The COVID-19 coronavirus has made a lasting impression on every facet of normal life around the world. The novel virus has now infected nearly 7 million people globally and resulted in the deaths of 400,000, and although many cities and businesses in major countries have reopened, there’s no denying that risk of infection remains a serious concern.
The US remains the epicenter of COVID-19 with 2 million infected and at least 122,000 dead from the virus, but it hasn’t stopped most governors reopening their states and getting people back to work. In fact, California Governor Gavin Newsom has granted studios in Hollywood the ability to resume shooting on June 12th, so long as they agree to abide by the expected social distancing guidelines.
These guidelines will require all workers on set to wear masks, visors and other equipment to help reduce the risk of transmission, and they’ll be required to wash their hands frequently and be tested as often as possible. This will be enforced by compliance officers who will remain on set at all times.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force has also recommended that “special considerations” be taken for any actors involved in close-quarters scenes, going so far as to state that directors and editors consider “amending scripts or use of digital effects.”
What could this mean for intimate scenes in films shot during the pandemic? Well, it’s likely to mean that directors will do their best to reduce unnecessary close-quarters moments, but it may also result in more important scenes using post-shooting effects to avoid significant interactions between the actors, possibly even leading to strange CGI sex scenes. Awkward.
It’s yet to be seen precisely how directors will ultimately handle the difficult task of working around the limits imposed on them by the coronavirus pandemic, but if history has taught us anything in the movie industry, it’s that poorly-handled or unnecessary CGI can really dampen the experience for viewers. Let’s hope they find a middle-ground while keeping everyone safe.