HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Katherine Johnson is producing an eight-episode spy sitcom that’s set in 1937 Baltimore. The story will be a fun and clean comedy for adults.
The production team has rented space at Lowe Mill, in Huntsville. With the arts and entertainment business being hit so hard during the pandemic, Johnson says production has been difficult.
Unlike a big-budget Hollywood production, independent freelance artists usually pay out of their own pocket or they reach out to the community.
But for Johnson, she says the process of filming her sitcom has been more difficult, because of the pandemic, “we were originally intending to have a live audience and shoot this in the historic live audience style of sitcoms like ‘I Love Lucy’. But, it’s just not safe right now with Covid.”
The pandemic hasn’t only been a struggle for Johnson, its affected all aspects of filming. From shooting schedules, set design, and even wardrobe, “Like it’s difficult to find lumber right now to build the set, it’s difficult right now to find supplies in general that you would think, oh I could buy 10 yards of blue material to make a period dress and right now it’s not that simple.”
Even though the simplest of things are now a bit more difficult, Johnson says she can’t lose focus and that’s her commitment to keeping the cast and crew safe, “I just sanitize like a crazy mad woman, before and after everyone leaves, we’re keeping rehearsals extremely small to like five people.”
Although she’s made the right accommodations, the cast and crew have been able to follow COVID-19 guidelines, there are still some departments that are struggling.
Johnson says, the amount of extra prep and clean up time it takes for the make-up department, scheduling and time management can be difficult.
With the added safety of gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers come the added costs. The arts and entertainment community have rallied behind the production team, “We have had a lot of donations of materials, just, hand sanitizers, masks.”
But, the production is still in need of help, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1989949136/1930s-spy-sit-com?ref=discovery&term=sit-com. If they do not reach their goal then the show can’t be funded.
Filming is set to begin at the end of January.