Lockdown! Stay at home.. But what about production?

By January 19, 2021Video

Remember March 2020, when we all went home. Well, for the second wave of the pandemic it’s different – we have the provincial guidelines in place. Established production companies like Hill’s Video Productions have demonstrated that we can work safely and responsibly over the course of the many productions that have taken place over the last few months.

Last week we recorded in three locations. For a distinctive look, we recorded on 5 cameras simultaneously. As Supervising Producer, I was responsible for safety and the efficient progress of the project. It all comes down to pre-production planning.

Our crew was simple: Producer/Director, DOP, Camera Assist, Gaffer, DIT, HMU, PA and in the case of this interview-based show one on-camera person. Five people were on set, PA and HMU were isolated in an area off-set. And our DIT, was conveniently located in our screener truck. We kept the production unit as small as possible and minimized the number of crew/ agency/cast on set at any one time. We ensured we were socially distanced, wore 3 layer masks and had plenty of hand sanitizer that was handed out in small personal containers.

In addition to that, here’s what we did:

  • Staggered crew call times. 
  • Ensured that all gear was properly sterilized before and after use.
  • Pre-screened people that came to the set. 
  • Temperature checked all people on set upon arrival.
  • Avoided printing and paper distribution except for clear safety posters on set – remember: COVID-19 can last 24 hours on paper.

Some other things to remember:

  • Avoid shooting at locations which would require overnight accommodation.
  • Anyone, production staff, cast, crew, agency, and client, that are not necessary to have at the location to make your project should not attend. 
  • Increase the use of video monitors on set to avoid clusters of people.
  • Obtain the necessary permits so local authorities know your whereabouts.
  • Have production insurance ready-on-hand.

Our 1100 square foot production green/white screen studio/control room works under these same protocols. Our studio is the perfect place for holding virtual conferences and award ceremonies, recreating office space. We also have virtual anchor desks. It’s all set to run with remotely operated cameras and teleprompter and a make up area. Appropriately crewed based on the complexity of the project. 

We still need to communicate, educate, and motivate. 

Planning a project? Consider Hill’s Video, we have the experience. Let’s talk soon.

By Gerry Milinkovic

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