Actors welcome new IGA filming guidelines that allay back-to-work anxiety
“Just because there’s no vaccine for COVID-19 yet doesn’t mean we will all stop making a living,” declared actor Joross Gamboa, who also claimed he was ready to get back to work, as long as he’d be assured that necessary health and safety measures would be in place.
“At least we would now have something new to show people while they’re in quarantine; something that will entertain them and at the same time give them hope,” Joross pointed out. “Also, we need to get back out there so we can provide jobs for people working behind the camera. Their families are depending on them, too.”
A health and safety protocol, drafted by the Inter-Guild Alliance (IGA), was released on May 19. Joross said that while enforcing these guidelines would mean a huge adjustment for everybody, “we’d eventually learn and take everything to heart.”
Joross participated in an online panel discussion titled “Actor’s Cue,” along with Jake Cuenca, Joem Bascon, Mon Confiado and Jameson Blake. The event was part of “#ExtendTheLove” fundraising campaign to help displaced film workers, organized by filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr.
“With the new guidelines, the way we do film and TV will definitely change,” Joem declared. “They said there would be no more segues for us actors. This means we can only work on one project at a given period of time. I guess it’s a good thing so we’d have enough time to rest. That’s what we need in order to boost our immune system and fight the virus, anyway.”
Joem said that with the implementation of the IGA protocol, “we’d have a more systematized way of shooting even when the pandemic is over.”
“If before we’d do 30 to 35 sequences a day, this would be lessened, especially with the maximum 12-hour daily work schedule [that the IGA is proposing],” he pointed out.
For Mon, the pandemic has taught industry people a great lesson. “It woke us up to the fact that the way we do things is no longer effective and is, in fact, already harmful to our health,” he pointed out. “Instead of making everyone work for 24 hours, it’s good that [the IGA is recommending] that we shorten it (work hours) to 12 hours. The pandemic has forced us to change our system in a positive way. I just hope this pushes through with no objections.”
Jake, meanwhile, hoped that these guidelines would be strictly enforced and followed. “Producers should be efficient in implementing them,” he said. “In terms of working in a locked-in set, I’m all for it. At least, there will be no distraction for actors. They’d be more focused on the characters they’re portraying.”
Jameson added that, despite the restrictions and the challenges brought by the “new normal,”
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