July 7th, 2020

I hope everyone is doing as well as they can be, and staying safe. Personally, I’m feeling quite Cabin Feverish after nearly 4 months in isolation. We’ve been paying close attention to the current situation and are anxious to reopen Film Actor Workshops. Considering the size of the latest spike in cases right here in Tucson, it doesn’t look like we’ll be meeting in-person anytime soon. 

For my Movie Production Workshop in particular, the classroom material can be done online via a service like Zoom or Discord, where we can talk and screen share. 

The hands-on experience is just as important (and in my opinion it’s more fun). I’ve thought a lot about how we could safely work on set. SAG released material on its new guidelines for movie sets reopening during COVID, which we can use as a starting point. A possible solution is to do smaller scale scenes, which will allow us to minimize the amount of cast and crew on set at the same time. By observing the following procedures, we’ll greatly reduce the chance of spreading any virus or germs between us. 

  • Wear masks and work in open, outdoor spaces
  • Use boom mics from a safe distance, instead of wiring each other with lavaliers under our clothing
  • Utilize zoom lenses, instead of placing the camera near the actors
  • Work as separate production teams, so even though we’re working on the same movie, we only come into physical contact with the same couple people through the entire production
  • Scenes with only 1-2 actors and 1-3 crew at one time (3-5 people total)

The online portion of the workshop will take a few weeks, while we plan out the details of our small scale scenes. We also have some post-production work to finish up on the last short we filmed together. 

Once pre-production is ready on a few scenes, we’ll split into our production teams and schedule the shoots separately. We’ll reconvene online for working on post-production for what we’ve shot, while continuing pre-production on the next scenes. 

If anyone is in a higher risk demographic, you may be interested in only joining us for the online pre-production and post-production, but not working on set. We don’t want to put anyone in unnecessary risk. We want to get back to making movies, but first and foremost we want to make sure we’re staying safe. 

The online portion of the workshop will begin in August, meeting once weekly from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. I hope you all can join me online. Depending on how quickly we prepare — and of course while monitoring the current state of the pandemic — we may be working on small 3-5 person movie sets by October or November. 

Thank you

Avai d’Amico