Filming on Neighbours will recommence this week in what is the first Drama to resume filming in Australia during COVID-19.
But there will be strict measures in place for the protection of cast and crew. Limited production resumes this week with pull production from April 27.
There will be no intimate scenes, cast and crew will be isolated into three distinct groups, and camera tricks will be used to make physically-distanced actors look more intimate.
A Fremantle spokesperson told TV Tonight, “Neighbours returns from its scheduled production hiatus next week with a revised production model which fully complies with the Government’s strict health and safety measures for work environments around COVID-19.”
The studio has been divided into quadrants, with an operational hub, three distinct production teams and only three actors allowed to cross between the units.
“There will be no more than 100 people a day in any area, we’ll implement the four-square-metre rule and the one-and-a-half-metre social distancing rule,” Fremantle CEO Chris Oliver-Taylor has told ABC.
“We’ve got a nurse on set, different catering for everyone, males will have no make-up, women’s [make-up] will not be touched up, there are no intimate scenes.
“We’re going to assume if someone does get sick we don’t need to shut the entire shoot — we just close that group and carry on.”
Other productions are looking to the model to see how successfully it can operate.
Fremantle is not yet resuming production on Wentworth, which does require intimate scenes, but also has time up its sleeve.
2020 episodes are complete and due to screen from June. Filming on 2021 episodes has been suspended.