Nearly every movie and television production has been put on some sort of delay or hiatus over the last week, as studios do their part to help with the spreading coronavirus pandemic. People have been advised to stay in their homes and away from others in order to prevent the spreading of the virus, and shutting down these productions complies with those mandates. These shutdowns include Netflix productions like Stranger Things, which was about a month into shooting its fourth season.
Stranger Things is taking a break from shooting during this time of self-quarantine and social distancing, and producer/director Shawn Levy is speaking out about what it was like to tell his team about the unprecedented production halt.
“I was having phone calls with Netflix while directing takes and blocking scenes,” Levy told Variety. “We shared the news with our cast and crew that we would be pausing production out of an abundance of caution. There were no sick crew members, no one was exhibiting symptoms, but it seemed like the right thing to do.”
Levy went on to explain that the moment was "bittersweet" for everyone involved. Shutting down was the right thing to do in order to keep everyone safe, but one month into production everyone had started getting into a groove, so pressing pause took some wind out of the sails.
“When you’re shooting, you create this micro society, this community," added Levy. "You’re aware of the world beyond, but in all of my years directing and producing, I’m hard pressed to come up with any comparisons for this truly global situation."
After the announcement to go on hiatus was made, a crew member asked Levy if they would be getting paid for the time they were supposed to be working.
"He made the important point that it isn’t always policy, it isn’t always the norm in this industry,” Levy said of the exchange. Fortunately, Netflix is paying the crew for two 40-hour work weeks during the time they're currently scheduled to be away. “I’m just happy that Netflix wants to do right by the health and well being of the people who make this show.”
There is no release date currently set for Stranger Things Season 4.
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