According to an analysis by the California Film Commission, COVID protocols have caused a 5% rise to both the cost of film and TV production budgets.
This study is the first to provide an accurate quantity of the total costs of COVID compliance, including COVID testing, social-distancing, and isolation procedures. Variety claims that producers have previously given informal costs that ranged between 10-15% in costs.
This new data is covered in a progress report that was issued Tuesday on the California Film and TV tax credit. It utilizes production budgets submitted by their applicants to issue a state credit. The report found that large budget films (larger than $20 million) require around 5% to 6.5% of their budgets to cover COVID compliance.
For lower budget films and TV shows, the costs decrease on an average of 4.25%.
About 40% are labor costs—COVID testers, safety officers, location assistants, drivers, and medical personnel. The other 60% provide stipends for quarantine and cover materials that are used for sanitary purposes, such as masks, face shields, gloves, and other sanitation materials.
“Amid all the disruption and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, today’s report affirms that California’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program has continued to work as intended to create jobs and opportunity across our state,” Colleen Bell, the commission’s executive director, stated.
This will certainly be a story to look out for as the film and TV industries try and navigate the ongoing pandemic.