Inside Tyler Perry's "Camp Quarantine": How his studio wrapped production coronavirus-free and ahead of schedule

Tyler Perry on reopening his studio
Tyler Perry on reopening his studio 09:51

Masks, food trucks and private flights — these are just some of the staples of Tyler Perry's "Camp Quarantine" production set.

Perry's Georgia-based studio is one of the first to resume production this summer after the coronavirus pandemic forced Hollywood to grind to a halt. Armed with a 30-page plan for keeping all 360 production and crew members safe on set from COVID-19, the media mogul gave "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King a behind-the-scenes look at how Tyler Perry Studios is producing content while staying coronavirus-free.

"Realizing that Black and Brown people are the people who are dying the most from COVID, I knew that I had to go far, far beyond," Perry said on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday. "I called Dr. Carlos del Rio, Emory Hospital, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Colleen Kraft, I showed them my plan, we all worked very closely on it to make sure that everybody was safe."

Wearing a mask and social distancing are strictly enforced at "Camp Quarantine," nicknamed so because cast and crew are required to live on site for each two-week production.

To accommodate this, Perry constructed new buildings on the Atlanta lot to provide housing and keep employees safe from the rest of the state's surging coronavirus cases. The crews had access to food trucks, movie nights and even an "open bar" to keep morale up during production.  

Perry said his safety plan was "the most stressful thing" he has ever done, and thanked ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish and BET President Scott Mills for helping finance the "extremely expensive" arrangements.

"My crew, man, these people came in here with such vigor and tenacity and wanted to make this work. I'm so proud of them and how they behaved and what they did," he said. "I'm trying to make sure that they can not only thrive and survive in their livelihood, but also keep them safe." 

Perry also aims to ensure his staff are coronavirus-free before, during and after filming with private flights for actors to and from Los Angeles and New York, as well as mandatory virus testing for everyone on set every three to four days. He credited CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the latter idea, stating he favored it over his original idea to test once per week.

"Everybody checks in, stays in their room until the tests come back. We had two positives in the camp before we started. So we were able to get them help and get them out of the camp so that we could maintain the bubble," he said.  

So far, the measures have paid off — the writer-actor-director wrapped production of the second season of "Sistas" ahead of schedule while all cast and crew have tested negative for COVID-19. He credited them all with following the guidelines that made his plan work. 

"I've got the best crew in the business. I've got a group of underdogs, we've all been counted out. I have former prisoners that are working for me," Perry said. "I'm so proud of them. It almost brings me to tears when I think about their behavior — their good behavior." 


"Tyler Perry's Sistas" airs on BET. ViacomCBS is the parent company of BET and CBS News.