The Malaysian government has authorized a return to production for film and TV productions from June 10.
“Previously, I had said shooting of films, TV and advertisements can resume after Hari Raya. It’s been decided, these productions can resume starting from June 10, 2020,” senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Tuesday. “However, every production must adhere to the SOP, especially keeping the social distance and ensuring there is no large crowd.”
Productions have been halted since March 18, when Malaysia introduced its strict lockdown protocols, known locally as Movement Control Orders.
Most of the accompanying social distance and hygiene measure need not have any impact on what appears on screen, though one rule will. Physical contact between cast members is not allowed and they must always remain one metre apart.
Other post-coronavirus measure include: no more than 20 people present on set at one time; no buffet style catering; and special hygiene routines for hair and makeup crew. TV shows made in front of live audiences also remain banned for the moment.
The country has tried to position itself as an attractive destination for runaway international productions. The government investment agency bankrolled the building of the Iskandar Studios, where The Weinstein Company made the “Marco Polo” series for Netflix. Malaysia also has a generous production rebate scheme.
The country has recorded 7,800 confirmed coronavirus cases and 115 deaths.