Shooting video during a pandemic. It can be done safely.
It’s a strange new world out there amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing hasn’t changed: video remains a valuable and effective way to reach your target audiences. From filming via Zoom to revisiting previous footage and combing the b-roll vaults – video marches on. At Creative Co-op, we’ve been using all of the above – and recently returned to shooting on location for clients while adhering to strict safety protocols.
What does it take to pull off shooting on location and making sure all participants feel safe? For one thing, it means overhauling your established workflows and making sure you examine each and every aspect of the day – from mandatory temperature checks and active management of participants when they arrive, to regular hand washing and strict social distancing on set. What’s most important, however is to work together as a team, plan ahead and keep a watchful eye during the shoot.
Here are just a handful of measures that we followed at a recent location shoot in Boston:
- Schedule management: The number of crew members and participants was limited. In addition, a “holding room” was used for individuals who were “on deck” for filming so there was no unnecessary interaction between participants.
- Equipment prep prior to the shoot: All shooting equipment (cameras, stands, etc.) thoroughly wiped and sanitized.
- Health screening: Temperatures of all crew members and participants were taken before entering the location and a CDC questionnaire was administered by the client safety ambassador.
- Working with a skeleton crew: We limited the crew to 4 to help reduce the number of people on location and not exceed the maximum capacity limits our client had already established for the office.
- Social distancing: The equipment and set was arranged so all participants were more than 6’ away from each other during the shoot.
- Masks: Masks were worn by all crew members the entire day and participants only removed masks during their on-camera interview. When removed, masks were placed in a sanitized area where they would be retrieved by the same participant once the cameras stopped rolling.
- Makeup: Participants were asked to arrive at the shoot “camera-ready” so there was no close contact from crew members. Individual makeup supplies were on hand for one-time use and application by the participant.
There was a long list of other protocols, from sanitizing equipment, furniture and supplies between participants to eating lunch separately and socially distanced. In preparation, we reviewed safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as industry resources to ensure we were following best practices. All crew members also have acquired SafeSetsTM Covid-19 Level A certification from SafeSets International to further ensure that the most current guidelines are followed.
What has our dive back into the shooting-on-location world been like? Well, beyond being able to capture great footage for our clients, we found that working under these conditions has brought everyone a little closer together. There is a renewed sense of solidarity among the team. More than ever we want to “get it right” now that “getting it right” means more than a great creative product – it means helping to ensure that everyone involved has a safe experience. We’re adapting to changing circumstances and coming together – even as we’re socially distancing and staying safe.
To learn more, please call 603-658-1600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.