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Hollywood Productions Are Back, And So Are Grueling Working Conditions

A man is shown setting up lighting for a film shoot at night, in front of a one-story brick building.
Production crews filming in downtown L.A.
(Chris Goldberg
LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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After major disruption from COVID-19, Hollywood production is back in full swing. In fact, more on-location shoots are happening now in L.A. than before the pandemic.

These shoots have safety protocols in place, ranging from regular testing to social distancing of child actors when they receive on-set tutoring.

Anousha Sakoui, an entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, said on our daily AirTalk with Larry Mantle program on 89.3 KPCC, that working conditions can still be hard for crew members. Those conditions often include punishing hours.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, there was talk about reducing hours to about 10 [per day],” Sakoui said. “I think that happened in some cases, but as productions became under pressure to meet deadlines, we're back at 12 to 14 hours kind of being standard.”

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Production workers have been speaking out about conditions that were supposed to change during the pandemic but haven't. Many have told their stories anonymously to the Instagram account IATSE Stories, which was created for the purpose of building community and strength in numbers.

One producer called into AirTalk and shared the difficulties of hiring crew members because of the long hours, and that many are leaving the industry.

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