May 6th Signal from the Province: “B.C. Restart Plan”
On May 6, 2020, Premier Horgan announced the Province’s “BC's Restart Plan”, including reference to B.C.’s motion picture industry, under the section “How We’ll Start Getting People Back to Work”.
Film production is listed as part of a "Careful Restart” in Phase 3, June to September.
Of note, the “domestic production” is specifically mentioned in Phase 3, which is reflective of government’s expectation that domestic productions may have all of the workforce necessary already in the province. However, this reference is not intended to be restrictive, and government welcomes all production in B.C. back, provided it has developed the required criteria for a safe workplace and operating guidelines that have been approved by WorkSafeBC and the Provincial Health Authority (PHO).
Creative BC is now working with industry leaders to ensure all film and television production in B.C. is supported with a framework to develop plans, including those productions impacted by ongoing federal travel restrictions and 14-day quarantine requirements.
Next Steps: Industry to Deliver High Level Plan for Approval
The Province, through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, requests that industry develop plans to restart and operate while adhering to the orders of the Provincial Health Officer. Plans are to consider the following: processes to open safely; measures to keep people safe to avoid further outbreaks; and a plan in the event that a case or an outbreak should occur.
The Ministry has directed Creative BC to coordinate the motion picture industry’s development (and submission for government approval) of new, proposed guidelines for the motion picture industry’s safe operation during the pandemic.
Guidelines will need to adhere to the “Five Principles for Every Situation” as identified by Premier Horgan on May 6:
- Personal Hygiene
- Stay Home if You are Sick
- Environmental Hygiene
- Safe Social Interactions
- Physical Modifications
In the Province’s “BC's Restart Plan”: A Safer Restart with WorkSafeBC, the role of this provincial agency will be to collaborate with industry associations to ensure the direction and guidance they provide to their members meets the requirements set out by the Provincial Health Officer. In addition, WorkSafeBC will work with employers and workers through educational materials, consultation, and workplace inspections to help them restart safely.
To that end, Creative BC will collaboratively streamline new and/or existing industry health and safety best practices developed by WorkSafeBC to ensure a common understanding and reference guide for protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be accomplished with direction from WorkSafeBC.
Motion Picture Industry: Working Coalition
As the provincial film commission, Creative BC is now taking action together with industry. Our B.C. Film Commissioner and Director of Production Services, Marnie Orr, is facilitating for the new BC Motion Picture Industry COVID-19 Best Practices Coalition to agree and prepare a high-level guiding document in response to the government’s Go-Forward Management Strategy and in coordination with Worksafe BC guidance.
This first step will provide for recommended practices rather than prescriptive measures. Once in place and approved by government, this document will be used freely by labour organizations, independent producers, employers, productions, studios, suppliers, and others—all of whom will be able to use this tool as they define their independent and cascading plans, including distinctive considerations at the departmental level.
The motion picture industry’s health and safety procedures during COVID-19 and a gradual return will be coordinated through established government/industry collaborations including the Actsafe Motion Picture Standing Committee, the body that is comprised of B.C.'s industry stakeholders, including representatives of the major studio employers, AMPTP, CMPA, and unions and guilds.
BC Motion Picture Industry COVID-19 Best Practices Coalition Members (at May 11, 2020)
- Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople West, Local 2020 Unifor
- Actsafe Safety Association
- Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
- British Columbia Council of Film Unions
- Canadian Media Producers Association
- Commercial Production Association of Western Canada
- Contract Services Administration Trust Fund
- Deluxe/Company 3
- Directors Guild of Canada - BC District Council
- Finale Post
- Home Box Office
- IATSE Local 891
- IATSE Canada
- International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 669)
- NBC Universal
- Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Teamsters Local Union 155
- Union of BC Performers/ACTRA
- The Walt Disney Company
- Warner Brothers Television