Local movie and TV business hit hard as COVID-19 forces shutdowns across industry.
A week or so ago if you walked around a block in Downtown Vancouver there was a good chance you would see a member of a film crew pulling cable, setting lights and just generally getting on with the multibillion-dollar business of shows that are produced here in Hollywood North.
Now, cut to this week, and the scene is very different as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the industry to go dark. According to the Union of B.C. Performers and ACTRA, all 42 of the productions they had listed are now shut down.
“I don’t know anybody who saw this coming,” said Vancouver actor/producer/director John Cassini. “I know when there is a writer’s strike or something, you have a lot of lead up and people know, so, you tend to backload or front-load, whatever the term is. Everyone knows, ‘Get-as-many-gigs-as-you-possibly-can,’ before the strike hits. There’s a little bit of planning. But, here in this case, people were just sent home from set or told it’s not happening — all I think within 24-48 hours.