The Nat Geo network has managed to get adventure series Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted back in production to the extent that it has completed four episodes set in Croatia, Iceland, Portugal and Finland.
As well, the network – which had to suspend 77 productions in around a dozen countries in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic – has also managed to get episodes of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, Queens and Category Six in the can.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted features the American Road Trip star Ramsay journeying to exotic and unusual destinations on the hunt for adventure, excitement and culinary inspiration. According to Deadline, showrunner Jon Kroll said the production team were desperate to return to filming.
“We could wait until next year, but we really wanted to get back to work, if we could go back safely,” he said.
Kroll said the most difficult thing about resuming production amid the ongoing pandemic is being at the mercy of local processes. Often the crew were subject to rapidly changing policies and guidelines at different airports.
“Confusion is the biggest issue because the rules are changing on a weekly basis,” he said.
Kroll was part of a Nat Geo virtual panel in which he and other producers revealed how they'd managed to resume filming when so many other production companies in the industry were still trying to work out safe filming practices.
Category Six executive producer Lisa Bloch said the wild weather chasing series had been reduced to a crew of one. "We’re looking forward to getting more people out in the field,” she said, in understated fashion.
Female-focused wildlife series Queens, filming in the UK and Kenya, had a different scenario to deal with – how to avoid potentially infecting the wildlife it was filming. Showrunner Vanessa Berlowitz said anxiety over passing COVID-19 from the crew to apes and monkeys led to the shoot being cancelled.
“We’ve had to make some really complex decisions, not only about our own safely but with the animals we’re filming,” she said.
Running Wild With Bear Grylls has also resumed production, with an episode completed in Iceland.
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