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The Show Must Go On

Posted 03/10/2021 by Roxanne Wilkerson

Jurassic World: Dominion has been announced to release in 2022, and filming continues with all employees on set being required to follow strict safety protocols. photo courtesy of @JurassicWorld Twitter page

As society moves further into the pandemic, a variety of movies have resumed filming, spending great deals of money on safety precautions and sanitary materials. 

When the massive outbreak of the coronavirus began, all movies were suspended from filming indefinitely. Cast and crew members were directed to halt their ongoing productions, which threw the entire industry off track for release dates and scheduling, while evidently impacting the ideal timeline for building film content. After a few months went by, a variety of companies started to get productions rolling again in mid-spring and at the beginning of summer 2020. This includes many films that were in the midst of the creation process. However, the ability to start running these productions again is followed by an immense amount of rules and regulations, as well as millions of dollars worth of safety and sanitary equipment. 

A film part of the well-known Jurassic science fiction adventure series, Jurassic World: Dominion, was one of the many productions that came to a halt when the pandemic reached the United States. Primarily starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt, the Jurassic World series is intended to be a direct sequel to the Jurassic Park series, originally directed by Steven Spielberg. However, Jurassic World demonstrates a modernized version of the idea of man bringing dinosaurs back to life for adventurous entertainment purposes, showing the advanced technology that was formed to maintain the futuristic visualization of the fictional story. Like many film sets that have resumed production, all cast and crew have been following strict safety protocols including social distancing when possible, frequent coronavirus testing, and routine temperature checks. Shortly after production resumed, director Colin Trevorrow announced that the studio must temporarily suspend filming due to several people on set testing positive for the coronavirus. To further explain this unsettling news, a spokesperson for Universal stated, “We were informed that the ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ production experienced a small amount of positive tests for COVID-19, even though subsequent tests proved negative this morning, due to our rigid protocols and to ensure that the safety and well-being of our entire cast and crew is paramount at all times, those who initially tested positive are currently self-isolating, as are those who they have come into contact with. As a result filming has been temporarily paused and will resume in accordance with established safety guidelines.” After weeks of quarantine, production got rolling again and successfully wrapped up filming this past November. Jurassic World: Dominion is scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 10, 2022. 

Another movie forced to a halt in the pandemic is Mission: Impossible 7. Being a part of the Mission: Impossible American spy film series, the film’s plot revolves around the leading character Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, taking on exhilarating and dangerous missions with the IMF’s (Impossible Mission Force) main field team. The Mission: Impossible movies tend to follow the same story of Hunt courageously stopping an enemy force and preventing a global disaster at the same time. Unsurprisingly, this film was one that underwent drastic rescheduling when the cast was suspended from filming during the pandemic; it’s unfortunate Hunt couldn’t prevent this global disaster. Just like other Hollywood films, many safety regulations were put in place for cast and crew members. Tom Cruise was one of the few cast members to strictly uphold these rules, later expressing his frustration when other employees were not being socially conscious with their actions. When he witnessed crew members not properly socially distancing on set, he aggressively told them, “I’m on the phone with every… studio at night, insurance companies, [and] producers and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs. . .  I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!” This production had to come to a halt in October when 12 employees on set tested positive for the coronavirus. After a mere week of quarantine, filming resumed. Location filming was recently wrapped up, and the crew is at work in the studio putting the film together. Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 19, 2021. 

Though the pandemic has caused abrupt changes and rescheduling within the film industry, studios are still finding ways to run these productions in a safe manner. Recovering from such challenging circumstances is not easy, but Hollywood’s outstanding determination for the show to go on has given movie lovers hope. The expenses of sanitary items and safety equipment are the lengths producers will go to in order to ensure that movie entertainment is brought to their viewers. Although we may see stars on screen in a “normal” setting, when the cameras aren’t rolling, they get right to putting on a mask and using hand sanitizer.