Making movies and TV shows can be challenging under the best circumstances. Add a pandemic and it’s quite a feat to bring together the hundreds (or thousands) of artists and craftspeople it takes to make a major production.
The summer saw a number of troubling flare-ups in several countries as borders began reopening, but overall, the pandemic has stabilized enough in some countries to allow specific industries to resume — very cautiously.
Before the pandemic hit, Ontario was coming off a record-breaking year for production ($2 billion), British Columbia was on pace to set a record year, and Quebec had reached more than $2 billion in film and TV.
Travel to Canada is now on a for-business basis only. Borders have remained closed since the end of March, and anyone coming into the country is required to self-isolate for two weeks, and actors entering Canada are required to obtain a “non-objection” letter.
Shows in production
“The Good Doctor”; “Van Helsing”; “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”; “Riverdale”; “A Million Little Things”; “The Mighty Ducks”; “Midnight Mass”; “Lost in Space”; “Supernatural”; “Murdoch Mysteries”; “Lady Dicks”; Movies of the Week (MOWs) including “Too Close for Christmas (Hallmark)”, “A Bright and Merry Christmas” and “One Kind of Love.”
Since Aug. 19, anyone traveling to Iceland has to get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and quarantine for 4-5 days before being tested again.
The local film and TV industry was mostly spared from major coronavirus-related filming delays. Baltasar Kormákur’s “Katla,” an eight-part supernatural volcano drama for Netflix, was the first Icelandic production to restart in May, followed by “Black Port” and “Sisterhood.” “Chicken Boy”; “Reply to a Letter by Helga”; “Wolka.” Will Smith is also reportedly shooting in Iceland with production company Truenorth. “Trapped 3,” reportedly will start shooting soon.
China was the first country hit by the coronavirus emergency, and the first one out.
Foreigners are only slowly being allowed to enter China. Visas were suspended, meaning that even current visa holders need to have a letter of invitation.
Shows in Production
Thriller “Door Lock” started filming this week; Korean war film “Jin Gang Chuan” is in post-production; 40-part Korean war TV series “Going Across the Yalu River”; “The Three Body Problem” (live action); “1921”; “One Blade of Heaven”; “My People, My Homeland,”
Following a nationwide lockdown in March, New Zealand has been a model for pandemic management. Productions including “Avatar” and “Power of the Dog” resumed in June with very few restrictions. “Lord of the Rings” and “Power Rangers” are in pre-production in Auckland, as well as two Netflix projects – Robert Downey Jr’s “Sweet Tooth” and the anime adaptation “Cowboy Bebop.” Peter Farrelly-helmed film, “The Greatest Beer Run Ever,” is in pre-production in Auckland and Dunedin, but looking at shifting filming to 2021. The New Zealand Film Commission confirms a new, yet-to-be announced international production has also been set for Wellington.
The world took notice in March when Tom Hanks was diagnosed with COVID-19 in Brisbane, Australia, while prepping for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. At least 119 productions had to shut down or cancel since then.
Australia’s borders are closed. Applications for an exemption from international travel restrictions to work on film productions will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Shows in Production
Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has resumed production in Sydney, as has “The Bachelor Australia,” and work has resumed at the Warner Bros. Village Roadshow facilities in Coomera, Queensland, on the Elvis project. Long running show “Neighbours” resumed as early as April after a three-week hiatus. “Thor: Love and Thunder” will not resume until early 2021.