Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Bryn Sandberg on June 2, 2021.
With inflation hitting the US economy at large, Hollywood is feeling the impact of it on its film and television production. The rising demand and sluggish supply of building materials is hampering the entertainment industry’s ability to build movie and TV sets within budget.
“In the last three months, the cost of materials have shot through the roof,” says Doug Jeffery, founder of 41 Sets, a boutique shop that has constructed sets for several commercials as well as Sony and CBS projects. Jeffery notes that a sheet of plywood was $20 or $30 in recent years but is now roughly three times as much. And it’s not just lumber: Everything from steel to glass to paint has jumped in price in the past few months.
Rising prices are forcing producers and executives to change the way they do things. “Supply chain shortages caused us to alter the way we build our stages,” says Frank Patterson, president and CEO of Trilith Studios in Atlanta, home of Disney+’s WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Whereas workers would normally build the exteriors first and then build out the interiors, the construction team at the studio lot has had to do the opposite because of a delay in shipments of exterior materials. …