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Movie Studios Must Undergo a Lot of COVID-19 Tests to Stay Secure and Open

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Operator Holding Clapperboard During the Production of Short Film Outdoor in the Night with Sportive Yellow Car | Movie Studios Must Undergo a Lot of COVID-19 Tests to Stay Secure and Open | Featured

Movie and TV sets start to reopen at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, and the biggest job they have is keeping the coronavirus off the studio’s lot.

The producers, set designers, painters, and carpenters must go through weekly COVID-19 tests – sometimes even more often. Fox Business explained that an app “tracks workers’ symptoms between tests, and a badge system prevents anyone without a negative test result from opening doors on the lot.”

This testing routine will cost more than $1.5 million a month once cameras are rolling and the set has several thousand workers. Frank Patterson, the studio’s chief executive, explains that this is what is needed to stay in business.

Fox Business reported that Patterson “steeped himself in research on testing, viral transmission and air quality when the pandemic halted film shoots in mid-March.” As streaming services and studios rely on him for new content, he aimed to restart his company’s shooting as soon as possible and become “one of the most secure and safest studios in the world.”

Each day, around 200 workers get a nasal-swab COVID-19 test, which costs Pinewood Atlanta around $200 each. Later this year, when cameras are rolling, 3,000 to 6,000 workers will be on set daily.

“We have to pay a premium just to get back to work. It’s painful, but it’s not stopping anyone,” Mr. Patterson said.

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