entertainment industry and there are plans to hire over 40,000 production workers for approximately 75 upcoming productions.
John Rooker, founder and owner of Atlanta Metro Studios (where Watchmen is filmed) said, "Georgians want to get back to work and show that we can not only beat this virus but be leaders in this industry to hopefully encourage America to get back to work." Rooker also stated that they did recently film a commercial and that "It was a good dress rehearsal for when production comes back full speed".
Another studio head, Blackhall Studios' Chairman and CEO Ryan Millsap, said that the pandemic has caused such a backlog that there are many companies vying for studio time.
"Right now, we have people circling like sharks. It's just a question of who can finally pull the trigger in a world where everybody wants to be working but nobody knows exactly how to work - and it's going to come down to whoever is ready to go tomorrow," said Millsap.
"We hopefully won't open until post-vaccine of this pandemic, but Bill Gates keeps calling this Pandemic One, so we're making sure the things that we've learned during this pandemic are a permanent part of what we're building," says Millsap, adding that the studio is slated for a 2022 debut. "In this business, where people are always crammed in on top of each other, we just thought, why not make this the safest and healthiest studio on the planet?"
Millsap also commented on how they are making sure that they stay on top of and exceed safety measures. "We hopefully won't open until post-vaccine of this pandemic, but Bill Gates keeps calling this Pandemic One, so we're making sure the things that we've learned during this pandemic are a permanent part of what we're building. In this business, where people are always crammed in on top of each other, we just thought, why not make this the safest and healthiest studio on the planet?"
The lack of production has also been a blow for the Georgia economy, and Millsap said that he gets calls from state officials about when he's going to start back up.
"There's a really beautiful element to what's happening in Georgia and the support that we're getting at the political level to return to production. They know that entertainment is one of the few sectors that's going to come up out of COVID like a rocket ship, and everything I hear from all of my relationships with politicians in Georgia is that they are ready to rock and roll this thing."