As the production industry attempts to increase business and productions, it’s important to be safe. There are always risks on set, but there are solutions for safety.
Similar to taping down cables, using shot bags on stands, and keeping clear pathways, COVID safety is key! Wearing a mask it a no brainer. It will help keep you and the crew safe… and it masks bad breath! Nevada law requires masks in most businesses and situations; sets and studios are no exceptions. Your on-screen talent is generally exempt from wearing a mask when on camera.
Lavaliere microphones should be used a little as possible. If a lavaliere is required, the talent should put it on themselves. A much better option is a shotgun microphone and boom pole. Both the Sennheiser MKH 416 and Schoeps CMIT 5 (my favorite) are great options! Another fun trick, if you’re doing ENG interviews, is to use a handheld microphone on a boom pole. You can take the excellent Sennheiser MD 46 cardioid mic, put it on a boom pole, and keep your distance!
Makeup, Wardrobe, Hair:
Talent should come to set with their hair, makeup, and wardrobe done. If however you need touchups or small fixes, crew should wear masks, visors, and gloves. All of these items are readily available for purchase, and don’t cost much. The typical problem of a little shine on talent is easily remedied with “shine killer”. NYX makes a great “shine killer” that talent can easily apply to their own skin.
Lenses and 4K:
Lastly, while the CDC and other medical experts have said that masks are the key to stopping the spread, socially distancing is needed too. You can only stay so distant on set, so here are a couple items to help you along. Use a longer lens like a Canon 70-200mm L-Series; or heck, a 100-400mm lens, and shoot from really far away! Also, consider investing in UHD/4K. Having the ability to crop in will make it possible to stay further apart, and have less people on set. (The idea is you don’t need as many cameras…)
So, there are some ideas and suggestions to keep us safe, healthy, and working. Best of luck!