Star Trek: Discovery and its fourth season is taking longer to produce due to all of the health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olatunde Osunsanmi joined Alex Kurtzman on the BlerdGurl podcast and talked about all of the major changes that Star Trek: Discovery has been going through while filming the current season during a raging, global pandemic.
During their conversation, they revealed that it’s taking longer to film the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery due to the pandemic forcing routines to change and adapt to accommodate the needs and health of the cast and crew.
Going through a brief rundown of what has changed for the show, Osunsanmi, went through the details of the health and safety protocols that are going on with the set of Star Trek: Discovery. There seems to be a lot of steps and changes to the show, but it works for the health and safety of the performers.
"You start with safety first and the scientists, and then everything else kind of goes backwards from there. It goes to the scripts. And we’ve worked with Alex and Michelle, and say ‘You do this and the scientists are saying we shouldn’t do that’ Then once we get past that stage, we take it to the crew and start figuring out how to produce it. And then it just gets down to the nuts and bolts on set. We have to social distance, so that means when we do something called “last looks” when all the makeup, hair and costume people come in, now that’s separate."
If that wasn’t a lot to deal with, the normally long and arduous process of putting on makeup and prosthetics just got even longer and more arduous. Now the process can take up to three times as long as it would normally take for everyone to get prepped properly.
"The costume people come in and go away, then hair comes in, goes away, then makeup. And obviously, it takes three times as much time as it would normally take. And so you can take that process of individual departments, and multiply it across the entire company and things really slow down."
The pandemic has forced the creators of the show really re-think what is done and how it’s shot. Usually, shows would shoot extra footage just in case. Stuff that usually got left on the floor but would offer the directors and editors an opportunity to edit something differently if they found that what they had didn’t work. That’s no longer happening on the set of Discovery according to Osunsanmi.
"What you have is a situation where you have to make decisions about what really matters creatively to you. What will really matter creatively to Alex or to Michelle and to the audience, and you get exactly that. Whereas pre-pandemic, we would get a whole bunch of extra stuff, just in case. So now there’s much more communication about what we feel we actually do need. And it’s also about keeping it fun, still. CBS has spent an extraordinary amount of money to keep us safe. Everything we’ve asked for, we’ve gotten. We feel incredibly well supported. I feel as safe as I could possibly be in this little soft bubble of environment that we have. So it’s about staying vigilant about that, but also, finding a way to have fun while we are doing it."