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Hollywood studios may rely on CGI for sex scenes in a post-coronavirus world

Published Jun 9th, 2020 10:16PM EDT
Sex Scenes Coronavirus
Image: YOU | Netflix

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  • Hollywood productions have been on hold for months due to the coronavirus.
  • With the coronavirus subsiding, filming in California can resume on June 12.
  • To prevent the coronavirus from spreading, some studios may rely on CGI as an alternative to filming traditional sex scenes.

When Hollywood productions get rolling again, there may be some interesting changes on set. Aside from the obvious — which will include social distancing whenever possible, temperature checks on set, and masks for those off-screen — the persistent threat of the coronavirus may fundamentally impact the way studios film and even write sex scenes for the foreseeable future.

According to a report from the New York Post, a new document from the film editors’ trade association highlights the steps studios may take to minimize the spread of the coronavirus when filming. With respect to sex scenes, one particular excerpt notes that these scenes will have to be rewritten, abandoned, or replaced with CGI.

As to other precautionary measures, the report adds:

Also, all backstage crew will now be expected to wear masks and visors, live audiences will remain on pause indefinitely, and actors will be given formal hand-washing lessons. Holding auditions behind Plexiglas, having “coronavirus compliance officers” present, keeping unruly children away from sets and limiting the number of people who handle on-set animals are also touted in the document as good tactics for preventing any spread of the disease.

The document, it’s worth noting, isn’t necessarily binding. Rather, it was put together for the benefit of politicians in New York and California as a way to convince them that returning to set won’t result in a spike in coronavirus cases.

On account of the coronavirus and the accompanying lockdown, every single Hollywood production has essentially been on hold for months now. And while some shows — such as 90 Day Fiance and Parks and Recreation — managed to eke out an episode or two via Zoom, traditional filming has been on hiatus since March.

Incidentally, California Governor Gavin Newsom a few days ago gave the go-ahead for TV shows and movie productions to start filming again on June 12. Specific productions, it’s worth noting, will still need additional approval from the counties they seek to film in.

The full statement from the Governor’s office reads as follows:

Music, TV and film production may resume in California, recommended no sooner than June 12, 2020, and subject to approval by county public health officers within the jurisdictions of operations following their review of local epidemiological data including cases per 100,000 population, rate of test positivity, and local preparedness to support a health care surge, vulnerable populations, contact tracing and testing.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, productions, cast, crew and other industry workers should abide by safety protocols agreed by labor and management, which may be further enhanced by county public health officers. Back office staff and management should adhere to Office Workspace guidelines published by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Industrial Relations, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

As a point of interest, you might recall that Netflix back in March said it had enough new content in the pipeline to outlast the coronavirus for a few months, and perhaps until December of this year. Thankfully, with the coronavirus declining in many areas, it won’t get to that point.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.