Hungary – open for filmmaking
Film productions continue while the country is under a partial two-week long lockdown. Filmmakers tell the safety precautions which help continue shootings.
Shops will have to be closed, with the exception of private health care, pharmacies, grocery stores and petrol stations, between March 8 and 22. Kindergartens and primary schools will be closed from March 8 until April 7.
History repeats itself, in March 2020, the first lockdown surprised Hungary – now filmmakers, production companies, studio facilities are fully prepared for the situation.
Judit Romwalter, producer, CEO of the Sparks said that they continue the work as before. They already have a strict COVID protocol in the company, as they use FFP2 masks everywhere, hand sanitizers and keep the 1,5-meter distance from each other. They also ask the colleagues to stay at home if their position allows it. “In our rental part we take the disinfecting even more serious.” – she said.
The Pioneer lead producer Ildikó Kemény said that they also take the situation seriously. They keep their colleagues as safe as possible, and they follow the COVID rules of the country. “We minimalize personal contacts and encourage them to stay at home if it is possible. We provide the infrastructure to work from home.”
At Origo Studios the workflow continues undisturbed, added Mihály Tóth marketing manager: “From last summer almost all the affected productions came back to the country, and we work continuously from that time. There are no regulations which would not allow this. With our partner, Smart Covid Center we have built up an infection control system, which ensures the highest level of safety in the studio.”
As the coronavirus began spreading in early 2020, and states issued mandates to try to contain the pandemic, individual film and television productions have shut down across the globe. These shutdowns have had and will continue to have untold financial and cultural impact and may reshape popular culture and its economic model for years to come.
However, in Hungary Csaba Káel government film commissioner said earlier, that “The pandemic has not shut down Hungary’s film industry,” noting measures taken to ensure steady work for about 20,000 Hungarian motion picture professionals.
Sources: Variety, Hungarian State Government Statement