COVID-19 Compliant Production Guide
Updated: May 26
We wrote this guide NOT to advocate for the reopening of production pre-maturely, but to build ideas around how we can do productions safely when it feels appropriate to do so.
Overall, productions will need to be small, flexible, & safe.
Therefore, we’ve created new safety protocols for nearly every aspect of the filmmaking process. In most cases, that will result in more preparation, slower production, & additional budget for safety supplies. Adaptability is something we’ve always valued at Oxenfree.
Everyone on the Oxenfree team comes from a background of independent film production & is used to doing a lot with a little, maximizing every last drop of the budget while wearing multiple hats on set. Our crews will be smaller, staggered at every stage to ensure minimal person-to-person contact.
We value safety above all else, we don’t want anyone catching COVID-19 on one of our sets. However, we will ensure that none of the added complexity will impact our end product. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of production value and images & are will not compromise that aspect.
1. BEFORE ARRIVING ON SET
All correspondence and planning should be done remotely leading up to the production in order to minimize person-to-person contact.
Government mandates for the city in which filming will commence must be adhered to at all times (i.e. social distancing, mask protocol, etc.).
Prior to the first day of production, client, crew, and talent are required to fill out a waiver acknowledging the new risks & safety protocols
Any crew or talent who falls ill or exhibits symptoms of illness, regardless of the severity, must reach out to the producer prior to shooting so that a fill-in can be booked promptly.
Remote safety meetings will be scheduled by the producer to go over new COVID-Compliant Protocols. Depending on the shoot, separate meetings may need to be held for the client, the talent and the crew.
Have Crew, Client, and Talent self-isolate for 14-days prior to production as much as possible.
Reduce the number of people required on set as much as possible. Consider the following questions:
Can the creative be reduced?
How many locations can we combine or do in the studio?
Can we stagger lighting, camera, and talent to avoid all being on set at once?
Can the client video call in?
Can we have a separate space for monitoring?
Can we use invisible split-screens to combine performances rather than having talent be on set together?
WHILE THIS GUIDE ATTEMPTS TO BE FULLY COMPREHENSIVE...
We acknowledge good guidance and common sense must be applied and utilize other sources of advice on this such as the World Health Organization website:
2. SET PREP & SANITIZATION
Locations need to be prepped & sanitized before client, talent, and most of the crew arrive. Our Pre-Sanitization Team led by a new position “Quarantine Supervisor.”
Studio shoots will be the most ideal for separating & staggering aspects of production, but on-location shooting is still possible with the right preparations.
Quarantine Supervisor & Pre-Sanitization Team arrive on set 1 hour before the first Crew Call.
Quarantine Supervisor preps all gloves, masks, disinfectant sprays, medical shoe bootie covers, etc.
Individual hand sanitizers prepped by Quarantine Supervisor labeled for each crew member so that cross-contamination of the pump does not pose a threat. Sanitizer must have an alcohol content of 60% or greater.
Clean, then disinfect. The pre-Sanitization team uses detergent or soap and water to remove dirt, grease, dust, and germs from the location. Once surfaces are clean, they spray them with disinfectant, let them stand for a few minutes, then wipe with a clean paper towel.
Areas of high-traffic (i.e. the crafty station, the camera itself, the staging area for talent) need to have guiding tape measured at 6 feet so that all areas of the set include reminders of the proper distances.
Clients/talent should enter the building via the shortest possible path and touching the least number of surfaces. Have clients/talent call ahead when they arrive and have doors propped open by a crew member for arrival/departure.
Clients may bring the on-air talent plus one producer. However, at all times they must be at least 6 feet from each other. If multiple on-air talent is needed, try to time stagger them and have them arrive/depart accordingly. No waiting in groups.
Talent should be placed at chairs/tables that have been sanitized before their arrival. That staging area should be the only place talent is throughout the production. No crew member should come within 6 feet of talent. Provide hand sanitizer at the talent’s position.
Trash Cans are all in close proximity of crafty table for easy access
A nurse or health-related specialist with extra training specific to COVID-19 will each be responsible for supervising and enforcing quarantine and disinfecting protocols. They will also be regularly disinfecting and cleaning common surfaces throughout the day. The Quarantine Supervisor will also check in with each crew member in their zones and check their temperatures.
3. CREW ON-SET PROTOCOL
All crew will arrive on-set having been briefed already on new safety protocols, and having provided a non- disclosure agreement outlining their travel and contact with COVID-19 cases throughout the previous four-week period, prior to the shoot date.
Any shoot attendee who feels unwell prior to the shoot must contact the production company for replacement.
Quarantine Supervisor Checks Crew: All shoot attendees must undergo temperature checks before entering set by the certified on-set Quarantine Supervisor. Anyone with a high temperature cannot enter set.
Temperature Checks Twice A Day: Morning and after lunch. Crew to be issued an identifier once they pass temperature screening - for instance wearing a green sticker for clear screening identification.
Safety Equipment Provided: Each Crew Member will be provided gloves, masks, hand sanitizers, & medical shoe bootie covers to wear throughout the shoot day.
Hands Should Be Washed prior to stepping onto the set. Disinfected grip gloves/provided gloves and face masks should be worn at all times.
No Gear Shared: All equipment available will be assigned to the appropriate crew for sanitizing, and they will be responsible for their assigned equipment throughout the duration of the shoot. Ideally, a Crew Member will be the only one interfacing with their respective gear (i.e., unload, load-in, setup) with no overlap/help.
Boom Mic Audio Only (if possible): If a wireless lav is required, the lav should be sanitized and left at the talent seating position before their arrival. The talent should apply the lav themselves. That may limit the ability to hide lav mic wires. Compromises are needed during these times.
Disinfectant Spray & Tissues will be provided for touching anything that must be shared.
Gear Unloaded in such a way that the crew remains 6 feet apart from one another. Then, hands should again be washed
Setup with 6-feet Distance in Mind: From the camera set up, to the lighting set up, to director video village.
The crew must remain at least 6 feet from talent always: Since talent will be only crew members without masks, every precaution must be followed to keep them safe.
Maintain crew roles more strictly. While it’s nice to help each other out on a small set, if most equipment is only touched by a single person there are fewer contamination possibilities.
Individual Lunches portioned and packaged (box meal catering).
All crafty options should be individually packaged.
Coffee should be purchased by crew members individually before set at the expense of production.
When the time is right, we are confident that we can execute production safely without sacrificing quality.
It will take some extra time and adjustment, but the value for professionally recorded content is still essential and must be done responsibly.
With our team handling your project, you can be sure each piece will be executed with great care and will be consistent with your brand messaging and personality.