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As Los Angeles Restarts TV and Film Production; Safety Protocols For Scenes, Studios, and Audiences Revealed

Photo: JPI

Today, Los Angeles County can begin film and television production under the guidelines and regulations set forth during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The news of the restart comes with some harsh news that on Thursday, L.A. County’s Department of Public Health reported 1,857 new confirmed coronavirus cases.  However, while it was the largest single-day number of new cases announced by the county during the pandemic, health officials said about 600 of those cases were the result of a backlog in the reporting of test results. As well, the city of Long Beach and Pasadena, have their own health departments, combined to confirm an additional 84 cases. That gave the county 1,941 new confirmed cases.

In a statement from Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Donna Langley who was part of the Entertainment Industry Task Force on the protocols, she expressed on Thursday:“Today’s release of safety protocols for film and television production marks a significant step in getting our industry back to work in Los Angeles County. On behalf of all us at NBCUniversal, we thank the County Board of Supervisors and Mayor Garcetti for their continued commitment to the economic recovery of our region, and the County Public Health Department for their tireless efforts to help protect the health of our community. Teams across the Studios, production companies, guilds, and unions in every facet of our business have shown, and will continue to show, innovation and creativity in bringing film, television and digital production safely back to Los Angeles.”

In terms of your favorite soaps returning and what they may look like when production does begin again, here is what we know thus far via Deadline.

As to what rules and regulations performers, crew, producers and show would have to follow; some of these are noted below:

–  All shared clothing, wigs, prosthetics and equipment must be disinfected before reuse.
– In offices and editing areas, workstations much be at least 6 feet apart.
– Breaks must be staggered to allow for social distancing, and they must be frequent to allow for hand washing.
– Eating is prohibited anywhere beyond designated areas to ensure cast and crew wear masks as much as possible.
– Each worker should have their own tools (and not share them) whenever possible.
– Date, time and participants in all production sessions must be recorded to allow for contact tracing.
– Productions requiring audiences must sit those in attendance at least 6 feet apart.
– Where possible, all workspaces shall have one-directional traffic to limit close contact.
– Production units or meetings should be broken down into the smallest feasible groups.
– All scripts, contracts or music sheets should be shared digitally or individually assigned to each worker.
– Sets, production spaces and the entire facility must be cleaned daily, with restrooms and other high traffic areas cleaned more frequently.
– All trucks and other vehicles must de disinfected after each use.

Photo: JPI

In terms of the shooting of scenes”

–  Health checks for all vendors and employees when they arrive on set
– All cast must wash and sanitize their hands before each scene and not touch their face.
– Large crowd scenes should be avoided.
– All location filming must occur between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., whenever possible.
– All cast and crew should stay on location during filming, even during breaks.
– Locations should be completely secure to prevent public access.
– In permitting, productions that consist of entirely virtual/remote filming and recording should be prioritized when possible.
– Small closed indoor spaces without proper ventilation should not be used.
– Hands-on assistance with wardrobe, hair and makeup should only be provided when cast cannot do it themselves.
– Cast and crew involved must sanitize their hands before each hands-on styling or wardrobe session.
– Actors should stay as silent as possible during the application of makeup.

As for food and drinks on set:

– No buffets.
– No communal beverage service, such as coffee pots
– All cast and crew must sanitize their hands before eating.
– Any foot brought in by individuals must be labeled and not shared.
– If water is served from communal dispensers, the levers and buttons by which they operate must be cleaned after each use.

As for size of studio audiences:

– Studio audience members can include paid staff, and must be seated at least 6 feet from each other and wear face coverings whenever feasible. Audiences should be limited to 100 people or 25 percent of the maximum occupancy of the space (whichever is smaller).

So what do you think The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital and Days of our Lives might look like in scenes under these COVID-19 guidelines?  Comment below.

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25 Comments

  1. Elsie Hageman

    June 12, 2020 at 11:45 am

    How are they going to act out Love scenes.? .

    • anne

      June 12, 2020 at 9:07 pm

      My grandmother thinks the producers will go back to some of the rules put in place by the Hays Commission. For example: no two people sharing the same bed, no two people kissing at all and so forth.

    • Su000

      June 13, 2020 at 12:38 am

      hi Elsie –
      that is a good thing..
      Soap love/sex scenes are really bad, I mean really bad..
      those scenes are more-so comic than gooey.
      not sexy, nope, just so not right..
      best not having sex scenes iiissshhh bad..

      • Diane

        June 15, 2020 at 11:03 pm

        Will be like Hogan’s Heroes!

    • Diane

      June 15, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      They are not!

  2. Momo

    June 12, 2020 at 11:48 am

    It can be done, but will require more work and protocols. I think scripts may have to be reworked and camera angles to make us think actors are closer than they are.

  3. Jimmy

    June 12, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    This is going to make soaps look extremely different. Think about how many love scenes there are, and then double that for how many scenes include characters just hugging, sitting at the same table, shaking hands, making arrests, etc. I wonder if these new guidelines will force soaps to write-in a pandemic storyline in order to explain the change in behaviour.

    • Su000

      June 13, 2020 at 12:34 am

      Hopefully, the make-up dept will be out.
      And we can finally see the [real] and not the phoney person.
      they/actors have become quite phoney especially age-wise.

      I noticed; Michael from Y&R during an online broadcast
      he looked his age- with thinning grey hair
      it was the 1st time he looked real without that dead racoon on his head..
      and the same goes for others / be your age!!!
      they All looked great being themselves online during the lockdown.
      And- Maurice/Sonny- he also looked stud with his thinning grey hair..
      I prefer the real deal, not the phoney looking.

      looking forward to the return !

      • Violet Lemm

        June 15, 2020 at 8:02 pm

        SuOOO
        I tend to agree with you but a lot of people dont want to see the real thing. They want the actors made up, looking young and more romantic, so to speak.
        I did see Michael, so I know what you mean there. Except for the younger actors, I bet Victor is the only one we see who looks the same in real life as he does in feel life.

    • Diane

      June 15, 2020 at 11:08 pm

      These soaps are D.O.A. Just let them RIP. They had a good run.

      • soapqueenforever

        June 18, 2020 at 10:55 am

        I agree. How are scenes going to be played out with social distanting and mask wearing still a very necessary part of everyday life. It has been so long since I have watched, that I don’t even know what is going on anymore. They served their purpose. Now I think it is time to move on. And the way I was addicted to both Y&R and B&B, I never thought I would here those words come out of my mouth.

        • Su000

          June 20, 2020 at 5:16 pm

          well–

          the cameras can do ummmm I’ m call it tricks.
          cameras can make things/people seem closer even if further apart.

          the actors can be standing 6ft. apart but will appear to be close..

  4. Eric

    June 12, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Sounds like the Gestapo will be in charge of getting Soaps started again…..

    • sonniorsolita

      June 12, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      Sounds like people who care about the health and safety of actors and entertainment technicians are in charge, to me. What good does it do to restart soaps (or any TV or movies) if everyone immediately gets sick? In my state, 1400+ people were newly diagnosed positive yesterday. Better safe than sorry! Stay safe, everyone, and best wishes to the folks in L.A. going back to work so we have entertainment.

      • Diane

        June 15, 2020 at 11:14 pm

        Agreed! It is all about money! LA has nothing without the entertainment industry and these fans have NO LIFE.

    • anne

      June 12, 2020 at 9:13 pm

      Grow up and start thinking like a responsible adult! The health of each of the actors and others working on the sets of Soaps is more important than your childish need to see your favorites in romantic scenes all the time.

    • Diane

      June 15, 2020 at 11:11 pm

      Would you like it better if everyone employed becomes quite ill? MORON.

    • Sammie

      June 20, 2020 at 9:39 am

      Does anyone have any idea about when Y&R is resuming production? I keep reading about B&B but nothing about Y&R.

  5. dzzdee

    June 13, 2020 at 1:35 am

    There will be more communications and dialog s from a distance, which probably good for social distance, not so much for camera view. However, 20 yrs ago filming wasn’t as good as today’s digital process, so it should be a creative way. Interesting to see this play out from fans view. I am glad to take story’s anyway it safe and on network.

  6. Steve

    June 13, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Is GH the only show that regularly shoots scenes outdoors? That “park” area on the Prospect lot will probably be used a lot.

    To save money, shows have heavily relied on restaurant and bar scenes the past few years. That’s likely to change temporarily as the use of extras in background tables is likely discouraged.

    Sets have gotten smaller in the past decade, but look to the larger ones with multiple segments to get used more. On GH, for example, The hospital hub, Sonny’s living room/patio and the Q foyer/living room allow for distance and more cast to be present in each scene.

    A larger question is if the shows all ignore the pandemic.

    One would hope that shows used the downtime to be prepared for these expected guidelines.

  7. Amber Stroud

    June 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    They just need to start safe and do the best they can do and if they wanna be like real life then wear masksit wouldn’t bother me

    • Diane

      June 15, 2020 at 11:24 pm

      If it comes to that, just cancel them all. It will come down to the decision of the network, ultimitely.

  8. Andrea

    June 15, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    The soaps have been on life support for years. Soaps can not be the same with actors 6 ft apart! Are victor and nikki, Brooke and ridge going to shake hands? May work for GH, they can all just shoot each other.
    The best will be the actors doing their own hair and makeup,funny. Now with the BLM movement sponsors will dictate the fate of the shows. Pull the plug already and put us out of or misery, life will go on!

  9. Sally Taylor

    June 16, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    No kissing I hope

  10. soapqueenforever

    June 18, 2020 at 11:02 am

    And not to mention no more cat fights or good old fashioned slaps in face. What is a soap opera without a catfight or a face slap. I think the soaps should finally go the way of the dinosaur. RIP. It was fun while it lasted. The only thing I want to know is the outcome of Sharon’s cancer surgery

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Breaking News

Kristian Alfonso Departs Days of our Lives After 37 Years

In a bombshell announcement, Days of our Lives enduring and ever-popular star, Kristian Alfonso (Hope Williams) has decided to make her exit from the NBC daytime drama series after more than 37 years in her role.

Kristian made her debut as a teenaged Hope Williams in 1983 and quickly rose to popularity and became soap-famous; along with her on-screen romance to Bo Brady then played by Peter Reckell. Together as one of soaps most all-time popular duos and separately, Alfonso has remained one of soap opera’s most notable performers.   There were only two times throughout her time in Salem, that Kristian took breaks from the show; during one of them she starred on CBS’s Falcon Crest.

According to Deadline who broke the news; in a statement to the outlet, Alfonso shared, “I feel blessed and honored to have been invited into people’s homes for over three decades. However, it is now time for me to write my next chapter.”

And it appears its already a wrap for Alfonso, who will not be returning to the series when the show is planned to return to production in the fall and come early September.

Kristian added:  “I will not be returning to Days when it resumes production in September.  I’ve already filmed my last episode several months ago.”

In a heartfelt post on her Instagram account, the actress gave special thanks to the late Betty Corday (mother of DAYS EP Ken Corday), and of course, her millions of fans who loved her as Hope throughout her time on the soap.  You can read it in full below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#❤️ #😘

A post shared by Kristian Alfonso (@kristianalfonso) on

So, what do you think about Kristian Alfonso’s exit from Days of our Lives?  Are you heartbroken to see her go? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Days of our Lives Targets September Production Restart

Looks like Salem and Days of our Lives will be back in full-swing come September, if the target date holds true as revealed today by Deadline.

According to their sources, Corday Productions, who produces the long-running NBC daytime drama, sent out an email to cast members on Thursday notifying them of their intent to resume production come September 1st.

However for this article; reps for NBC, Corday and Sony Pictures TV declined to comment.

Days of our Lives has had enough shows banked through early October of this year, so was not pressed to get back into production amidst the coronavirus pandemic as much as CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful (which went back into production a week and half ago), and The Young and the Restless and General Hospital who are targeting a mid-July restart.

All three of the shows, except for DAYS ran out of original episodes to air, back at the end of April of this year.

So, excited to hear that their may be plans ahead come fall for DAYS to come to back and tape new episodes? Comment below.

 

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Breaking News

B&B’s Supervising Producer, Casey Kasprzyk Shares: “Just Finished Viewing Our First Produced Episode Since Starting Production Back Up!”

In a tweet late on Thursday, the supervising producer of The Bold and the Beautiful, Casey Kasprzyk, shared his enthusiasm at completing the first major hurdle for the soap going back into production during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Showing a viewing copy on disc of the first new episode produced for B&B in months, Casey said: “Just finished viewing our first produced episode since starting production back up! So proud of Team Bold & Beautiful. Great shows airing soon”

The disc had airshow number #8321 on it, and a question mark as to when it will make it to air.

The fact that The Bold and the Beautiful is the first daytime drama to get one new episode completed is a step forward amidst the spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County and the state of California.

Now soap fans will have to wait and see if General Hospital and The Young and the Restless begin their productions in the middle of July; as last projected by both series, or if there will be further delays due to the ongoing crisis for the safety of everyone involved at the shows.

So, excited to learn Casey’s news that there is a new episode of B&B on the horizon for viewers to see? Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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