"If you and your team pretend that everyone you encounter is COVID-19 positive, it will change how you conduct yourselves during your production"
Are video production companies still able to film Covid-safely during lockdown?
In short, the answer is: yes. As we head into this third (and very hopefully, final) lockdown, official guidance from the Government and the Advertising Producers Association establishes that:
The video production industry, like the rest of the world, has been hit hard by the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic and we’re incredibly thankful to be in the fortunate position to keep operating.
Whilst 2021 may offer a shimmer of light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel, now is not the time to get sloppy… only sanitised. We must keep safety guidelines in check as we continue our efforts to slay the Covid Beast.
At Gusto.film, it is our absolute priority to ensure we maintain stringent health and safety standards on every shoot to safeguard our team, clients and talent.
Sanitise & Ventilate:
Being crystal clear about health and safety prep and risk assessments in advance of a shoot is just as important as implementing them on the set. We send out our Covid guidelines in advance of filming and ask that anyone who has shown symptoms within 14 days, or asked to isolate by the NHS Test & Trace app, do NOT attend. On set, signage regarding Covid-19 regulations is printed and clearly visible along with an army of hand washing stations and sanitisers.
If filming is inside, doors and windows are kept open to provide consistent air flow. If noise from the outside world is having an impact on sound recording, we’ll save the airing out for any breaks. The official title of “Opener” is assigned to one member of the production team so that touch-points are touched by one person and one person only. What an honour.
Staggering call times, Top-tier team & One-way systems:
Perfect for the unsociable among us, call times are staggered to ensure there is as little crossing over between cast and crew as possible. We’ll try and avoid any last minute changes, but it’s a video production, and we’re realists, so should anything change we’ll let all involved know asap. Shoots operate with only top-tier (excuse the pun), essential crew to keep numbers at a minimum, and everyone on set has their temperature taken upon entry. Where necessary, a one-way system and floor markings are introduced to ensure at least a one metre distance is kept at all times.
Choose equipment that maintains distance:
Wherever possible, equipment is chosen that enables the least amount of contact between cast and crew. Boom mics are always preferable, but if someone does need to wear a lav mic, they’ll be shown how to attach it to themselves. If they’re unable to do so, the assembling crew member will wear surgical gloves alongside their face mask. We also use remotely operated kit as much as we can. Any excuse to try out new toys!
Clean work makes the dream work:
It goes without saying, (but we’ll say it anyway) equipment is routinely cleaned throughout the day. Items such as hair and make up brushes should be disposable. As Coronavirus can live for up to 24 hours on paper, anything that is traditionally printed out, call sheets, scripts, storyboards etc are sent out digitally. Protecting lives and the planet. Win win!
We’re sure that no-one needs a reminder to mask up. But do make sure to remember your own. Masks, gloves, visors and any necessary personal protective equipment needed on set are top priority and should be organised in advance. In some cases, the production team might provide PPE, but always check first.
Masks are worn at all times! The only exception to the rule is talent when in front of the camera. Any crew found on set not wearing a mask correctly, or at all, may be asked to leave. Don’t get caught with your masks down!
Whilst we miss the good old days of high fives and hugs. The up close and personals need to remain on hold. We’re incredibly thankful we can keep making creative content and in order for that to continue, we’re hell-bent on keeping all involved as safe as possible.
Here’s to (responsibly) making 2021 a year to remember.
If you’re wondering how we can make your production Covid-safe, do say firstname.lastname@example.org.