Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Joshua Axelrod

An office building in the Strip District will serve as a filming site for Jeff Daniels’ Showtime series “Rust” on Tuesday, with one street nearby being shut down during production.

The City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events confirmed to the Post-Gazette that Showtime had been granted a permit for filming Tuesday at the Burns White Center on 26th Street in the Strip District. “Rust” is the only announced movie or TV show in town currently filming, according to Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer.

As part of Tuesday’s filming, the portion of 26th Street that extends from where it intersects with Railroad Street to the point it dead ends at a trail along the Allegheny River will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for parking and staging equipment during the Burns White Center shoot, according to the Office of Special Events.

All of the filming will take place inside the Burns White Center, so the Office of Special Events doesn’t anticipate any noise or lighting-related disruptions, especially to those living in the nearby Yards at 3 Crossings apartment complex. The Office of Special Events did specify that “any impacted residents will be accommodated.”

Jeff Daniels stars as former FBI director James B. Comey in “The Comey Rule.”
Joshua Axelrod
Jeff Daniels’ Showtime series ‘Rust’ to film Thursday in Ross
“Rust” was supposed to film in and around the Steel City beginning in March 2020 but was forced to delay a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production is back up and running now though, and this is at least the second time it has gotten permits for road closures after it did so for an April shooting day in Ross.

Its 10-episode first season will star Daniels, Bill Camp and Maura Tierney, among others. Daniels is playing Del Harris, the police chief of a small Western Pennsylvania town who is put in a tough position when the son of the woman he loves is accused of murder.

First Published May 3, 2021, 1:51pm

Link to Source

PITTSBURGH – The Department of Public Works announced today that it has granted a permit to Fidelis Productions, LLC to close Thompson Run Road between Babcock Boulevard and Vilsack Road in Ross Township. The closure will occur between noon to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 2021, and it is required for a film shoot. Traffic will be detoured using Babcock Boulevard, Evergreen Road, Anderson Road, and Vilsack Road. Police will be used to help control traffic, and local residents will have access to their homes throughout the closure.
For more information, contact John Adkins at 412-352-6465 or [email protected].



by Christopher Campbell | November 20, 2020 | Rotten Tomatoes

Everyone is talking about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for one reason above all: the Netflix Original features the final performance by Chadwick Boseman, who shockingly died of cancer over the summer. And as the first reviews arrive for the biographical drama, based on August Wilson’s 1982 play of the same name, Boseman continues to receive the majority of attention, mostly in the form of praise for his last work. But there are other reasons to look forward to the movie, including Viola Davis’ performance as the titular “Mother of the Blues” as well as Wilson’s powerful writing and some unforgettable moments as directed by George C. Wolfe.

Here’s what critics are saying about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom:


Boseman is a revelation.

– Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International 

On a whole other level here… Watching him in this film is an absolutely hypnotic experience.

– Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

Boseman’s performance really is the stuff of acting legend…[he] will make you feel like screen actors rarely are able to do.

– J. Don Birnam, Splash Report

The confidence and composure of the icons he has played before has melted away into a kind of nervous insecurity we’ve never seen in the actor.

– Peter Debruge, Variety

There are times where you have to remind yourself to breathe watching his performance.

– Matt Goldberg, Collider

Ma Rainey is a hilarious film, and Boseman, through his coy smile, and displaying his full range, is equally hilarious in it.

– Robert Daniels, IGN Movies

What a glorious performance to go out on.

– Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

It’s no stretch to say his last performance may be his finest.

– Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com


We should have been just getting started with him. Sadly, this will have to stand as the crowning performance of his career.

– Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

Chadwick Boseman’s astonishingly dynamic and charismatic performance reminds us of a promising future that can no longer come to pass. I can hardly think of a more fitting final act for his career than this.

– Shane Slater, Film Actually

It’s an Oscar-worthy performance in what should have been a long career filled with Oscars.

– Matt Goldberg, Collider

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is such a difficult movie to watch. While watching, it’s impossible not to face facts: this is it… turns out Boseman did have one last gift for us.

– Mike Ryan, Uproxx

Boseman would cast a huge shadow over the film even if he hadn’t tragically passed away earlier this year at the age of 43.

– Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Even if Boseman were alive, his name would still certainly be on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination.

– Gabriella Geisinger, Digital Spy


Davis as the titular Ma Rainey gives one of the performances of her career.

– Gabriella Geisinger, Digital Spy

It is one of the best performances of Davis’ career — a career already filled with many such depictions.

– J. Don Birnam, Splash Report

The most engrossing, inspired transformation of her career.

– Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Her performance is both otherworldly and all too human.

– Oliver Jones, Observer

It’s a delectably grand performance.

– Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

As Ma Rainey, Davis confirms how wide-ranging her talent is.

– Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International 


The supporting cast deserves acclaim for their work.

– Matt Goldberg, Collider

While Boseman and Davis are the stars, don’t sleep on Colman Domingo and Glynn Turman, who are excellent in their supporting parts.

– Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

Domingo gives the character a quiet authority that is essential to the band dynamic and elevates not just Boseman but Davis’ performance as well.

– Jason Guerrasio, Insider

Much will be made of Boseman and Davis’ work here, but Turman’s excellent work is also worthy of notice.

– Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

The great Glynn Turman. This is the supporting performance that will get the awards attention… This is Turman’s moment even more than it is Boseman’s.

– Roger Friedman, Showbiz 411


You can feel the full force of Wilson’s play barrel down from the stage and into your living room.

– Oliver Jones, Observer

This Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom feels not just adapted but accelerated, as if it were racing to meet the deadline its own characters keep putting off.

– Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who adapted the play for the screen, honors Wilson’s eloquent and vernacular dialogue, which includes moments of wit.

– Caryn James, BBC.com

Taking a play and turning it into a film has inherent challenges… The ability it shows to overcome that potential challenge makes it a superior work to the already well done Fences.

– Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

Wolfe and screenwriter Ruben Santiago-Hudson have put the play into the movie, rather than vice versa.

– Eric Kohn, IndieWire


Ma Rainey feels fresh as a film.

– Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International

While you can “feel” the stage origins, over time, that stuff kind of dissipates when the performances are so good.

– Matt Goldberg, Collider

There is a static quality to some of the back and forth, but… the contained staginess of the movie comes off as welcome, intimate and, in the hands of these boldly empathetic performers, quite thrilling.

– Oliver Jones, Observer

[Santiago-Hudson] and Wolfe do what they can to open up the play but the movie still remains, in a good way, stagey. There’s no way around it.

– Roger Friedman, Showbiz 411

The characters move through space as if they were blocked for the stage, and it’s slightly distracting to watch.

– Gabriella Geisinger, Digital Spy

Wilson’s dialogue is very “written” sounding, very theatrical, and it almost feels like the entire ensemble are acting on a podium rather than attempting to deliver a legitimate feature film.

– Jordan Ruimy, World of Reel


Right away, it was hard not to notice how striking the imagery of this film is throughout.

– Aaron Neuwirth, We Live Entertainment

Tobias Schilesser, who typically shoots action or showy movies alongside the likes of Peter Berg and Bill Condon, delivers a radiant cinematography.

– J. Don Birnam, Splash Report

Tobias A. Schliesser’s vibrant cinematography works wonders in up close, but has a flatter quality in some of the interstitial moments between the big set pieces.

– Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom premieres on Netflix on Friday, December 18, 2020.

Please check back – Updates posted as new information is received.

The Pittsburgh Film Office believes the highest priority to maintain our state’s film industry amid the COVID-19 Pandemic is the safety of the Pittsburgh region’s filmmakers, crew members, talent, vendors, location owners, and communities. In accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s three-phased approach to safely reopen the economy, we will be following the PA Health Department, the CDC, and the film industry union guidelines. In addition, the Pittsburgh Film Office is releasing additional related resources for filmmakers, to allow for a safe return to work with our local crew.

As of Friday, June 5, 2020, Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Greene County, Lawrence County, Somerset County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County will open in the Green/Phase Three of a three-phased approach to re-open the Pennsylvania economy.

The Pennsylvania Plan for Reopening:

This statewide plan is:

  1. Based on scientific modeling from public health experts and Carnegie Mellon University.
  2. Intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  3. Intended to protect Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens from the threat of COVID-19.
  4. Intended for businesses and individuals to utilize in conjunction with guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).


Guilds, Unions, Companies, and Studios will have safety procedures created with the working environment and scope of a film, television, or commercial production in mind, and may be more restrictive than the state-wide plan. As film productions make decisions about operations while the pandemic persists, they may consider incorporating suggestions from multiple sources. The following documents included below are examples of what the Pittsburgh Film Office believes to be strong direction in maintaining a safe working environment in the film industry. We aim to share the most comprehensive guidelines available to bring back a thriving and healthy film industry in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Guidelines by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers: Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Committee Task Force

Guidelines by Camelot Communications: suggested for commercial filming


The following information has been provided to the Pittsburgh Film Office:

Filming would fall under NAICS 512110 – motion picture and video production which is defined as: industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing, or producing and distributing motion pictures, videos, television programs, or television commercials.

On the Governor’s Life Sustaining Business list, they would fall under NAICS 512110: DCED List of Life-Sustaining Businesses

  • RED/Phase One: No filming
  • YELLOW/Phase Two: Some filming allowed if attached guidelines are followed
  • GREEN/Phase Three: filming allowed while following the PA Health Department, CDC, and film industry guidelines


For the latest information on film permitting in the Southwestern PA region, and guidance on permitting, please contact the PITTSBURGH FILM OFFICE by email at [email protected] or telephone, 412-261-2744. You many also visit our permits page on the Pittsburgh Film Office website.

The following counties are in the GREEN/Phase Three:

Allegheny County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Greene County, Lawrence County, Somerset County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County


Updates on COVID-19 from the Mayor of Pittsburgh

Further information on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 cases can be found on:

Pennsylvania Health Department

Allegheny County Health Department

CDC on COVID-19 Prevention


UPMC Testing
COVID-19 Test Site Finder


Alexandra Ostebo, (703) 268-3315
[email protected]

Physician Core Care:

Dan Henderson, cell (412) 417-5316
Sam Shannon, cell (412) 485-0141
[email protected]

MHS Labs:

Gina Pferdehirt, 412-930-4135
[email protected]

Connected Health:

Betty Rich, 724-933-4305
[email protected]

R J Lee Group:

Carl W Pro, PMP RMP
Director, Strategic Business Development and Project Management
724.325.1776 Office
724.387.1965 Direct
412.452.1429 Mobile
[email protected]


COVID-19 Information for Travelers from the PA Department of Health

For the latest information on travel guidelines from the CDC


Pittsburgh Film Office strongly encourages each production to continually check the CDC’s recommendations for personal practices and social distancing.

As a note, groups of people who share a space within a building in the ordinary course of operations, such as in an office building, classroom, production floor or similar regularly occurring operation of a business or organization, are not “events or gatherings.”

We understand how difficult these uncertain times have been for you are your families and how eager you are to return to work. We are here to support you and are looking forward to film production resuming in our region!

We hope all filmmakers will follow the health guidelines we have shared to keep our local film industry healthy and working. Our office will continue sharing health information and filming guidelines as they become available on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Pittsburgh Film Office by email, [email protected] or by telephone, 412-261-2744.


Additional Links:

Plan For Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Businesses

The Pittsburgh Film Office and Pittsburgh Film and Media Educators Alliance are excited to present the virtual event,  PITCH-BURGH – THE SCREENING, Friday September 18th at 5pm via Zoom Meeting!

Please join us to view a selection of student works created this year! As a follow-up to the successful Pitch-Burgh event at the beginning of the year, Pitch-Burgh The Screening gives students from different universities in the Pittsburgh area the opportunity to come together and showcase their completed projects. Come join in and hear their experiences and stories from creating their films! Kevin Smith of the University of Pittsburgh will be hosting the event and leading the discussion. The Zoom call will begin at 5:00pm on Friday, September 18th.

Pitch-Burgh – The Screening 

Friday, September 18th, 2020


Hosted by Kevin Smith, Screenwriter and Director of Undergraduate Studies – Broadcasting and Senior Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh


Join the Screening on Zoom


Meeting ID: 966 1791 1621


Please RSVP to [email protected] for the passcode to join in! The meeting is passcode protected and you will need it to join the call.



“Perception” – Kayla Lukitsch

“A Role to Play” – Matthew Knight

“Cheers COVID-19: Boxing Rage” – Derrick Ostolaza

“House Fly” – Sarah Gabany

“Stand Above the Hate” – Timante’ Morris

“Shortest of Stories” – Jennifer Springel

“Fear the Outside” – CCAC Students

“The Social Distance Film” – CCAC Students

“A Gentleman” – Amina Hawes

Are you a filmmaker that loves fashion?

From Pittsburgh Fashion week: “We are planning to bring together fashion and film for the first annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week film festival. We know there are countless independent filmmakers in Pittsburgh and across the country capable of producing quality productions that are always looking for opportunities to showcase their ability.

According to John Valentine, Downtown CDC Executive Director, “We believe this project fits into one of our goals, which is, making Pittsburgh a national and then hopefully an international fashion city.” In line with that goal, this festival will also have a special award that will honor a film entered in the festival.

This all-inclusive event will be an entrance to a place that can offer perspectives communicated through a fashion film festival.”

More Info: https://www.pghfw.com/2020-lineup

Apply for PGHFW Film Festival 2020

*View our full page on COVID-19 and filming here: https://www.pghfilm.org/june-8-2020-pittsburgh-film-office-re-opening-in-southwestern-pennsylvania/

‘The Safe Way Forward’ Joint Report from the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and Teamsters on COVID-19 Safety Guidelines to Provide Safe Workplaces in a Pre-Vaccine World

Source: https://www.sagaftra.org/%E2%80%98-safe-way-forward%E2%80%99-joint-report-dga-sag-aftra-iatse-and-teamsters-covid-19-safety-guidelines

Detailed Protocols Grounded in Latest Science From Foremost Epidemiologists and Experts

Los Angeles — In the next major step toward the resumption of film and television production, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) today released “The Safe Way Forward,” a Multi-Union Report on Covid-19 Safety Guidelines. The Guidelines set forth a detailed set of science-based protocols serving as a path for Employers to uphold their responsibility of providing safe workplaces in a pre-vaccine, Covid-19 world. The Guidelines serve as an essential and necessary element of a return to work for the Unions and Guilds representing film and television casts and crews.

Developed jointly by the Unions and Guilds in consultation with leading epidemiologists and experts, the Guidelines are a follow-up to the Industry White Paper recently delivered to the Governors of New York and California, and other state governments. While the White Paper offered a foundation for the appropriate state agencies to examine the resumption of production, and provides guidance Employers must follow to provide a safe working environment, it expressly contemplated that specific protocols regarding mandatory testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and department-specific procedures would be the subject of further discussions and agreement between the producers and the unions. Today’s Guidelines announced by the Unions and Guilds set forth key components of those detailed protocols.

The Unions and Guilds worked in close coordination with one another as they consulted with an array of experts ranging from preeminent epidemiologists and scientists to risk analysts and specialists in public health and occupational health and safety. By delving into up-to-the minute medical expertise, the science of Covid-19 transmission, and the unique risk factors their members would be confronted with in the production environment, the group developed tailored protocols to protect cast and crew. A central focus is the protection of performers, who are among the most vulnerable on set given they are not always able to observe physical distancing or wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when cameras are rolling.

Testing is the Key to the Resumption of Production
The Unions and Guilds quickly determined that a comprehensive, mandatory testing regimen would need to be the cornerstone of a safe return to production in a pre-vaccine landscape. Without testing, the entire cast and crew would be working in an environment of unknown risk. Confirmed cases would be determined days after people have been shedding the virus – potentially endangering the health of cast and crew members. Moreover, they could lead to the quarantining of others on set, and should those individuals include a key actor or director, to production delays or even a production shutdown. Not to mention the public health implications associated with cast and crew members interacting with the public and going home to their families.

Testing Frequency and the Zone System
The Guidelines lay out that:

  • Every member of the cast and crew be tested for active Covid-19 infection before their first day of work to ensure they are not shedding the virus. Cast and crew members will then be subject to regular testing protocols during the course of their work on the production.
  • Given that performers are uniquely vulnerable for the reasons described above, the Guidelines require a higher testing frequency of at least three times a week at minimum for them as well as those with whom they come into close contact.
  • Individuals who work in areas like the production office – where physical distancing and PPE can be utilized – can be tested less frequently, at a minimum of once a week. Other variables impacting testing frequency include the prevalence of the virus in a given community, and the rate that the infection is being spread.

In order to ensure these different sections of the production environment are tightly controlled, the Guidelines require the implementation of a specialized “Zone” system laying out barriers within which those on set can flow based on proximity to cast, level of testing, PPE and the extent to which physical distancing can be observed in the performance of their work. Cast and those with whom they come into frequent contact would be grouped in Zone A, while other individuals on set would be grouped in Zone B. The Zone system is the structure and foundation around which all on-set Covid-19 safety decisions should be engineered. A detailed tour of the inner-workings of the Zone system is included in the Guidelines.

New Health and Safety On-Set Positions
To execute testing and the Zone System, the Guidelines require the creation and staffing of two new positions/departments with authority to oversee the production to ensure the Guidelines are being followed, and to take immediate action to correct any unsafe practices or conditions:

  • A Health Safety Supervisor (HSS) (referred to in the Industry White Paper as the “Covid-19 Compliance Officer”) would be in charge of the testing process, hire and coordinate the necessary Covid-19 medical staff, and be responsible for related health safety for the production. The HSS has the authority to pause the production in event that a breach threatens the health of the cast or the crew.
  • There would also be a Health Safety Department, with a Manager and staff.  The Health Safety Unit Manager (HSM) would oversee the execution of HSS directives in conjunction with the directors’ team, and other relevant department heads.

The full set of Guidelines, and a listing of the experts consulted by the Unions and Guilds, can be found here. The document will be updated with further specific safety protocols from IATSE locals, SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters and the Basic Craft Unions as they are developed.

Thomas Schlamme, President, Directors Guild of America
“Safely getting back to our work of storytelling, and reuniting with our creative community is at the top of all our minds. But in these fast-changing times amid such a complicated virus, figuring out how to get that done right was no easy task. We knew the only way forward was to consult with leading medical experts and let science guide us to the right approach for our unique work environments. It was only through that Herculean process, and our close coordination with our sister guilds and unions, that we were able to develop the most effective solutions to keep all of our members safe. At the DGA, this was many weeks of hard work and we are eternally indebted to our Covid-19 Safety Committee led by Steven Soderbergh who so intimately understands the complex issues at hand. Through the dedication of everyone involved, we are all that much closer to being able to get back to telling stories together.”

Gabrielle Carteris, President, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
“We’re pleased to share this crucial report which includes meaningful protocols and requirements for a safer return to work. We commend each of our union and guild partners for their diligence, determination and hard work throughout this collaborative and productive process. The report reflects our shared goal of ensuring the safest possible return to production for all of our members throughout the entertainment and media industry.”

Matthew D. Loeb, International President, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
“These steps are key in our efforts to safely reopen the Motion Picture and Television Production Industry, and they would not have been possible without the collaboration between the other guilds and unions. We look forward to continuing to work with the industry and our local unions on getting our members back to work the right way.”

Thomas J. O’Donnell
Director, Teamsters Motion Picture & Theatrical Trade Division

Steve Dayan
Chairman of the Hollywood Basic Crafts Unions

“On behalf of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Hollywood Basic Crafts Unions, we are grateful for the collective and collaborative process that took place between all of our Sister Guilds and Unions, in developing these guidelines. We will be continuing discussions with our Members and committees to finalize our own internal protocols and procedures that will best support our Members within all of the classifications we represent, in order to bring our Members safely back to work.”