NASHVILLE, Tennessee — As a trauma nurse in an emergency room, Kirstin Broc-Reyes had seen her share of chaotic scenes in hospitals, but nothing prepared her for being on the set of a music video for the first time.
As CEO of Live Better Solutions, which provides on-site private Covid-19 testing, Broc-Reyes administers Covid-19 tests to production employees, crews and talent. She also serves as a Covid-19 compliance officer, which involves maintaining safety protocols, like mask wearing and social distancing, on set.
It’s a collision of two different worlds: While she might be an ace in the ER, Broc-Reyes doesn’t have to worry about stepping into camera lines there.
“The crew was constantly telling me to move,” she said. “Now I’ve learned to ask where the ‘no-go’ zones are.”
Thanks to agreements signed among unions and the industry within the last few months and strict new Covid-19 compliant guidelines, cameras on movie and television productions are starting to roll again. That has meant a growing need for immediate, on-site Covid-19 testing all over the country. Small private companies like Broc-Reyes’ are stepping in, creating a new and growing cottage industry.
In Tennessee, Bob Raines, executive director of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission, estimates they’ve seen a 40 percent increase in film permits and projects since May.
Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission, said a comprehensive mandatory testing regime is the cornerstone of a safe set in a pre-vaccine environment. “Without testing, the entire cast and crew would be working in environments with unknown risk,“ she said.
This summer’s Video Music Awards was one of the first live shows under the new Covid-19 testing protocols, and for Jackie Barba, Viacom/CBS senior vice president of production, it was daunting to oversee it all.
“We had no footprint, we had no