Warner Bros. Coronavirus Safety Protocols Includes Anonymous Reporting System To Make Sure Productions Follow Rules

As major blockbusters like Fantastic Beasts 3 and The Batman get closer to resuming shooting in the U.K., Warner Bros. is implementing more coronavirus safety protocols to protect the cast and crew of its productions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has created an "anonymous reporting mechanism in Europe" for cast and crew to alert senior managers if they see anyone breaking coronavirus safety protocols during production. The studio has created the reporting tool to encourage everyone on set to practice social distancing and other coronavirus safety measures. It's a tool that the studio is likely hoping will maintain a standard of safety even in the biggest productions that are shot overseas, far from Hollywood, which has been slower to resume productions compared to overseas.

Kevin Trehy, Warner Bros executive vice president of physical production, spoke about the measure last week during a behind-closed-doors industry panel organized for members of UK union Bectu, Deadline reports. Trehy sits on the WarnerMedia production restart task force and notes that the company is taking time to listen to crew members, as well as safety consultants hired to oversee coronavirus measures.

Trehy added that Warner Bros. has become "our own strictest police force" for coronavirus safety protocols, going even further from U.K. industry guidelines released by the British Film Commission. Some of those U.K. guidelines include having every single cast and crew member partake in COVID-19 Safer Working induction training online before a production starts, giving daily symptom checks to everyone working on set, and having a designated COVID-19 Health and Safety supervisor on-hand to help follow guidelines and keep everyone as safe as possible.

However, Trehy acknowledges that return to work has been cautious and flexibility will be required for production schedules. "No-one knows what a schedule looks like in the new normal," Trehy said. New measures may include a longer pre-shoot prep period and a production's ability to "pivot" when things aren't working.

Some of the biggest studios in the U.K. have begun to reopen their doors and resume film and TV production, with precautions in place, as recently as last month. Elstree Studios and Twickenham Studios resumed productions, with other studios like Arborfield/Longcross Studios and Maidstone Studios restarting a few weeks later. Only Pinewood Studios, which has been the favorite of major companies like Disney and Netflix, did not shut down its sites at the height of the pandemic, even as Disney and Netflix shut down its productions worldwide. Leavesden, Warner Bros.' production studio in the U.K., has recently reopened to resume productions of films like Mission: Impossible 7.