What can local production houses learn from Australia's productions amid Covid-19

Australia’s production industry is cranking up again in Queensland after months of Covid-19 shutdowns
The Gold Coast is the epicentre of Queensland’s growing film industry attracting a number of blockbusters including Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, San Andreas and The Shallows.
The Gold Coast is the epicentre of Queensland’s growing film industry attracting a number of blockbusters including Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, San Andreas and The Shallows.

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Fantasy TV series The Bureau of Magical Things is among the first productions to begin shooting under strict compliance guidelines developed by the Queensland Government in conjunction with the Australian Screen Production Industry.

The series’ lead producer Stuart Wood says the strict measures were necessary to overcome the biggest production challenges he has witnessed across a 40-year career.

“Nobody’s ever seen anything like this – the situation is unique for the screen industry, really just as it’s unique for the world,” Wood opined.

“We’re working in new territory today and as medical advice and understanding of the virus evolves we also need to be prepared to adjust how we work in the future.”

Wood also added that Covid-safe guidelines affect every aspect of screen production, with traditionally dynamic film set environments now operating under tight controls.

In terms of table reads, actors rehearse wearing facemasks and crew abide by strict new rules about who can handle which pieces of equipment.

Even the memory cards are sanitised each time they’re pulled from the cameras.

Makeup artists use a separate kit for each actor, and the cast stays distanced while clever camera angles bring them closer together. Masks and sanitiser pumps are ubiquitous.

The Gold Coast is the epicentre of Queensland’s growing film industry attracting a number of blockbusters including Thor: Ragnarok, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, San Andreas and The Shallows.

Aside from the public health issues, the return to work to complete season two of The Bureau of Magical Things also means high stakes for the Bureau team from a creative perspective.

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