How To Shoot Safely In A Pandemic
There's no denying that the Covid crisis is proving challenging for brands across all fronts; not least creating new, original content in a safe way.
Our Own Brand was one of the first agencies to shoot during the first lockdown in the UK. With 12 years of directing experience, I never thought that I would be reshaping entire productions to fit a pandemic, but here we are.
I thought it would be fair for the community to share our process for shooting during high-risk peaks in the pandemic. Ultimately the film industry hasn’t stopped during this time, so here are a few notes.
- Keep creative clever. It’s essential that when conjuring the story that you ask yourself ‘is this safe?’ and achievable with a skeleton crew. We aim high with our ideas, but sometimes being restricted brings out the best in us creatively. This helps us realise ideas that are achievable but thoughtful in its creativity. We focused more on ‘camera magic’ and suspension of disbelief than large set or extras led scenes.
- Pre testing. We recommend pre testing for Covid for as many people as possible 24 hours before the shoot. This will save you some time in the morning.
- Clever scheduling. When shooting a project, EVERYONE must be covid tested. By having staggered call times, we can stagger testing. The crew is always called first so they can start to light the first scene, then the cast, then the client.
- Keep it clean. Masks and disinfectant are no brainers, but keeping people in small groups in separate rooms with separate monitors allows for constant social distancing and a more focused experience, communicating over walkie-talkies from monitor to monitor and room to room.
- Keep it fresh. Finally, we recommend having an outside space for people to enjoy lunch in a more comfortable atmosphere. By using an easy up or some other kind of cover you can keep people protected from inclement weather too - it is the UK, after all!
These are just a few tips and bible points we work from. There is a lot to consider when shooting safely in a covid environment, but after a year of shooting under these precautions, we are confident in our advice.
If you have any questions or need help with anything Covid or production-based, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
We are all in this together!
Head of Production