Jurassic World: Dominion Resuming Production

With the United Kingdom resuming film and television production with extensive safety guidelines in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus, several Hollywood projects are planning to get back to work. Among them will be Jurassic World: Dominion, and even though Universal Pictures is happy to follow the protocols that have been approved by the various UK and US production crew unions, the studio will actually be taking more extreme measures when they resume production next month.

Deadline has word on Jurassic World: Dominion production resuming, making it the first major studio movie to get back to work in the United Kingdom. The sequel directed by Colin Trevorrow was only four weeks into a planned 20-week schedule, so they still have plenty of shooting to get done. The plan is to start filming again as early s July 6 at Pinewood Studios, the facility utilized by the Harry Potter and Star Wars franchises.

Even though the United Kingdom has already dictated the extensive guidelines that will allow productions to resume safely, Universal will be going the extra mile by spending around $5 million on health protocols, which will include the testing of cast and crew before returning to set, as well as multiple times throughout the rest of production.

Even though production won’t resume until July, Universal is already making moves to prepare. That includes flying franchise stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard back to the United Kingdom ahead of time so they can have a two-week quarantine period in accordance with government regulations of incoming travelers. Though there’s no word on when/if returning franchise stars such as Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum will need to worry about that just yet. But anyone traveling to the United Kingdom for production will also be tested prior to leaving the United States.

You can get a full rundown below of the measures Universal will be taking once Jurassic World: Dominion resumes production, but in general, the studio is doing everything they can to make sure no one gets sick once the cast and crew are back together. A senior Universal production executive said:

“We want to make sure that we are going above and beyond the national protocols to create a safe environment. Cost isn’t our main concern now: it’s safety. We will take direction from our medical team, but we’re confident that with the staggered scheduling and zones of talent and crew, along with a system of contact tracing, we can move forward with limited delay in production.”

On top of the $5 million for additional health precautions, Universal has also been charged holding fees by Pinewood Studios, so this will be an even more expensive endeavor than originally anticipated. This is just one of the many reasons that the true impact of coronavirus on Hollywood won’t be known for years. Other major productions could be delayed because of increased health measures and the costs of keeping casts and crews safe, and that could make it difficult to get other projects waiting in the wings off the ground, especially if they’re box office risks.

If Universal is taking such extreme precautions in order to get back to work, you can be sure other studios will follow suit with the rest of the big blockbusters that halted production when the coronavirus spread began. Here’s the list of measures Universal is taking that go above and beyond what is required of them by the British Film Council and UK government:

  • The commission of a private medical facility called Your Doctor to manage the entire production’s medical requirements. This will include Covid-19, fever and antibody testing but they will also review all hand sanitizer, social distancing measures, updates to government and best practice guidelines. Your Doctor will continually update the production’s safety measures as the science and environment changes and will be available for cast consultations to review health and safety concerns.
  • The studio has commissioned Your Doctor to test all crew before they start on the production. They will then test the crew at times throughout production. The whole crew will also be antibody tested. Thousands of tests are expected to be carried out over the shoot period.
  • All crew will be temperature tested every day and not allowed on site until complete. Two walk-through temperature testing stations are being built at each end of Pinewood Studios with capacity of 1,000 crew over 2 hours. Each test station will have a compliment of doctors, nurses and isolation booths. Crew will be verified that they have been tested by a bespoke RFID system that registers when a crew member has been temperature tested. Crew will also be given a paper wristband for identification by security as a fall back. Additional temperature test stations will be set up on location as required.
  • The studio is putting up around 1,800 signs across Pinewood and more on location. These will include reminders that crew numbers will be limited in various locations, the need for social distancing (six feet of separation) and one-way systems in operation.
  • The studio is rolling out a full COVID training program to be undertaken by all staff before starting. Universal will also do specific training for specialist groups (e.g. costume and makeup).
  • The studio is manufacturing 150 hand sanitizer stations to be positioned at points around Pinewood Studios. They are also putting in an extra 60 sinks. All crew members will also be given an individual hand sanitizer bottle when they start.
  • Production will double the cleaning recommendations and employ a large cleaning team who will continually clean all the touch points across the site in addition to all common areas, toilets, welfare and kitchens. They will clean with specialized antiviral sprays appropriate to the situation. In the evenings all toilets, communal areas, welfare areas, kitchens, trucks and sets will be antiviral fogged. Props, grip, SFX and camera will use specialized antistatic cleaning systems.
  • The studio is setting up a ‘Greenzone’ for the shooting cast and crew which will have an enhanced testing environment. The ‘Greenzone’ will be policed to stop any untested crew from coming in as a further measure to prevent any spread of COVID.
  • Universal will have additional security detail maintaining the temperature testing centers and a further team who will check crew are eligible to go into the protected greenzones. Security team will be trained in COVID measures to ensure that the required operations are followed.
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