This is how Netflix is carrying on filming for its shows during lockdown

They’ve gotten rid of the on-set buffets

As we approach the end of our watchlists, TV addicts face a shortage of new shows as the lockdown brings production to a grinding halt.

It’s hardly a surprise – with cast and crew in close, confined proximity, sets seem like a pretty hazardous environment in the current crisis. However, Netflix has been putting a few tricks to work in order to keep the content conveyor belt going for a select few shows.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, revealed in an article for the LA Times just how the company is keeping filming going.

A closed set has its advantages

Whilst a confined film set has its drawbacks, it also makes things easier in a way. “The closed nature of sets also offers some advantages,” writes Sarandos. “Not least that they provide a relatively controlled environment, where we can track who comes and goes.”

The cast and crew on set become their own little bubble

With this in place, it’s a bit easier to get everyone tested. On the Icelandic set for new drama Katla, the entire crew got tested before filming started. “The tests came back negative, but everyone still has their temperature taken first thing in the morning,” says Sarandos.

However, this degree of testing isn’t available in all countries, such as in South Korea, where Love Alarm and Move to Heaven are being filmed. Here, only people with symptoms are tested. “All cast and crew have their temperatures checked regularly, and if anyone were to show signs of infection they would be tested immediately and production paused,” writes Sarandos.

In Sweden, where Love and Anarchy is being filmed, everybody on set self-quarantined for two weeks before filming, and will keep this up for the 11 day shoot.

Sadly, the buffet is gone as hygiene is stepped up

No behind-the-scenes TV show or comedy sketch is complete without the backstage buffet. It’s where the hapless protagonist bumps into their idol and makes a mug of themselves.

Well, sacrifices have to be made in the name of hygiene. This is one. The iconic buffet has been replaces with box meals for the time being.

Sets now only have one make-up artist, who uses disposable brushes to reduce the risk of transmission.  “Every two or three hours a production assistant announces a break so people on set can wash their hands,” writes Sarandos. “Alcohol is used to wipe down doorknobs, loading areas and the craft table.”

However, it’s worth noting that only a small number of shoots have resumed, and we’re likely to see far fewer Netflix originals in the coming months. Netflix announced 35 new shows in both February and March this year. From the first to the 20th April, they only announced six.

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