Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hollywood film sets shut down as Covid-19 cases soar



Hollywood film sets shut down as Covid-19 cases soar

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People wearing facemasks walk at the Griffith Observatory with a view of the Hollywood sign. Most Hollywood productions have shut down again until at least mid-January. AFP

Hollywood film sets shut down as Covid-19 cases soar

Most Hollywood productions have shut down again until at least mid-January, the movie industry’s acting union announced, as Covid-19 cases soar to record levels in Los Angeles.

SAG-AFTRA said the majority of entertainment productions will “remain on hiatus until the second or third week of January if not later,” in a statement to members late on December 29.

The message comes after Los Angeles county health officials on Christmas Eve urged filmmakers to “consider pausing work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in Covid-19 cases.”

Los Angeles – the nation’s most populous county – has emerged as the latest US epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, topping 7,000 Covid hospitalisations for the first time Monday.

The sprawling county of 10 million people has suffered nearly 750,000 cases including just under 10,000 deaths.

Southern California’s “stay-at-home” order was extended indefinitely Tuesday, with multiple hospitals overwhelmed and forced to turn away ambulances.

SAG-AFTRA has steered months-long efforts to restart Hollywood since its initial March shutdown, co-signing a deal with top studios in September to ramp up on-set coronavirus safety measures for its actors, including testing.

Even so, Los Angeles entertainment productions were at less than half their usual activity levels in October, before again declining as Covid cases began to soar.

Film LA, the body that grants permits for productions around Los Angeles, said applications to film have recently sunk to “lows we have not seen since the weeks after restart of production last summer”.

Besides a few dozen indie movies, very few feature films resumed production in the Los Angeles area this year, with most filming activity restricted to commercials and music video shoots.

In contrast, high-profile productions have resumed abroad, including the latest Tom Cruise blockbuster Mission Impossible 7 in the UK and Italy, and TV series such as Supergirl and Batwoman in Canada.

Lack of coronavirus insurance continues to hamper productions hoping to restart.

SAG-AFTRA said it would ensure “appropriate precautions for the holiday hiatus period including additional time for testing prior to the resumption of production.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,