Hollywood North is busier than ever

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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Columbia film industry has bounced back to an even stronger position than before the introduction of the virus.

New released stats reveal that the film and television industry, despite being one of the industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 shutdown, is now doing better than ever.

In March, when productions were ordered to stop, there were about 40 active projects across B.C.

Seven months on, more than 60 productions are either being filmed or in pre-production.

Vancouver film commissioner David Shepheard says credit for the increase can be given to the province’s overall handling of the pandemic, compared to other jurisdictions.

“For us in B.C., we were very fortunate in being able to manage the shutdown period and the public health elements to it.

“I think what’s happened is a number of producers have looked at B.C. as a place where they think it’s safe to come and film, to come and work and I think that’s why we’ve seen a slight uptick in some of those shows coming to B.C.”

However, they’re not exempt from COVID-19 guidelines set out by WorkSafeBC, which include daily safety meetings, physical distancing and hand washing facilities.

Actors and actresses who will be in close contact with others are required to self-isolate for 10 days before shooting.

It has also been suggested that scenes requiring close contact such as kissing, fighting or stunt work are either removed, or shot at angles “such that physical distance can be maintained.”

In 2019, a record $4.1 billion was spent on the film and television industry in B.C., according to the Vancouver Film Commission.

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