Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Gone Girl) opened up about how he has continued filming during the coronavirus pandemic while obeying strict regulations that prevent any spread or outbreak in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Perry has already filmed an entire season for Sistas, one of his BET shows, and will begin the filming of another BET show, The Oval, on July 30th. Sistas began filming in Atlanta on July 8th.
Camp Quarantine is a 300-acre lot on which Perry built buildings to house cast and crew and the sets for the shows he films. In the camp, there are “masks, food trucks, and private flights” as well as social distancing in order to ensure the cast and crew’s safety (CBS This Morning). Perry was also advised by prominent doctors such as CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to test all cast and crew every three or four days. Despite all these restrictions, Perry was able to film the 22-episode season of Sistas in 11 days.
Perry’s foremost reason for continuing production is to prevent job insecurity for his crew members. He said of his decision, “They were so proud walking up to me telling me how they’ve been able to change their lives and how their lives are better from working here. It’s easy for me — I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a position that I could have sat this thing out until there’s a vaccine next year or whenever. But thinking about them and their lives and what it takes for them to maintain their lives, I had to come up with the plan” (The Hollywood Reporter).
Although Perry has instituted strict regulations upon his team, there is still a high risk of an outbreak among the crew due to how closely they work with each other. During the filming of the second season of Sistas, two crew members fell sick, unable to work because of vomiting and fainting. They were sequestered immediately, but fortunately for the crew as a whole, they did not test positive for the coronavirus and have since recovered.