Plans to Re-Open
In May, Tyler Perry revealed his plan to re-open his Atlanta studio amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a 30-page document titled “Camp Quarantine.” His TV shows Sistas and The Oval were due to start production this month and needed a safe plan.
The cast and crew were required to stay on the Tyler Perry Studios campus in Georgia while filming. The document went into great detail, outlining how the studio would protect and prevent the spread of the virus.
Some of the requirements are specified below:
- The cast would be tested before leaving their home town and then self-isolate until the travel date.
- Travel would be via a private flight, and the cast would be tested again via a 15-minute PCR Rapid Test (85% accuracy).
- All travel to the studio would involve drivers that wore masks and would include social distancing.
- Once arriving at the studio, there would be a retest with the PCR/Nasal-Lab Test (97%) accuracy.
- All cast and crew would remain in their rooms until their test results were available.
- Each day, cast and crew were to complete a health survey and temperature check.
- Anyone feeling sick would remain in their room and undergo more testing.
- Anyone testing positive would be removed from the campus immediately.
- Face masks were to be worn at all times except during filming, make-up application, or hair styling.
The document broke down cleaning plans, testing policies, housing information, food procedures, entertainment, and security information that would be implemented to keep all 360 production and crew members safe on set.
“My crew, man, these people came in here with such vigor and tenacity and wanted to make this work. I’m so proud of them and how they behaved and what they did,” Perry said. “I’m trying to make sure that they can not only thrive and survive in their livelihood but also keep them safe.”
Some Positive Results
“We had a couple of concerns,” Perry explained. “We had four positives. Here’s how it went: We had 160 people check in the first day, go to their rooms, get tested, and wait for their results. Nobody was able to leave their rooms. We had two positives in that. So we had them escorted out and got the help that they needed.”
“Then 200 people checked in [soon after], and we had two positive inside of the 200. We had them escorted out and got them the help that they needed. So we had four before anybody left their rooms before anybody started work. Those rooms were kept closed and off-limits to anybody until after we finished shooting.”
The dramedy Sistas started filming on July 15 and wrapped up 22 episodes just 11 days later. The studio officially ended production on July 25. Just one day ahead of schedule. The cast and the crew were tested every four days while shooting.
The Oval was due to start shooting Thursday, July 30, but some of the cast tested positive before arriving at the studio.
“Unfortunately, I have two cast members that have tested positive,” Tyler Perry said. “They’re reoccurring. So I’m trying to figure out, what do I do? Do I add two days of shooting to the end of the other shows that I’m working on to give them time to be negative? But they’re asymptomatic. So I’m just waiting to see what the best way to do that is. But everything will flow just as ‘Sistas’ did.”
“One person is in North Carolina, and the other person is in Atlanta, so they wouldn’t be on a plane flying in,” he added. “So we’re just waiting. We need two negative tests before they can come back to work.”
Are you excited about these new episodes coming from Tyler Perry Studios?