Bloomington’s Pigasus Pictures releases second feature film globally amidst pandemic
Bloomington, Indiana – The pandemic has brought some Hollywood movie makers to a halt, but an Indiana film company is releasing its second feature film globally.
“It’s called Ms. White Light, and it was a selection at the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival,” explained John Armstrong, co-owner of Pigasus Pictures. “Finally got our worldwide release distribution.”
Ms. White Light was shot in Bloomington by Pigasus Pictures. The movie will be released to most video on-demand services.
“Ms. White Light is about a young woman who has the unique ability to connect to people as they are passing, but she is so awkward, she can’t connect to anyone else,” said Armstrong.
The release comes on the heels of Regal Cinemas announcing the closure of all of their theaters. Armstrong says COVID-19 has really brought people from the silver screen to the small screen within their homes.
“It was crazy to see Regal Cinemas shutting down, although there’s been a lot of chatter recently that Amazon is going to move into the theatrical space,” Armstrong added. “It removes that communal experience of watching movies, and there’s nothing to beat that. COVID is really disrupting the big box films, that they spend tens of millions of dollars on. There’s a content void because I think a lot of productions shut down in Hollywood.”
Pigasus is in the process of figuring out how to move forward with future productions in a pandemic world. They have acquired the services of Delta Medics LLC, which is a group of medics serving the role of COVID compliance officers on set.
Right now, Delta is maintaining safety protocols for six different productions. They make film-making viable by turning the shoot location into a bubble, similar to the NBA.
“My job is to make sure that production sets are operating appropriately as per Screen Actors Guild protocol,” said Jacob Melnychuk, medic and CEO of Delta Medics. “We operate on a zoning system. We take talent from production, we put them in one area, we take crew and put them in another area. Of course, following our mask protocol, which is required by everybody. Following visor protocol if you are in front of talent that is not able to wear a mask.”
Melnychuk says everyone on set is tested three times a week to maintain the bubble. If anyone is flown in for the production, they must be tested before getting on an airplane, and they are met at the airport where they are tested again. They are not allowed to enter the set area until that second test comes back negative. As people arrive to the set, Melnychuk and his team go through a rigorous protocol to let them enter the bubble.
“When I come up, I have them stay in their vehicles, put their mask on, I’m also wearing a mask, and I come to the side of their vehicles,” explained Melnychuk. “I am taking their temperatures and asking them all the questions the CDC has recommended we ask.”