Hollywood production springs back to life with new COVID-19 measures on set

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020   •   263

Members of Hollywood’s film community are back at work after safety guidelines were approved by the state of California.

One of the first productions, “7th & Union,” began filming after being approved to proceed by the acting union, SAG AFTRA. The filmmakers claim the production is one of only two to get the green light.

“We’re one of the first to go filming here in Los Angeles and it’s been kind of a trial and error,” said the film’s producer Christopher Acebo, adding “SAG AFTRA has been wonderful to work in terms of the process but we’ve had to set up various guidelines and safety based on the guidelines that came out, maybe, two or three weeks ago from the state of California.”

“It’s been a learning process, obviously. We have a situation where we are making a movie and also having to wear masks, also having to stay six feet away from each other, as well as adhere to a variety of safety protocols and temperature checks in the morning and also everybody on set getting tested for COVID,” Acebo said.

The filmmakers deliberately drew up their production schedule to leave extra time for anything unexpected and also kept scenes as simple as possible.

Acebo said, “Part of what we are doing right now is we are doing a lot of the smaller scenes, the scenes that require the least amount of cast members at first and then we’re in open space and open locations so that’s also been really, really helpful in terms of the shape of the film and how we’re able to keep safety and how that shape of the film is working.”

The safety protocols aren’t the only thing that has changed on the set; the new power hierarchy means safety monitors who patrol the set have the final say in ensuring everybody is working to the guidelines.

“Right now our safety monitors have the power to stop our filming. If someone doesn’t feel safe, if someone doesn’t feel that someone else is complying with the rules that have been set up, they can speak with the EMT or the COVID manager and we have to stop and deal with that issue as it comes up, so they kind of do have ultimate authority on the space that we’re occupying right now,” Acebo said.

“7th & Union,” which is an immigrant story about an unlikely friendship, is aiming to wrap production within the next fortnight with the film to be completed by October. (Reuters)

(Production: Sandra Stojanovic/Rollo Ross)

QC gov’t bans public gatherings during fiestas, other community events

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines Public gatherings and other community celebrations will be prohibited in Quezon City, the local government announced.

In a memorandum dated Jan. 12, Mayor Joy Belmonte said the move aims to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in anticipation of upcoming fiestas, religious events, and cultural festivals traditionally held in many barangays in the city this month.

“Unless regulated, these celebrations could lead to mass gatherings and encourage the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Belmonte said.

“Isakripisyo muna natin ang mga nakaugalian tuwing may ganitong pagdiriwang para na rin sa ating kaligtasan,” she added.

In her order, Belmonte prohibited the conduct of processions, parades, Santacruzan and other crowd-drawing activities and events like fairs, perya, variety shows, fireworks displays, ati-atihan or other public performances.

Public games and contests, such as pageants, singing or band contests, bingo, pabitin, paluan ng palayok, agawan, or tug of war are also banned.

Public buffets and boodle fights, and public drinking, including drinking outdoors or on sidewalks, and group contact sports such as basketball are also not allowed.

“Persons may only drink at home or inside restaurants or establishments, subject to health protocols,” Belmonte said.

Also banned are group videoke or other celebratory gatherings that violate social distancing, noise pollution or other noise nuisances due to excessive merrymaking, comingling of multiple households through large parties or traditional “open door” fiesta celebrations; and any other non-essential or non-work gatherings.

On the other hand, modest celebrations conducted within the home, among immediate family or close acquaintances are allowed, subject to social distancing and other applicable health protocols.

Also, masses, other religious solemnities, religious or traditional rituals for the purpose of blessing a building or establishment may continue, subject to strict health protocols such the wearing of face mask, face shields and social distancing.

Celebrations conducted primarily for an online audience, with very limited physical attendance are also allowed.

As for the coming celebration of Chinese New Year, Belmonte said the conduct of Dragon Dance or Lion Dance activities shall be allowed provided that the same shall be held in a designated area only, like the stage of a mall, with the audience seated and socially distanced, with mask and face shield.

Violators may be penalized under Republic Act No. 11332 or the Notifiable Diseases Act, various city ordinances and other pertinent laws, the city government said.

The city’s law and order cluster, regulatory departments, barangays, and the Quezon City Police District are ordered to strictly enforce the memorandum, it added.

Philippines’ COVID-19 cases reach over 478K with 959 new infections – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country has reached a total of 478,761 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 959 additional infections on Monday.

“The Department of Health has noted a decrease in the number of cases reported today, at 959 new cases. This is due to a decrease in the number of patients seen in COVID-19 laboratories during the new year,” the DOH said in its note to media.

Of the total cases, 21,219 are active and undergoing treatment or quarantine.

Quezon City recorded the highest number of new infections with 73, followed by Davao City with 70, Rizal with 58, Agusan del Sur with 44, and Laguna with 41.

Total recoveries also increased to 448,279 after 26 more patients recovered from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll also rose to 9,263 with six new fatalities.

The DOH reminded the public to be cautious in interpreting these numbers as an “increase in cases in the coming weeks is still possible.”

The department earlier said that the possible holiday-related surge of COVID-19 cases would be known by January 15.

“The DOH continues to assess the extent of the effects of the holiday season on COVID-19 transmission,” it said.

“The DOH asks all stakeholders to be vigilant in guarding against complacency in the fight against COVID-19,” it added.

Davao City prohibits trick-or-treat, other holiday events amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2020

No community events, parties, and other similar gatherings in all government and private offices and establishments will be held in Davao City especially during the holiday season, the local government announced Thursday.

In an advisory, the city government said the prohibition includes trick-or-treating, which is a traditional event of western countries adopted by some Filipinos during Undas period.

The measure will be implemented after health officials and infectious disease experts noted that conducting office or community events increase the transmission and risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Davao City, just like the rest of the world, continues to face the threat of the pandemic. Cases are still surging and it is feared that more and more deaths will happen if the unnecessary gathering of people is allowed,” the advisory read.

The city government reiterated its appeal to residents to stay home and avoid areas where people converge to avoid exposure and transmission of COVID-19.

It also encouraged residents to celebrate the holidays with their families intimately, use online shopping for groceries, food delivery services, and other contactless services to avoid unnecessary exposure. 

Instead of spending money on a grand party celebration and risk contracting the virus, residents are urged to share grocery items with a family in need, the city government added.

“This year, celebrations will only be truly special and meaningful if you, your family, and everyone in our communities are healthy and safe,” it added. 

The city government likewise advised residents to think twice before leaving their homes to attend parties, dinners, and other events that are not necessary or urgent, and always consider their own families’ safety and other people in the community.

As of Oct. 21, Davao City has recorded a total of 2,851 COVID-19 infections, of which, 671 are active cases. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.