Pre-production has always been crucial to production success, and as we move into a prolonged period of co-existing with COVID-19, preparation will be even more critical. At Road Pictures, we have developed appropriate plans to keep everyone safe while still providing buttoned-up, seamless production.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
• Protocols. We have detailed approaches for smaller and larger shoots and are happy to share them. One size does not fit all, though certain protocols do.
• Creative. Multiple locations and larger casts will mean more time needed for production and could have a bigger impact on your budget than in the past.
• Schedules. For the time being, please consider adding a week during pre-production for most projects to allow for additional protocols needed for COVID era production. (For example, casting will be remote self-tapes, and additional days may be needed for that, depending on the number of roles.) Health screening and social distancing protocols on set may add to shoot day length.
• Attendance. We will need to know at the bidding stage how many client and agency personnel you anticipate being on set…and off.
• Production options. There are many choices out there. Let’s discuss the smartest way to achieve your production goals.
• Streaming. Before we bid, we’ll need to know how many streaming locations you anticipate, the viewers’ need for control (playback, for example) and your security concerns. Some viewers may need access to different devices than they own or be willing to download apps.
• Locations. Anticipate fewer location choices, more cleaning expenses, and more time for clearing.
• Food. Limited options for catering and craft service will be with us for the time being.
• Wardrobe. We do not yet know how retailers will be changing their return policies, and what that will mean. Plan on a remote initial wardrobe review and, most likely, fewer options on set.
• Health. We will ask everyone attending the shoot to confirm in writing that they are COVID symptom-free and have not knowingly been exposed to the virus in the previous two weeks. We will require everyone on set to be masked. On-set medics and temperature checks will be instituted for larger shoots. Let’s talk about the best way to handle this with your clients…and what’s right for your project.
• Safety and sanitation. We will follow appropriate CDC, AICP and local governmental guidance and hold a safety meeting at the beginning of each shoot day. Cleaning protocols will be appropriate for the location and situation.
• Budget. Additional costs will be incurred thanks to the pandemic. We will clearly delineate those in every bid.
• Hold harmless. We will be asking crew and talent we pay to sign a hold harmless statement regarding possible exposure to COVID-19. We are ready to work with our agencies and clients regarding the same, knowing that each business needs to approach this situation individually.
• Moving target. Recommended protocols change, and requirements vary from locale to locale…nothing is written in stone. And we’re happy to talk to you about everything…communication is more important than ever.
Thank you so much for reading! Please let me know of any questions or concerns. If you want to review or discuss our safety protocols prior at any time, don’t hesitate to ask.