Universal Pictures

‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ is the first big-budget Hollywood film to resume filming after the coronavirus shut every movie and TV show down in the spring of this year.  The cast and crew have returned to Pinewood Studios outside of London and filming has resumed.  Universal is spending $9 million dollars and holding its breath that this film can complete filming to make its original release date of June 11, 2021.  Everyone was given a 107-page safety manual, “that details everything from the infrared temperature scanners the cast and crew encounter upon arrival to the vacuum-sealed meals provided by masked workers standing behind plastic partitions in the takeout-only cafeteria.”  (via the New York Times)

Universal Pictures

Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing) says that shooting the movie has become something of a DIY process, in order to maintain social distance, and curb the chances of a COVID-19 breakout.  She revealed that she now attaches her own microphone with the help of her costumer, while a boom operator, wearing a mask and shield, maintains a safe distance and offers instruction when needed.

Another precaution, Universal has rented out an entire luxury hotel just for the cast and crew– roughly 750 people.  Howard knows the specific person who comes in to make her bed and straighten her room every day.  The crew has also been divided.  The “Green Zone” consists of director Colin Trevorrow, the cast, and crew that NEED to be there during the actual filming process– camera crew, sound department, etc.  Others like construction and prop handlers only access the set when the “Green Zone” is absent.  Howard compares this to a “closed set” usually used when filming intimate scenes.

Speaking of sets, they are sanitized with an antiviral mist before each use.  The actor’s chairs are blocked off with orange cones.  A “Green Zone living room” provides an area where actors can rest in between takes.  Actors must wash their hands when entering and exiting.

Universal ordered 18,000 COVID-19 tests.  “Green Zone” workers are tested three times a week.  Others, who work off-camera and whose jobs allow them to wear more heavy-duty safety gear are tested less frequently.

As Howard admitted, actors generally have a lot of handlers that do everything for them, allowing them to focus on their performance.  However, now she says:

“Until now, actors were not really included in prep, but in order to get any of us on a plane, we had to thoroughly understand the protocols, who was involved and hear second and third opinions. We are the guinea pigs who are going to take the leap.”

According to the NYT article, Disney is using Universal’s guidebook in hopes of resuming production on ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ in Australia in the near future, and it is certain that all studios, including Universal itself, will be eyeing ‘Dominion’ to learn what and what not to do to try and get the filmmaking process back to normal.

Colin Trevorrow is directing and returning from the last movie are Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, Jake Johnson as Lowery Cruthers, Daniella Pineda as Zia Rodriguez, Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood, Justice Smith as Franklin Webb, and Omar Sy as Barry Sembene. ‘Dominion’ will also feature newcomers Mamoudou Athie, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, and DeWanda Wise.

It is still hoped that ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ will open on June 11, 2021.