Tyler Perry Announces Plan to Reopen Atlanta-Based Studio
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
In a recent interview, Tyler Perry explained his plan to restart production at his Atlanta-based studio.
If executed without a glitch, Perry’s plan would allow the studio to begin production in June.
Step 1 is to test all cast and crew for the coronavirus before traveling to the studio.
“The health of the cast and crew is my priority. If anyone tests positive, we would immediately ask that they seek help from their healthcare provider,” said Perry.
Then, when the cast and crew arrive on the lot, they will be tested again.
“As soon as they all come back negative, we all go to work,” Perry said.
“And because scientists are trying to determine how long someone becomes contagious after exposure and four days has shown to be the best estimate, we retest the cast and crew four days into shooting, as an additional precautionary measure.”
If anyone tests positive, they will be removed from the studio and quarantined.
Along with testing, everyone would be wearing masks behind the camera. The only time actors wouldn’t be wearing masks is when they are shooting scenes.
Perry also said he wrote all of his upcoming shows without scenes that would include lots of extras. The number of extras on set would be limited to 10 people.
All cast and crew will also live on the premises of the studio. The lot encompasses 330 acres of former military base Fort McPherson. The movie mogul kept all 19 historic homes on the property for cast members to live in when traveling from out of town.
“These houses are pristine, they are beautiful, and some of the actors and some of the crew already rent them when they are coming in from out of town to stay there,” Perry said.
Along with those homes, there are 10-20 additional homes on the property that are used for filming but are also fully functional.
The key to making this plan work, though, is how quickly Perry shoots his shows.
“It takes me 2 1/2 weeks to shoot a season of 22 episodes, and all of my shows are shot on the lot — we never leave the lot for anything anyway. So everything is already there,” he said.
“We will do three weeks at a time, then take a week off so the crew would go home to be with their families. Then they come back, and we start all over again,” he said.
“There is another testing process, everybody comes back, we lock down for three weeks while we shoot the next season of the next show.”
However, Perry does not yet have the green light to begin the process.
Perry has been in contact with the unions, the mayor of Atlanta, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a professor at Emory Vaccine Center. He also has to get proper insurance, along with all cast and crew members signing a waiver before shooting.
Charles Gregory Ross, a hairstylist who worked with Perry in the past, died due to the coronavirus. So, safety is of the utmost importance to starting production again.
As of now, no other Hollywood studios have announced plans to start production again.
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