When the coronavirus pandemic started, it felt like the whole world stopped. Many establishments closed, and people shuttered themselves off to keep safe from the virus. Another field that was greatly affected by the pandemic was the film and television industry.
Many filmmakers and studios have announced their projects in 2019 and early 2020. Some have even started production by then, and that’s when the pandemic started. Filming of various projects was put on hold, and release dates were pushed back to 2021 or 2022.
Thankfully, the industry is slowly and surely getting back on its feet. Productions resumed, and new movies have started to be rereleased. These productions could continue filming in other countries, despite health protocols being put in place—one of these countries is currently underway in Canada.
According to the Directors’ Guild of Canada, 87 productions are currently underway in Ontario alone. Among these productions include Star Trek, See, and Locke and Key.
The question remains, however: how do film and TV productions work in Canada during a pandemic? Read on below.
Joint Effort for On-Set Safety
Canada’s film and television production industry has resumed collaborative efforts between producers and filmmaker unions to keep things safe on-set. To keep things safe, health and social distancing protocols are levied to them by the government. Thankfully enough, there have not been many cases of the virus transmission on film sets.
It has been found in a survey that there has only been 0.1% of people working in the industry as coronavirus-positive. While they are still active cases, it’s still considered a good thing because many people are working on productions in Canada, and only 34 people have tested positive.
For on-set safety, production crews are required to wear a mask and a face shield. Aside from that, virus testing is also a requirement.
Benefits for Production
The obvious benefit for productions in Canada is that they are now able to resume work without time constraints. Aside from that, they can also choose plenty of locations since Canada is a big country. There are many productions underway in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, but there are also productions in far-away provinces such as Alberta and Newfoundland.
Additionally, the Canadian government has also made things easier for those working in the industry. A great example would be Alberta with its enhanced tax credits. Aside from that, the government also removed funding caps, which allowed production executives to consider setting up production in the province heavily.
Foreigners Working In the Industry
Despite being in a pandemic, Canada is okay with foreign production crews working in the country. However, there are still several steps to take before it’s allowed.
Firstly, foreign production crews must present themselves as business visitors. To certify themselves, they must get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is required. The LMIA is like a certification that the foreign worker will not affect local workers, or in this case, infect.
Some people can be exempted from the LMIA. These people are part of the production crew whose work is deemed essential, such as camera operators. They are eligible to work in Canada with a Television and Film Production Workers Permit.
It’s safe to say that the film and television industry is still thriving, despite the world being in a pandemic. Not only that, but the doors of other countries, such as Canada, are open for production crews to continue their work. The greatest thing about this is that they can resume production with health and safety protocols in place, allowing things to go smoothly as planned.
Canada is one of the many countries in the world that is doing well despite a pandemic. Additionally, they are open to accepting immigrants.
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