The coming of age series, In the summer I became pretty, was scheduled to begin production around July on the South Shore, but Amazon said this week it would now be filmed in the United States, where COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed. “It’s a blow, it really shocked a lot of people,” said Shelley Bibby, a sales representative with Local 849 of IATSE, the union representing technicians and artists in the film industry. and television.
“I think we have proven that we are able to operate safely with strong protocols. ”
With production heading south of the border, Bibby estimated losses of around $ 7.5 million in local labor and up to $ 11.5 million if workers came from outside of the province. She said crews in Nova Scotia must be tested for COVID-19 between three and five times a week.
The series should have several seasons
In the summer I became pretty is based on a trilogy of young adult romance novels by American author Jenny Han. The novels focus on Isabel (Belly) Conklin and her past experiences spending summers at a family friend’s beach house.
Han also wrote the popular To all the boys series, which has been adapted into a trio of teen romantic comedy films on Netflix.
In the summer I became pretty The TV series are expected to have multiple seasons, meaning the production crew should have filmed in Nova Scotia multiple times a year.
“It would have been an opportunity to continue the work for our locals,” said Bibby. “It would have given many of our less experienced employees the opportunity to move to higher positions. “
Laura Mackenzie, managing director of Screen Nova Scotia, said the province’s travel restrictions were key to why Amazon Studios chose to film outside of Nova Scotia.
“The timing of this production was such that they really had to shoot in the summer,” she said. “Due to travel restrictions it would have pushed them into November and no one wants to film a beach show in November. “
Mackenzie said having to self-isolate after arriving in the province would have delayed the production schedule and prevented many on the team from participating in important pre-production activities.
In addition to the loss of wages, Bibby said businesses in the province will also lose revenue.
“My understanding is that there would have been almost $ 14 million in what we call fixed costs, so hotel rentals, car rentals, lumber and things like that,” he said. she declared.
“I think it’s underestimated what’s contributed [by the film industry] to the economy. ”
Although there are several productions across the province, Bibby said most of them are done hiring new people.
“We hope it will be temporary”
Mikaela Etchegary, spokesperson for the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, said the province recognizes that various industries are affected not only by the pandemic but also by public health restrictions.
“We hope this will be temporary, as we recognize the challenges this pandemic has created for our sectors,” she said in an emailed statement.
“Keeping Nova Scotians safe and healthy is our number one concern, and we look forward to continuing to grow the province’s film industry when it is safer to do so.
Industry remains encouraged
Despite the loss of the Amazon series, Mackenzie said the local film industry is still booming.
“We’ve taken a step forward in the industry here and we’re busy again and people are watching our way,” she said. “People want to come here, so we all feel really encouraged. “
She said the province is equipped to handle another large-scale production, although it remains silent on details.
“We have a busy year. No spoilers yet, ”she said. “It will be of similar size and scope, of course. “