COVID-19 PRODUCTION GUIDELINES

To ensure the safety of our clients and crew on set and for the free flow of creativity we have come up with some production guidelines to ease the creative process.
These guidelines are advisory and informational in content, they may not be a perfect fit for every scenario, depending on the risk level of each project we will determine which control measures to implement.
These recommendations will continue to evolve with government and APCP guidelines.
GENERAL PRACTICES
  • Require anyone who is sick to stay home
  • Temperature checks upon arrival
  • Only allow essential personal on set, consider who may effectively be able to work from home during prep, shoot, and post.
  • Maintain social distancing of no less that 2 meters (6 feet) whenever possible
  • Observe respiratory etiquette such as covering coughs and sneezes
  • Encourage frequent and thorough hand washing by all personnel
  • If soap and water are not available, 60% alcohol based hand cleanser will always be available.
  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices of the set, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment.
  • Contactless payment should be utilized (instead of petty cash) whenever possible
  • Use of appropriate PPE, including but not limited too gloves, face shields, maskes that cover nose and mouth, goggles.
  • Ensure that PPE is correctly and consistently worn, maintained, regularly inspected and if necessary replaced.
  • Require PPE to be adequately removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination of self, others and the work environment.
  • To pass an item one should put it down and the other person is to pick it up

 

PRODUCTION OFFICE
  • Maintain good ventilation. Keep windows and doors open when possible to cycle the air
  • Limit people entering the office to essential personnel
  • Deliveries should be transacted outside the entrance whenever possible
  • Pathways should be one-way when possible (clockwise) to avoid people having to pass each other going opposite directions in a narrow hallway
  • Plan how to serve food, coffee, etc. responsibly
  • Use disposable, ecologically-friendly, flatware, plates, and cups
  • Make disinfectant wipes ubiquitous
  • Everyone is responsible for moving their own cars

 

CASTING
  • Consider and prioritize remote casting sessions and callbacks with live broadcast capabilities
  • Digitally distribute scripts and other documents
  • Any in-person casting will require temperature checks upon arrival
  • No “open calls”, actors/models must arrive to casting at an assigned time
  • Have an actor check in from outside using their cell phone
  • One dedicated Casting Assistant should sign all performers in and out
  • During in-person group auditions, actors can wear clear face shields and gloves
  • Handling of props may have to be simulated using an actor’s cell phone or other personal item
  • Identify wardrobe specs in the breakdowns to increase the likelihood the actor brings something that can be worn on the shoot
 
HANDLING OF EQUIPMENT
  • Use gloves and change them often
  • Each department is responsable for disinfected their own gear during pauses in activity.
  • Minimize the number of people having to touch the same items, in some cases this could require additional gear
  • Strive for consistency regarding which pieces of equipment are handled by whom

 

SHOOTING SCHEDULE / STAFFING
  • Pad the schedule to anticipate things taking longer than accustomed
  • Carefully consider number of shoot days required
  • Consider staggered call times, department by department
  • Build in time for one department to “step in, step out” at a time
  • Some locations may only allow limited truck parking resulting in the need to cross-load and drop off gear
  • ‘Making the day’ will require efficiency and enough personnel. This will be challenging with limits on the number of people at a gathering
  • To minimize the total number of people on set strive to keep the same team throughout the entire job to avoid swapping in and out.

 

DIRECTOR SCOUT
  • Consider virtual scouting via a streaming app
  • Self-drive
  • Utilize appropriate PPE when entering a location
  • Give consideration to size, space and number of exits when deciding among location options
  • Carefully consider the number of locations that get scouted in-person
 
TECH SCOUT
  • Schedule the tech scout as early as possible
  • Digitally distribute tech scout packets
  • Self-drive when possible
  • If in a people-mover, everyone should be in masks, gloves, etc. Consider renting more vechiles than we are used to into to allow for distance between seats
  • While on location, converse outside while maintaining suffiecent distance.
  • Try to maximize space and air flow when designating spaces for a shoot (video village, lunch, equipment staging, placement of monitors, etc.). Consider whether you will have to relocate any of these areas at some point during the day, in order to accommodate different camera positions.

 

PREPRO MEETING
  • Schedule the pre-pro meeting as early as posible
  • Finalize as many creative decisions as possible no later than the prepro meeting so there will be fewer last minute changes on shoot days
 
LOCATION DEPARTMENT
  • Locations should be cleaned and disinfected pre and post production
  • Consider permitting backup locations in the event that a location pulls out or otherwise becomes unavailable
  • Location contracts should be executed as early as possible
  • Rely more on locations repped by agents (less cold scouting)
  • Anticipate providing alternative lodging to house occupants for the duration of the shoot (may be best for them to not enter at wrap in between the days that crew is in the home)
  • Anticipate possibility of having to board animals
  • Provide plenty of space for lunch
  • Bring sensor-activated soap dispensers, hand dryers, etc. to locations when available
  • Provide washing station when there is no access to running water
  • Have one individual put up and take down all location signs
  • Locations should in general be ‘closed sets’. No non-essential visitors.

 

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT
  • Limit number of people in a passenger van at one time and try to commit to one driver per vehicle
  • Consider a higher-capacity bus for shuttling, to allow for social distance inside
  • Allow time for people who prefer to walk from crew parking to set rather than be shuttled
  • Add signage to van exterior identifying maximum capacity and reminding people to wear masks
  • When possible, keep windows down to promote ventilation
  • Additional shuttle trips may be necessary

 

ART DEPARTMENT
  • Minimize touching items native to a location
  • Consider asking owner of location to reduce personal items before we take occupancy
  • Fewer pickups will be possible per day, per truck
  • Make decisions on the tech scout, get approvals from Agency / Client as early as possible
  • Consider potential value of prep and strike days. This may be combined with location cleaning requirements

 

ELECTRIC AND GRIP DEPARTMENTS
  • Grip gear should only be handled by the grip department (apple boxes and stands often support other departments)
  • Art departments should communicate support needs in advance
  • More gear may be required
HAIR AND MAKE-UP
  • PPE must be worn for duration of person-to-person contact
  • Make-up stations spaced apart from one another, or provide a partition between workstations
  • Use only one brush, applicator, etc. per actor. No double-dipping
  • Mix foundation, powders, lipstick, etc. on a disposable palette for each individual
  • Clean hairbrushes and combs and reusable make-up brushes with appropriate disinfecting solutions
  • Kits will need to include multiples for most make-up
  • Actor may be able to wear a mask while having their eyes or hair done
  • Face shield may be worn by Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist
  • Only remove the actor’s mask when essential
  • Once made up, actor may consider face shield (as opposed to mask) in order to not disturb completed make-up
  • Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist may place and remove face shield for the actor (if the actor prefers)
  • Consider having the actor arrive camera ready

 

CAMERA DEPARTMENT
  • Camera pick-up from camera house may have to be scheduled
  • PA/AC doing pick-up must handle cases with gloves
  • Only camera personnel should handle camera gear including carts, cases, tape, etc.

 

SOUND DEPARTMENT
  • Disinfect Comteks before and after each use
  • Label Comteks with the name of the user
  • Disinfect Lav mics and transmitters before and after each use
  • Replace Lav mounting components that can not be thoroughly cleaned
  • PPE must be worn for duration of person-to-person contact
  • Consider utilizing boom-only audio (as opposed to rigging Lav mics)
  • Some multi-talent scripts under the boom-only scenario may require a second Boom Operator

 

CATERING
  • Consider staggering lunch to decrease number of people getting food and seating simultaneously
  • Most scenarios will benefit from individually boxed meals
  • Provide plenty of tables and seating to spread out safely
  • Hand washing station should be present
  • Some may prefer to bring their own food
  • Some may prefer to eat in their car
 
CRAFT SERVICES
  • Only purchase individual, prepackaged portions
  • Everyone must clean their hands before entering the craft services area
  • Table should be set up so that people can take individual portions and only touch what they are taking
  • Craft services should have capability to refill an individual’s reusable water bottle brought to set without contact between refill source and bottle
  • Reduce and streamline variety of beverages
  • No bowls or canisters of snacks to reach into and no same plate sharing

 

MEDIC
  • Medic should patrol the set and proactively consult with personnel to help enforce a secure set
  • Medic can help identify surfaces that need to be wiped down and PPEs that may need to be cleaned or replaced.

 

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR
  • Provide them with a separate monitor

 

WALKIE TALKIES
  • Walkies should be individually bagged and handed to the user in its bag
  • Do not share walkie talkies
  • Replacement batteries must be disinfected in between uses, bagged, and handed to crew as needed

 

HOSTING CLIENTS
  • Only buy individual orders and portions
  • Clients will understand use of disposable items
  • Clients move their own cars

 

WARDROBE DEPARTMENT
  • In-depth planning of wardrobe should be done ahead of shopping
  • Only the wardrobe department should touch clothing, etc. until it’s decided what the actor will actually try on
  • Fitting photos should be taken by one person, not multiple people touching the same phone, tablet, etc.
  • Use gloves when looking through garments in rental houses and retail stores
  • Anticipate delays at rental houses and retail stores as they are often understaffed
  • Review current retail return and exchange policies
  • Book talent as early as possible, and get sizes as early as possible
  • Costumes and outfits should be bagged up individually, by performer
  • Consider having actors bring their own wardrobe
  • Disinfect jewelry and glasses with disinfectant that will not cause harm

 

ACTORS
  • Consider a temporary clear barrier between actors while establishing marks and positions, and remove at the last moment
  • Consider alternate shot set-ups, camera angles, lenses, etc.

 

EXTRAS
  • Carefully consider/limit number of Extras required
  • Be sure to have enough space and tables and chairs for Extras holding area to be spread out
  • Provide one pen for each Extra to execute paperwork and make sure they know to keep it and not share

 

MINORS
  • Be sure to have PPE that fits the minors
  • No make-up unless absolutely necessary