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COVID-19 Safety Recommendations for Film Production

Remember: Protect yourselves first. Produce safely at all times. Respect one another.

Take your time setting up. Film equipment cannot be 100% disinfected. Be careful about using disinfectant on gear; you can damage it relatively easily. It’s better to film, then let the gear sit for 48 hours or return to the Cage and the team will take care of cleaning.

  • All preproduction should be conducted virtually
  • Each person should travel to location on their own
  • At the beginning of work on set, a safety meeting must be held. One person on set should also be the safety monitor
  • Social distancing should be maintained at all costs. Use a tape measure for distancing markers and use a uniquely-colored tape
  • Everyone on set will wear a mask at all times. It is not recommended to use gloves
  • Longer focal length lens allow for greater distancing between camera operator and character(s)
  • If shooting a CU of an object or action without seeing an actor’s face, the actor must wear a mask
  • If shooting a CU of an actor without a mask, keep social distancing in place by using a longer focal length and film in 4k so that you can crop in when editing in a 1080 timeline. The safest distance is 12’, not 6’ when someone is not wearing a mask
  • The camera operator, if closer than the safe distance, should consider wearing a face shield as well as a mask to protect the actor(s) and themselves
  • Between takes and setups every actor must wear a mask
  • If filming more than one person:
  • Try to create staging that keeps them as far apart as possible unless they are living in the same bubble
  • Keep their masks on until the director calls for action or just before after set instructions have been done by the AD
  • Put their masks back as soon as “cut” is called and move away from one another to a safer distance. Have someone mark their positions for other takes, if necessary
  • Try to create the appearance of proximity with a creative camera position and long lens choice
  • If sound is not needed, keep windows open to improve air circulation
  • Each person on set should have their own disinfectant
  • No one touches camera or lights except the camera person
  • No one touches audio gear except the sound recordist
  • If someone does touch something outside their crew position, say a boom pole or light stand, it should be wiped down with disinfectant before the appropriate person touches the item again
  • When creating a new camera setup, keep social distancing in place
  • If the director is virtual and wants to see a take, then the camera person should playback. This should be setup before the shots. If the director wants to review a take, then the camera operator should set up the camera for playback ideally on a tripod or a safe place so that the director only needs to press play. The camera operator should remove themselves from the camera before the director approaches the camera. If an external monitor is available, have it set up with a 6’ or longer HDMI cable for the director. The Cage has two SmallHD monitors. A monitor is a worthwhile investment.
  • If props are reset, they should be disinfected by the prop person, and as soon as continuity is approved, the prop person washes or disinfects their hands. And, after the actor touches a prop, it should be cleaned again
  • Media management should be handled by only one person and social distancing should be maintained
  • If filming in 1080p, uploading to the Cloud may be an alternative to transferring to a hard drive on location. (4K may take a while to upload and some Cloud services may compress video. So check first by posting and reviewing original with the Cloud copy.)
  • To protect gear after filming, quarantine it for at least 48 hours.