Greetings Film Community!
It’s been a while since we’ve checked in. After the film production moratorium due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are excited to see film production resume in Seattle following Governor Inslee’s reopening plan. As a result, we are, restarting our monthly film production update.
Film permitting restarted in Seattle on August 10. August saw 13 productions permit with the film office, and September saw an uptick with 18 productions filming on City of Seattle public property, and so far in October we’ve issued film permits for 22 productions. We’re hearing of more productions in town, but anything filming on private property, studios, or soundstages are not tracked here because they do not require film permits. From the data provided in film permits, productions have been keeping lean with an average of 9 cast and crew per production.
Safely reopening film production activities has required the development of restrictions and protocols to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19. Seattle requires productions to show proof they are meeting all guidelines set forth by Washington State’s Phase 2 Motion Picture Production COVID-19 Requirements, including providing detailed maps and safety plans for approval. Since resuming permitting , very few productions have been unable to meet the required COVID-19 protocols.
As film production resumes, we and the industry must work together to develop new and innovative opportunities to support and grow film production in the region. We have already enacted creative solutions to respond to new changes that impact the industry. For example, changes in land use for filming—including streets and parks—required creative solutions for diversifying filming locations. As a result, we provided film productions exclusive parking in City park’s parking lots that have been closed to the public. With Seattle‘s current restrictions on uniformed police officer availability, we will need to work together to develop new and innovative opportunities to support and grow film production.
As we all continue to navigate the pandemic, and its impacts to the film industry, we encourage you to plan ahead before applying for a permit, and review the COVID-19 Film Guidance and Updates page for the most up to date information on public health guidelines for production. We are here to answer questions and guide you through these new requirements so you can get your production safely on the streets and in the parks of Seattle.
We appreciate the dedication to safety and public health demonstrated by every applicant coming through our office. Your continued efforts will go a long way in helping the industry in these uncertain times.
Check out our permitting highlights for August through October 19, 2020.
Film Industry COVID-19 Updates
Washington State Film Industry Safe Set Protocols Updated
On September 18, Governor Inslee updated the film industry’s safety on set protocols to give further guidance for the hair and makeup department. The changes are reflected under the “Personal Services” section of the Phase 2 Motion Picture Production COVID-19 Requirements.
Studios and Unions Reach New COVID Safety Agreement
The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters and the Basic Crafts unions have reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers regarding COVID-19 filming protocols. You can read the details of the new “Return to Work Agreement” here, and the highlights of the deal over at the Hollywood Reporter.
Send us your on-set photos, site plans, and on-set safety protocols
The Office of Film + Music is collecting an archive of materials from this unprecedented time for the film industry. We would like to see your site plans and written safety protocols and use them publicly as examples on our website as productions for best practices under the new normal. Please send your good work to email@example.com. Please note that all sensitive client, product, and production company information will be removed.
Film Task Force Updates
The Film Task Force is entering it’s 11th month. The Film Task Force is a diverse group of film industry and community stakeholders developed in January 2020 that advise the Office of Film + Music and the City of Seattle on ways to best support and grow the local film industry and community. The Task Force has developed key priority subcommittees that are focused on equity and inclusion, developing a film commission, marketing film production in Seattle, and making Seattle a prime location for film production.
Head over to the Office of Film + Music Blog, where the Film Task Force’s work and priorities are being shared. This will be a continuing series through the end of the year, so stay tuned.
Office of Film + Music “The Mixer” Professional Development Series
Be sure to check out the this summer’s The Mixer industry professional development series. Due to the pandemic, all Mixers have been online-only since March, and have included discussions about payroll vs contracting, copyright and streaming, COVID-19 relief programs, livestreaming tips, and more. We’re taking October and November off and will have a year-end Mixer in December – see you there then!
Other Industry Updates
Washington Filmworks Production Directory
Washington Filmworks’ new Production Directory is a one-stop-shop for all your statewide production needs. The Production Directory includes crew, production companies, post-production services, vendors, and support services throughout Washington State. Sign up today, and please help spread the word! If you know of a business or crew member that should be registered, please share this information with them.
Visit the Production Directory registration page to list yourself and your business.
We’ll be back in touch next month with another update. Stay safe out there!