Now that the UK government has confirmed that film production in England is allowed to restart if guidelines are followed, at Bold Content we are readying ourselves in order to get back to filming for you right away.
We would like to stress though, that we will closely follow and continually monitor the latest government advice, and along with the rest of the country we will still spend a majority of our time working from home. However should a camera need to be picked up and any filming be done, you can rest assured that we are now able to set ourselves up for filming in a covid-19 safe way that will ensure the safety of all on set. Health and safety on set has always been our paramount consideration with any production, but it certainly is so even more now than ever.
With more rigorous, but necessary, H&S precautions in place we have come up with a number of clever workarounds that ensure the quality of the production will not be compromised.
As a result, we have outlined a number of measures and precautions which we will be adhering to, both on and off set, to allow your production, scripted or non-scripted, to be up and running soon. We have undertaken extensive research from industry peers and leading bodies within the film industry (inc. The Advertising Producers Association Shooting Guidelines available here), to make sure that no stone is unturned and that all facets of production are considered now that we can get back to doing what we love: shooting films.
To give you greater confidence that we can take on the scope of your project, our first step before anything else, will be to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment so that you know we will be taking on the project in a way that is both safe and practical to deliver you a film of the highest quality.
Minimising risk during pre-production:
- Directors, Producers, PM’s, PA’s will all continue to work from home and conduct virtual meetings for all pre-production aspects
- Location scouting to be undertaken virtually or by sourcing multiple still images of the location from previous shoots
- Casting and callbacks all done virtually
- Casting excludes anybody at increased risk of severe illness following infection owing to underlying health conditions until health authorities indicate risk of infection is negligible
- All production equipment will be deep cleaned before and after a shoot
- Use of in-house equipment as much as possible and minimise external kit hire (N.B. if external kit hire is required, all kit will also be deep cleaned before and after a shoot)
- All documents, contracts, release forms etc are signed digitally
- All crew and talent to travel to location in either their personal car or taxi and dissuaded from using public transport if at all possible
Minimising risk during production:
1. Minimising the number of people on set:
- No more than 1 person present on-set per 4m2 of unfurnished set.
- Crew numbers to be kept as minimal as possible and only vital crew members on set
- Where possible and when necessary a live-stream of the filming or a remote video village can be setup for remote direction and / or client viewing in order for communication to be given to on set crew and talent
- Call times will be staggered so that each department is given access at timed intervals, to prevent crowding on arrival to set – all actors / talent will only be given call times that mean they will be arriving on set once it is fully setup for turnover of filming
- Ensuring social distancing is met on set:
- Implementation of visual tricks such as shooting long focal lengths, or over the shoulder, to give the impression the actors / talent are closer together than they actually are
- Each person present on set requires a minimum of 4m2 for unfurnished space and 6m2 for furnished space so 2 metres of distance can be kept to at all times
- Every crew member is responsible for bringing his/her own food on set and breaks will be taken separately
- Every talent needs to take care of their own make-up, hair and wardrobe and will be guided and advised on the specific style requirements for this in pre-production by the director and the producer
- Minimising risk of infection on set:
- All people present on set and their partners will be asked to declare 8 hours before production starts to the producer that they have been symptom free for the two weeks in advance of filming – latest government advice outlines a dry cough, fever, muscle pain, sore throat and loss of sense of smell all as symptoms of COVID-19
- Nobody allowed on set who has travelled to the UK from abroad within two weeks of filming
- All people in the risk zone (over 70 years old and with underlying health conditions) are not permitted to be on set
- We will prioritise ventilation of all interior spaces either by means of open windows or mechanical ventilation
- All filming to take place at a single location on any given day to avoid unit moves
- Sound to be captured on boom microphones. Should a lavalier microphone be needed then the talent will be instructed on how to put it on from on an on-set member of the sound department
- Promoting hygiene on/off set:
- Hand washing stations in the form of hand sanitiser will be available on set at all times
- Although not mandated at this time, we will provide masks and gloves (instructions for usage) for all crew on set and we strongly recommend their use for interior spaces, where social distancing can be difficult to maintain consistently
- Any prop on set is marked for a single actor’s use only and this will be planned out in advance of the shoot
- In the event that physical contact is required by a scene, participating actors are required to sanitise hands before and after
- Contact surfaces including door handles, surfaces, bathroom fixtures, and any equipment handled by more than one person will be cleaned frequently during the shoot
- Any equipment or workstation used by more than one person needs to be cleaned between each user coming into contact
- All operators of camera, lighting and sound equipment to only use their allocated kit on set and not to share or assist one another with each others kit setup
- On wrapping a day of filming the premises and equipment should be deep-cleaned
Minimising risk during post-production:
- All editing will be conducted remotely
- Amendments will be made digitally and via online consultations and conversations
The above guidelines are things we will consider for all productions for the foreseeable future. However, we do know that taking a one-size fits all approach will not be best practice. Each production will have different requirements and we are constantly reading and learning of new innovative ways to shoot content that are being trialled and experimented with around the world to adhere to social distancing measures.
As a London based production company a majority of our shoots are in the capital city and therefore keeping crew sizes small and casting local talent is something that we will enforce for the time being in order to avoid unnecessary movement of people. Though London based, we have a number of partners further afield around the UK and the globe so if filming is required at alternative locations we can plug into our production partners in order to carry out filming for you and will ensure the above standards and practices are kept to.
We are keen to get filming again and get back to doing what we love as quickly as we can, so we are ready to talk about your next project and to help you get an awesome video made.
Co-written by Alfie Chambers