Michael Bay producing pandemic movie, will be first to shoot in Los Angeles since coronavirus lockdown

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Michael Bay is poised to begin production on the first movie to shoot in Los Angeles since the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began.

Although the film and TV industry is still facing a time of great uncertainty as various production-related ventures are forced to shut down in order meet California’s guidelines on social distancing, the acclaimed filmmaker seems to have found a way around those rules by making a thriller set in the time of a pandemic.

According to Deadline, Adam Goodman’s Invisible Narratives has teamed with Bay to produce a movie called “Songbird.” The outlet describes the film as a taut thriller similar to “Paranormal Activity” and “Cloverfield” that takes place two years in the future. The pandemic is still around after lockdowns have been rolled back and subsequently reinstated as the virus continues to mutate. It promises to tackle everything from governmental conspiracies to public paranoia.

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Filmmaker Michael Bay is poised to produce the first movie in Los Angeles since the coronavirus lockdown.

Filmmaker Michael Bay is poised to produce the first movie in Los Angeles since the coronavirus lockdown. (John Parra/Getty Images for 6 Underground))

Directed and written by Adam Mason, the film would be the first to go into production in Los Angeles since new guidelines were put in place. Although traditional film shoots are currently out of the question, Deadline reports that filmmakers are offering remote training for the actors and taking precautions to ensure that no one comes face-to-face while filming. For example, scenes will only be shot after the crew comes and preps the ground beforehand. Given that the characters will be in lockdown, there likely won't be many scenes that require crew at all.

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Because of the robust planning to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed, guilds representing both on and off-camera workers have reportedly given “Songbird” a green light.

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It’s been clear for a while that, as time goes on amid the pandemic, the thousands of entertainment industry workers who are desperate for their jobs to start up again won’t be returning to the kind of film sets they’re used to. The production on Bay’s new film may sound like a unique way to shoot a movie, it may be the first of a growing trend as Hollywood seeks to reopen safely.