What is Netflix's Plan for a Safe Hollywood?
Netflix's CEO Ted Srandos is trying to come up with a plan to reopen Hollywood.
All of Hollywood has been left scrambling as COVID-19 changes every best-laid plan. This is happening in what was supposed to be the height of the streaming wars. So if you're a streamer with a plan to get back to work safely, you might be able to take advantage and get to the front of the line.
That's where Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos comes into play.
He's working on a way to get his crews and employees back to work in the safest way possible.
“While we will need to change this process — in some cases dramatically — to ensure the safety of cast and crew during this pandemic, the closed nature of sets also offers some advantages,” Sarandos wrote Monday in an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times. “Not least that they provide a relatively controlled environment, where we can track who comes and goes.”
With Hollywood and the United States shut down, it's time for Netflix to flex its international muscles.
Netflix has begun to resume production in South Korea, Iceland, and Japan. The streaming company plans to pick up filming again in Sweden this month and Norway in July.
As Netflix gets back to work, they hope to provide an example for all of Hollywood to return. That means unique strategies seen in other countries.
For example, production in South Korea only offers tests for those who show symptoms of COVID-19. So they have to hope the numbers have decreased greatly by July. Iceland will test anyone regardless if they’re showing symptoms or not.
So Netflix may favor shooting in Iceland, so they can monitor entire crews. But both countries require all workers have their temperature checked each day. In South Korea, if anyone shows any symptoms, they get tested immediately and production is halted. So there are lots of fail-safes for each production.
For the show, Love and Anarchy, which films in Sweden, the cast and crew have volunteered to self-quarantine for 14 days before and throughout the 11-day shoot. Sweden does not have many tests available, so this felt like the best option to continue to work.
Precautions are being taken at every level. Even the food has changed, with security monitoring the amount of people on the set at all times, boxed lunches in favor of the crafts services, and prohibiting ride shares to and from set.
Only time will tell if these will be applicable to productions in the United States. You have to think it will be done with a set by set basis, and every state will have different access to tests and quick results.
Production size will also change strategies. Only time will tell how every company combats this to get new entertainment out sooner than later.