Weekly Response essayLack of insurance coverage threatens provide of Hollywood
movies, TV exhibits in 2021
Thursday, July 9, 2020
FILE PHOTO: Los Angeles is seen from behind the Hollywood sign up Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 14, 2019.
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson -/File Picture
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurers have largely stopped protecting impartial movie and tv productions
towards the chance of COVID-19 sickness, a shift that threatens the provision of latest leisure in 2021, Hollywood
producers, insurers and business consultants mentioned.
1000's of shoots all over the world shut down abruptly in March because the novel coronavirus unfold and
governments imposed lockdowns.
Now as filmmakers attempt to get again to work they're discovering insurers have largely stopped offering the COVID19 protection they should safe financing.
Some insurers are even including exclusions for COVID-19 or communicable illnesses to current insurance policies when forged
members get medical exams, insurance coverage lawyer Kirk Pasich instructed Reuters.
With out protection, many producers can not get the completion bond, or assure, that banks require to lend to
Till crews can work safely once more and insurance coverage covers COVID-related prices, "there shall be much less content material of the
caliber that we're used to," impartial movie producer Robert Salerno instructed Reuters.
Insurers, already reeling from different pandemic claims, say they can not provide the protection as a result of it's unclear
Points & Controversies
how the pandemic will play out.
Though some international locations have managed or eradicated the virus, instances have resurged elsewhere, together with the
"It isn't a danger you possibly can even worth," a senior insurance coverage govt, who was not approved to talk publicly, instructed
Solely a handful of insurers provide movie and TV insurance policies worldwide. Chubb Ltd and Allianz SE, two main insurers no
longer offering such protection, declined to remark.
Media Guarantors Insurance coverage Options, which gives bonding, has seen enterprise fall 80% throughout the pandemic,
mentioned Chief Govt Fred Milstein. Producers are watching the brand new rise in U.S. COVID-19 instances carefully as they
think about rescheduling.
"Everyone's taking a beat to see if the charges go down once more," he mentioned.
Whereas large studios can self-insure, impartial producers, who end up 70% of latest movies and quite a few TV exhibits
within the U.S. every year, are searching for options, mentioned Jean Prewitt, chief govt of the Impartial Movie &
Budgets are up 10% to 30% as producers add security measures on set and rewrite scripts to cut back an infection danger,
Nicolas Chartier, producer of the Academy Award-winning movie The Harm Locker, is feeling the results. His Voltage
Footage manufacturing firm deliberate to movie sequels to the romantic drama "After" in September. Each are on
maintain as a result of insurance coverage is unavailable, he instructed Reuters.
"You can not get a completion bond as a result of proper now insurance coverage does not cowl COVID," he mentioned. "Everyone is
frightened concerning the film being deserted."
Tasks costing $1 million or much less could be financed with money, however nonetheless face well being dangers, particularly for plots with
romance or battle scenes.
"So you should shoot two folks in a room, two folks speaking exterior on a bench," Chartier mentioned. "Not precisely
probably the most thrilling film."
Impartial producers are additionally searching for non-public traders to offer insurance coverage, or transferring to international locations that
have authorities backing for pandemic danger, mentioned Brian O'Shea, chief govt of The Trade, a film gross sales,
financing and manufacturing firm. He hopes the U.S. will present related help.
O'Shea bought two motion pictures - one starring Bruce Willis and the opposite Olivia Munn - final month at "digital Cannes," an
on-line model of the well-known Côte d'Azur movie competition.
With $10 million in monetary commitments for every movie, he needs to shoot this 12 months, and says authorities
backing would assist.
"Now I must discover a bond firm and insurance coverage or an fairness investor that may assure the supply of the
image given the dangers brought on by COVID," he mentioned.
"We're making an attempt to determine it out."
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Extra reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Enhancing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Diane
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