The best film of 2021, King Richard, needs no introduction. The movie is based on the life of living legend Richard Williams, father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. Will Smith played the iconic lead role and did justice to the character with his outstanding acting skills. But one fact that most of us are unaware of is that the movie was set to be released in 2020, but due to COVID-19, it was delayed twice.
King Richard made it to the big screen finally in November 2021. The movie went through a set of difficulties due to the global pandemic. Some of the main actors left the movie due to scheduling conflicts. Production wasn’t easy either due to preventive measures for the virus, restrictions, lockdowns, and social distancing caused a lot of struggles for the team. Still, one man that made it possible, and streamlined the whole process by providing health support through his expertise and years of experience, was Dr. Savoy Brummer.
A Hollywood Doctor who now has an iconic effect on the entertainment industry, Dr. Savoy Brummer is a diverse workforce consultant. He already had an impressive career as an award-winning physician executive, a healthcare and health equity leader, and a movie producer. Dr. Brummer is the CEO and Founder of Ivy League Capital, private equity and venture capital investment firm that focuses on early-stage investments in technology, healthcare, and media. His firm has exited several portfolio companies with 100% returns to investors, including media projects distributed across various platforms, including Netflix.
Dr. Brummer looks at the next generation of leaders to invest in because he is concerned with the current state of leadership in this country and globally. He is keen to get involved at the earliest stages of high-growth companies to help guide executives through the critical stages of company formation and scaling for growth.
In early 2020, Dr. Savoy Brummer was contacted by a senior Hollywood producer and asked to provide COVID-related educational services to prepare the entertainment industry to restart after being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Brummer quickly embraced it and dove in headfirst. He spoke to various Hollywood unions regarding the possible applications of hospital-based procedures and COVID mitigation strategies.
For the movie “King Richard,” Dr. Brummer was responsible as COVID Compliance Officer working with Warner Brothers Pictures to reopen production safely during this pandemic by implementing COVID protocols that had never been used till that time. This was at a time when there were limited mask availability, no vaccinations, and first-generation testing. The production, which had already been suspended along with all of the other Hollywood productions, searched out an innovative partner to begin re-shooting as it would be one of the first major feature films to shoot post-COVID.
As an African American, Dr. Brummer continues to understand the importance of telling black inspirational stories. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie was shot over numerous months with a cast of thousands—several consecutive scenes involving over 500 extras. The film employed over 5,000 people to ensure it met all safety requirements helping to make an oscar-nominated movie.
A veteran producer who was in charge of production for Warner Bros reached out to him after a positive referral. This producer had a major project on their hands and was tasked with shooting the movie “King Richard,” starring Will Smith. The film was to be shot entirely in Los Angeles within the next one hundred days. The producer requested Dr. Brummer because he was a trusted physician and producer in his own right who understood and had a better knowledge of production. The production team was purposeful in wanting to make available culturally appropriate guidance and was concerned about the various actors and crew with diverse medical conditions and backgrounds that may have required special consideration. The producer also needed help implementing production-specific industry-wide guidelines and best practices for maintaining health, safety, and compliance with COVID-19 on set.
Dr. Brummer has worked with his colleagues to develop practical solutions for other tv and film productions. Dr. Brummer has been in charge of COVID-19 compliance for hundreds of Motion Pictures, TV shows, and streaming series. He has helped to bring back Hollywood while ensuring the health and safety of thousands of employees working on those productions.
From Georgia to California and beyond, his work takes him all over the country as he supports his portfolio of companies. He is a highly sought-after speaker on leadership and venture creation. Dr. Brummer founded ‘A Safe Way Forward,’ a company that helped crew and actors get back to work while keeping them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Brummer has learned that movies are more than entertainment; they can change the world by telling stories that need to be told. He believes he can make a difference in every aspect of our society through art and health care and has found a way to make a difference in one of this industry’s most challenging times.
After a long, exhaustive journey to bring “King Richard” to the screen, the world can finally see it. With all of its ups and downs, the final product has been a joy to watch as it was meant for us to take away a personal lesson about human nature and life, in general, every time while watching it.