With people quarantined around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, viewership on streaming services such as Netflix has surged, even as production on new content has basically come to a halt. Even so, Netflix is currently in production in both South Korea and Iceland, thanks to those countries’ strong response in containing and tracking the novel coronavirus. This was among the information shared as part of the streaming giant’s first-quarter earnings report and a subsequent call with company executives.
“When it comes to production, almost all filming has now been stopped globally, with the exception of a few countries like Korea [sic] and Iceland,” Netflix content chief Theodore A. Sarandos explained. Both South Korea and Iceland have been “very aggressive about testing and tracking early,” he continued, which he says “lays out a good framework for future rollouts” in other parts of the world.
While Sarandos did not indicate specific productions that are underway in either country, previous Netflix shows and/or co-productions that have been filmed in Iceland include Sense8 and The Valhalla Murders.
Extensive testing in a country or state is a prerequisite for Netflix relaunching production efforts, Sarandos noted – “We have to be able to look our employees and cast and crew in the eyes and say, ‘This is a safe place to work.’”