KFTV Talk: Production figures discuss new filming landscape at MPTS 2022
At this year’s Media Production and Technology Show (MPTS), KFTV hosted a panel discussion on May 11 with film and television production personalities to discuss the new cinematic landscape in the post-Covid era.
Executive Producer and Co-Producer Rob How (Dangerous Liaisons, Chernobyl) and stage manager Christian McWilliams (The Old Guard, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum)in collaboration with producer and director Bindu De Stoppani and COO of Head Gear Films Daniel Negret (Owner, talk to me), shared insights into how productions are different on set, the influence of new technologies and how sustainability is back on the agenda, as well as other talking points from the ‘industry.
Has the industry rebounded?
Asked if the the floodgates open Again, Rob How started off by saying that wherever filming takes place in the world, it’s “very, very busy.”
“It’s very busy in Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and even Lithuania where I’ve done Chernobyl — it picked up a lot,” he said. “There are a lot of different places and landscapes there. So I don’t think there are many signs of a slowdown.
Apart from Netflix which recently lost a large number of subscribers, they seem to be backing off a bit,” he added.
Speaking of landscape in londonrevealed Christian McWilliams regarding booking venues, something that could have taken 12 weeks before, has now become 16 or 20 weeks.
“There’s so much production in London, so it almost adds a layer of challenge because you have to be very organised, whether you’re trying to close a road or trying to do something unusual like bomb a bridge.”
Due to increased production and added pressure, Christian revealed that he got involved in training new employees simply because there wasn’t enough support, but he recognized the efforts of organizations such as ScreenSkills to develop new talent.
Speaking about her experience over the past few years, Bindu De Stoppani said: “I’ve been busier in the past two years than in previous years, as a screenwriter and director, so I’ve just spent a year and a half in Turin. Italy is filming a Netflix series An Astrological Guide for the Broken Hearted for seasons one and two amid Covid.
Recalling the restrictions in Italy during the pandemic, Bindu revealed that residents need a “certificate” to leave their homes to prove their reason for going out or working in public.
“It had its advantages and its difficulties,” she said. For one thing, all locations were accessible to them – from cafes and bars to museums and streets. But one downside, she added, “as a director you need a world to feel real and active and of course there was no one on the streets so it was incredibly empty. We had to populate this world, which of course during Covid was very difficult.
On the finance frontasked if people again see financial incentives as a key driver of projects, Daniel Negret replied “absolutely”.
“A variety of jurisdictions have been approached for cash flow because one of the things Head Gear does is lend against these tax credits so they get cash out of it.
“For example, the Greek tax credit or the Maltese tax credit was not historically something we considered and now it is.”
Speaking only for independent productions, Daniel added that there seems to be more of a “buyer’s mentality” in that they buy a lot in different territories to see what the best deal they can get – from cost perspective (team and locations) and an incentive perspective.
Insurance and protocols
Asked about other challenges the industry still faces, Rob recalled that at the start of Covid, Assurance was really a problem because insurers didn’t cover them, so it had to be underwritten by the studios or the financiers, he said.
This meant producers were given a budget ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million to cover Covid costs such as testing and transportation and flexible hotel accommodation.
Recalling his fourth pandemic shoot in the Peak District, Christian also noted how the emptiness of the hotels mimicked a “strange, futuristic film” but quickly adapted.
“At first there were police with batons telling you to keep two meters apart and suddenly there were experts on Covid as we were all still learning about it. So I struggled with that because everything I do is logistics and common sense. Suddenly there was another department there telling you how to do your job,” he said.
Daniel added that for independent cinema in particular, Covid has caused even more difficulty in raising funds as budgets are more expensive. I guess the margin that growers face is getting tighter, and from a financier’s perspective, because we’re charging less fees. »
Creatively, Bindu stressed that they wanted a large chunk of the budget to go towards what viewers see on TV, not something intangible like Covid costs, which is especially difficult without the support of a streamer.
In the case of Astrological Guide to Broken Hearts, the lead actress needed specific assurance as each scene is seen through her point of view, while everyone else was more malleable.
On the sustainability Côté, Christian noted that the first crown of Paris does not allow generators and that everything must be electric. A system he hopes will be fully implemented in London within the next two years.
For Bindu, her conversations regarding sustainability have been in particular with the costume department and how they can reuse or recycle what would have been previously discarded after a single use.
She also admitted to having to “rethink” crews using trailers as they aren’t always busy: “I used my trailer once out of the nine times we were shooting,” she said.
Elsewhere asked if virtual productions impinge on the roles of location managers, Christian confessed at first that he thought CGI would be the “end” of what he does. But found people still want to be there and enjoy both sides of the shoot.
Rob noted that it’s also expensive and often cheaper to rent a venue, but acclaimed visual effects are now implemented in almost every movie, no matter what.
Concluding the discussion, Bindu said that the main issues currently facing the industry are constantly evolving: “Covid has pushed cinema to the edge of the cliff because we all process stories so differently now.
“I hope cinema will always be a live experience. I think this is the beginning, we are still finding our bearings. The type of stories people write will change. We all find our way in the dark.