People are pretty over covid-19 right now, to put it basically as mildly as possible. The president is contemplating the advantages of ingesting disinfectants, Florida just wants to go back to the beach, and even the women of the suburbs are done with Trump’s handling, or, rather, mishandling, of the efforts to “liberate” certain parts of the country. There’s a general restlessness permeating every aspect of life right now, and it looks like Hollywood is ready to do something about it. Or, at least, a couple of people in Hollywood are ready to think about maybe doing something about it. At some point.
Variety got their hands on documents created by producers Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Chris Ferguson, which outline a plan that would allow filming to begin on projects that are able to adhere to certain strict standards, and, of course, would only allow for very specific types of projects to get produced.
According to Kavanaugh-Jones, the plan, aptly titled “Isolation Based Production Plan,” would be perfect for making films like 127 Hours, the 2010 James Franco film about a mountaineer who amputated his own arm after being trapped under a boulder. I assume Kavanaugh-Jones used this as a reference because it’s a film shot essentially in one place and with minimal actors, but there have got to be better references to make than that, otherwise, I’m not too keen on this whole endeavor, to be honest. If films about being alone and chopping off your own arm are what we’ve got to work with, I’ll stick to rewatching First Wives Club on Netflix, thanks.
Of course, the purpose of the plan is to get industry folks back to work, and to that end, there do seem to be plenty of well-intentioned guidelines outlined in the document, most of which revolve around the concept of everyone involved in a project’s production existing in quarantine pods for the duration of filming. This, unfortunately, only makes me think of the 1996 film Bio-Dome, and based on my very loose recollection of that movie, I don’t think it worked out so well for them.
Ferguson referred to the plan as “a living, breathing document,” which, in my experience, is an expression people reserve for proposals they know are about to be hit hard with a red pen, so they are able to avoid culpability when it comes under scrutiny. “I wouldn’t want to be misconstrued as advocating for the reopening of production,” Ferguson told Variety, “We’re just building ideas around maybe what could happen when it feels like the right thing.”
All in all, Kavanaugh-Jones and Ferguson don’t seem to think their plan is a good plan so much as they think it’s good that they have a plan at all. Which, I guess, is true. It feels impossible that things will just resume as they were before once everyone is able to get back to work, and the fact that people are planning seriously for this, even if only is speculation, is heartening. However, dear God, can we make sure that a 127 Hours, James Franco adjacent project is not the first thing to come out of it.