Who says camp was canceled this summer? On Wednesday, Tyler Perry unveiled a plan revealing how his Atlanta-based studio, Tyler Perry Studios, intends to start filming again as soon as July. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Perry’s 30-page document cheekily titled “Camp Quarantine” goes into painstaking detail as to how the cast and crew of his shows Sistas and The Oval will avoid contracting COVID-19 as they begin filming again amid the global pandemic. Most notably, the cast and crew of both projects will
be trapped stay on campus at Tyler Perry studios for the duration of filming, hence the title “Camp Quarantine.” How fun.
The cast and crew will be required to take a nasal swab COVID-19 test in their hometowns and then self isolate for 16 days before taking a private plane (organized by Perry, of course) to set. Once they have arrived, the cast and crew will follow various safety measures, such as getting their luggage disinfected upon arrival, quarantining in their individual trailers until the entire set has been confirmed COVID-19 free via tests administered by Emory Healthcare. Throughout filming, the production will practice social distancing and require everyone to wear masks at all times except when filming or getting hair and make up, naturally.
In the introductory letter to the document, included below, Perry references an “amazing crew member,” Charles Gregory Ross, who died of complications due to COVID-19 as well as the disproportionate effect the virus has had on the African-American community. “It is with that sobering reality and the understanding that African Americans are disproportionately affected by this virus in vast numbers, and also knowing that my cast and crew members are largely African American — that we came up with this plan to return to work safely,” Perry writes. This plan sounds like a novel (and potentially dangerous) experiment all in the name of
I couldn’t start this letter without first saying that our hearts, souls and minds stand with all those who have lost loved ones during this challenging time in our world. I’d also like you know that we stand firmly with our frontline workers. They are the true superstars in all of this.
It seems that there isn’t a person on this planet that hasn’t been affected by COVID19 in some way. I know I have, at the beginning of this pandemic we lost an amazing crew member. His name is Charles Gregory Ross and he came down with symptoms a few days after wrapping on another production and died a few weeks later. He put a face to the horrors of this virus for me. As my crew and I had been working with him on and off for over 15 years, it affects us all deeply as you could imagine. It’s still hard to believe.
It is with that sobering reality and the understanding that African Americans are disproportionately affected by this virus in vast numbers, and also knowing that my cast and crew members are largely African American — that we came up with this plan to return to work safely.
I want it to be abundantly clear that there was no way I could or would consider putting people back to work without a plan that takes extreme measures to try and mitigate as much risk as possible in our productions, and I think we’ve managed to do just that.
It took a village of staff, medical doctors, epidemiologists, lawyers, union reps, talent and their reps, crew members, insurers, and a lot of other great thinkers to come up with this plan.
I have personally been in touch with union reps and they have let me know that there is a collective union and guild guideline plan that is coming soon. My team and I will gladly be sure to implement these updates into our existing plan when available.
What is most clear about this plan, is that the union and guild reps, myself and everyone else involved all want the same thing, and that is the safety of our cast and crew as we return to work. With that all said here, below is an overview of the plan. More extensive details may be found in the deck.
Thank you for your time and consideration,