Tyler Perry gave a progress report on the creation of Pandemic – Deadline during his show

Tyler Perry was one of the first Hollywood producers to come up with a comprehensive plan to resume TV production back in April. It is now the first time he has completed a full season of a primetime scripted series filmed during an epidemic using the COVID-19 security protocol. This is season 2 of their beta show sistas, Which will be ready for the start of production and fall, wrapped recently at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

Tyler Perry Studio

Break between finishing sistas On July 25 and the start of season 2 of BET Oval, Whose cast members will begin arriving at the studio on Thursday, Perry discusses with Deadline how filming and testing went; The challenges he faced; And what advice they have for growers apprehensive about getting back into production before the coronovirus vaccine significantly underlines the daily test or quarantine bubble for a successful restart.

Tyler Perry’s ‘Sistas’ Wrapping Production in Season 2 in Atlanta

As we reported, Perry works on a quarantine bubble model, sequencing cast, and crew for a shooting time. In May, he sent a 30-page document for his castes, detailing the plan.

Perry said that he and his team “did the letter” of that document, and it did. (You can watch the video and accommodation behind the process sistas Below.) He will use the exact same protocol for Oval And two other shows he has done in the studio one after another since September: bruh And Ruthless, Condition for both +.

Tyler Perry Studio

All the months of hard work and planning paid off. Production was very good in the second season of sistas, And now we are preparing Oval, “Said Michelle Snead, president of production and development at Tyler Perry Studios.” Of course, there’s always a learning curve when starting a new project and even more while filming it in the midst of an epidemic. However, most The valuable lesson I learned is to trust this process and the people who are there to do their work. “

There were 360 ​​people – cast, crew and 10 extras – inside the bubble who worked on Season 2 sistas For the duration of the shoot. The regular production team working on season 1 were down to 80-100 people as Perry had to return due to the amount of housing available on campus.

However, “my crew stepped in and they were amazing,” Perry said.

Tyler Perry Studio

Nevertheless, production was intense. “We were shooting huge amounts of pages a day,” he said. “Moves that would take 10-15 minutes took 45 minutes, but it was fine. It flowed, it flowed completely. “

Perry’s private plane included actors from New York and Los Angeles.

“We checked in on Thursday at 160 [July 9] Four days ago, he started working with the actors. He was tested before boarding the plane, ”Perry said.

Everyone – cast and crew – was tested on that Monday [July 13]. The crew check-in was Tuesday, July 14, until everyone stayed in their rooms until the test results were returned.

“We were four positive at our initial check-in before anyone was allowed to leave our room,” Perry said. “We had left those people and they needed their help.” Positive tests did not include cast; Two of them were extras, two were crew.

Tyler Perry Studio

Everyone was tested every four days for the duration of the shoot with no positive results as the quarantine bubble was placed above. The production used PCR tests, which are by far the most accurate available. All through pre-production, test results were coming the next day. But then there was a nationwide spike in cases, and the test results took more than 36–48 hours, which led to a delay in the start of production – pushed from July 14 to July 15. This issue has since been resolved. Perry said, “The labs we are using right now will give the results back within 24 hours.

Perry admits that he was concerned with the effort going forward.

Perry said, “My biggest concern was that I had a number of crew members who had worrisome situations, which I personally asked to sit in, but they said they didn’t want to work, they had to work.” was required.” “I couldn’t legally stop them from working, so my biggest concern was making sure they were safe and that actors who didn’t wear masks were safe. Because masks help cut the spread one hundred percent Does. Every time an actor had a mask, and every time I saw people with odd situations, they were my biggest concern. “

Tyler Perry Studio

On the set of Perry’s show, everyone is required to wear masks except for the actors while they are filming the scene.

In April, Emmy-nominated hairstylist Charles Gregory Ross, who had worked with Perry in the past, Kovid-19 died. His demise had a profound impact on Perry and his approach to resume production. It also helps him understand other producers, who are apprehensive about getting their shows up and running amid the epidemic.

Perry said, “After losing a crew member for COVID, which was on another production at the beginning of this thing, I am obviously nervous, I understand, and they should enter with extreme caution,” Perry said. “But let me tell you, if you can’t test everyone every day, then I don’t know how you do it unless it’s a quarantine bubble. I don’t know the other way, because COVID spreads among you. Can and can spread and you don’t know it. “

Tyler Perry Studio

So far, only Perry’s shows are being filmed in his studio – one at a time. But with his “camp quarantine” model of showing results, he is set to open up a lot to outdoor productions.

“There is still another 200 acres of open land, many other camps can be set up here as we set up; Camps, Perry said, can be set up in no time – we set up in a month, a month and a half. “There are many, many more housing opportunities for other camps for sure.”

Already, there is interest there. “I have had many phone calls when it will be available and what we can do; There is some conversation happening, ”Perry said.

He acknowledges that he did not have to jump in, develop safety guidelines and start production amid the epidemic, but he felt an obligation to do so.

“I could just go and sit somewhere and wait for a vaccine, but if I didn’t do that, what would happen to all those people and their lives and their livelihoods?” he said. “The level of thanks that I personally got from the crew as I was passing by there – because I’ve been with them the whole time, I’m going on a food truck or a drink in the truck bar – they give me Explain how much they appreciate the opportunity to work and work safely. “

Tyler Perry Studio

Perry is ready to use the current production setup for months or years.

“We’re set up for the long haul, we can be for one year and a half, two years, five years, if we need to,” he said. “But my hope is to have a vaccine by this time next year. I know that it is expected that it will happen by the end of the year, but even if it is by the end of the year, until they are ready for production, and until it gets to the public, then Up to one more year. “

Along with her work to resume production in her studio, Perry has been active in her community over the past few months and is a prominent voice of the Black Lives Matter movement. In April, he donated $ 21,000 to 42 work-out servers for each of his favorite restaurants, on Houston’s Northside Parkway. A few weeks later, Perry anonymously picked up the tab for shoppers at 44 Atlanta-area Krogers during the shop’s designated shopping hours and risk-patrons. He did the same for 29 Win-Dixies in his hometown of New Orleans.

After the death of George Floyd, which triggered nationwide protests, Perry wrote an essay on racial injustice, covering The people. He provided visits to Rev. Al Sharpton, Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, and Floyd’s funeral to Floyd’s family members. He paid all the funeral expenses for Raishard Brooks, who was badly shot by an Atlanta police officer, and for an 8-year-old girl, Sycoria Turner, who was hit by sharp bullets.

Last week, Perry teamed with the Atlanta Police Department to distribute $ 50 cards, donating 1,000 Kroger gift cards for southeast Atlanta residents.

“Whatever is happening in the country right now is happening with all the protests, and even with the 8-year-old Sikoria who died in Atlanta. Perry said that it’s all in my mind. “So when I gave those gift cards to the people around the studio and asked the police to pass them, I hoped to bring some unity in the community, to understand that not all police are evil and We need them, like well all black people are not bad people, and this kind of mentality and the kind of thinking that is blankets is wrong. My hope is that everyone will come from their corners and just have some conversation. This is my hope for the country; Let’s have some conversations that we can at least listen to each other. “

Perry said that for the industry, “I hope the industry can get back to work.” “There are many people who need to work. It is my hope that everyone can go back to work. I don’t know how it happens without daily testing or quarantine bubbles. “

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