UPDATE: Deadline are reporting that Andor season two is still currently filming without its SAG-AFTRA members. It is unclear when Andor will film with its striking cast members and filming will eventually be forced to pause. Despite filming ongoing without its non-SAG-AFTRA members, filming will be cut short as Andor was set to wrap filming in a few weeks.
New set photo and comments from Reddiors claim that filming on the second season of the critically Disney+ series, Andor, is ongoing and the production was spotted filming today in Oxford, England.
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Since last week I have been trying to find out if the second season of Andor was still filming since the SAG-AFTRA strike was called last Thursday. I had seen EE signs (E&E Industries, Andor’s production company) at Black Park, Buckinghamshire, a location used for the Star Wars sequel trilogy and Andor season one last week, but I didn’t know if it was left over from a shoot that took place recently, or if it was for an upcoming shoot. I’d also heard a rumour that the production filmed at Watlington up until Friday last week. However a Reddit user by the name of Bradghost has shared a set photos of Andor season two filming in Oxford, England.
The user didn’t know what the production was outside of it being Star Wars, but other users quickly commented informing the onlooker that it was for Andor season two, with some commenting even claiming to know people currently working on the Oxford set. The user responded to various comments and said that the location in Oxford was near Watlington, a location I heard that the production was filming at last week. The images taken by the Redditor show a large group of crew members and actors setting up a scene in a large field, which I believe was used in the the Brad Pitt led film, Fury, with a large industrial dome drawing the eye in the middle of the field. The images snapped are taken so far away that you can’t make out what cast members are present for the shoot, and the Reddit user also didn’t note seeing any particular actor present during filming…and I’m going to get on as to why that is important.
Last week SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) which represent 160,000 actors unanimously voted to strike amid failed talks with the Hollywood studios. SAG-AFTRA’s contract expired on June 30th, but the union and Hollywood studios came to an agreement to extended the contract to July 12th at 11:59pm PT as negotiations were taking place, but on July 13th, the strike was officially called and put into motion.
Some of the biggest sticking points for the SAG-AFTRA members is the use of artificial intelligence, base pay safeguards, streaming service residuals, and pay for self-taped auditions. According to SAG-AFTRA representatives, the studio’s A.I. proposal included scanning a background actor’s likeness for one day’s worth of pay and using their likeness forever in any form without any residuals or consent. Disney CEO, Bob Iger, who recently extended his contact with the company and is looking to potentially earn $27M this year, says that both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America are being unrealistic in regards to their demands, “There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
Following the strike officially being called last week, members of SAG-AFTRA had to immediately stop working on a film or TV set and cannot continue until an agreement is reached between the union and the Hollywood studios. This means that if a TV series or a film is currently in the midst of shooting, those actors represented by the union must halt work. In addition SAG-AFTRA members are forbidden from promoting their projects which includes press junkets, fan events, TV appearances, social media, and much more while the strike is ongoing.
However actors that are working under contracts governed by the U.K. union, Equity, who represent over 40,000 actors, are allowed to continue filming and promoting their work as Equity members are not legally allowed to strike in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA. Strict union laws in the United Kingdom are preventing an expansive show of solidarity from Equity who can’t legally call a strike due to the restrictive U.K. legislation. This is the reason HBO series such as House of the Dragon and Industry are both allowed to continue filming in the United Kingdom, as both productions are made up of mostly British actors. This leads me to speculate that those spotted working on Andor season two are possibly British actors that are members of Equity. Andor has a fair few British cast members including Genevieve O’Riley (Mon Mothma), Denise Gough (Dedra Meero) to name a couple, but it’s unknown if any of those actors are working on the Andor season two production currently.
You can support the actors on strike in various ways including donating to the DSA-LA who have been providing those on the picket lines with food and water along with the Entertainment Community Fund which supports those in the industry that are in need of emergency financial assistance.
The second season of Andor began filming towards the tail end of November 2022 at Pinewood Studios, London. The production has shot across various parts of the United Kingdom, including Wales, and even ventured to Valencia, Spain. Andor has continued to shoot throughout the Writers Guild of America strike as the series creator, Tony Gilroy, concluded his writing duties on the second and final season mere days before the WGA strike began, and stepped away from his production duties. Andor season two was expected to conclude filming next month.
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