Safely Film During COVID-19

COVID-19 is the worst! We’re heartbroken for the sick and departed and their friends and families. We’re also heartbroken and empathetic to those financially burdened and broken. The masks are hot and annoying, the gallons of hand sanitizer and bleach spray is not free or convenient, and we miss hugs and handshakes. However! We’re doing our absolute best to follow the CDC and Nevada State Guidelines so we can beat this and get closer to how things used to be.

All that said, we need to keep the economy going, and do so safely. Here are some best practices and gear to help you stay safe and healthy:

Personal health and hygiene:

Wear a mask and wash/sanitize your hands. Doctors and scientists say it works, so we believe in it. If you don’t, and you’re entitled to your own beliefs of course, wearing masks and socially distancing as much as possible keeps things open. If wearing a mask keeps us on set/in the studio, we’ll happily suffer through it!

Gear cleaning:

Clean and sanitize gear and work spaces. This has been a big priority for us. In hindsight, we should have been doing a better job of this all along. It’s not just Coronavirus out there, so, this will be a “forever practice” for us. As a note, make sure to be careful cleaning, not every solvent works for every piece of gear!

Food safety:

Re-imagine meals/craft services. The whole idea of a bag of mixed nuts, tray of fruit, or single large bag of chips without paper plates/bowls is bad enough. During COVID-19 however, those practices must go away completely. Now, I say this also being very aware and careful about single use plastics, food waste, etc. For the foreseeable future, and probably well beyond, meals and craft services should feature individually wrapped meals/items. Another alternative is to hire a serving staff if that’s in the budget. Your craft services PA may be able to act as food server if they have appropriate PPE- check local laws on that first though. One last note on this, a growing trend in the industry is to simply add the food per diem to the crew’s check, and have them bring their own food.

Recommended gear and such:

As far as gear goes, there are a few items/best practices recommended to keep socially distant. Shotgun mics on boom poles are way safer than lavalier microphones. The Schoeps CMIT-5 microphone will give you amazing audio! It would also be a good idea to invest in any sort of wipes/papers the talent can use on themselves to eliminate oil/moisture on their face. NYX makes a great “Shine Killer” the talent can use on themselves. The Eye Direct Mark II is a great tool to minimize producers on set; the producer can FaceTime in, and you just put the tablet or laptop where the physical producer would have been.

In conclusion:

So, there you have it; just some tips and suggestions to help keep us on set and safe. Again, masks and social distancing are annoying, but THEY’RE NOT GOING TO GO AWAY UNTIL WE ADHEAR TO THE RULES. The longer you don’t wear a mask and be distant, the longer we’re going to need to wear masks and be distant. So, let’s be smart, be safe, and make that money!

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