Even with a Covid-19 lockdown in place, we can still film. Here’s how we can create high-quality video content without jeopardising anyone’s healthBAFTA award winning agency OH! Films is adopting new guidance and transitioning from working exclusively with animation and motion graphics to resuming live action shoots in a safe way.

As we begin to see some early signs of the coronavirus crisis easing, production is beginning to resume. The APA – Advertising Producers’ Association – has released some updated guidance on how to shoot safely.

Which shoots have we resumed?
As per APA guidance, we have resumed shoots with skeleton crews. That means live action shoots with the bare minimum of people required to make it happen. Most interviews can be filmed with a crew of just one or two, for instance.

We have also updated our risk assessment procedures and health and safety guidance for staff to ensure that shoots can be carried out as safely as possible.

What kind of procedures are you putting in place?  The top priority is maintaining social distancing. We’re doing this by:

  • Limiting the number of crew members on set.
  • Limiting travel and avoiding public transport.
  • Maintaining 2m of distance between crew, talent and clients.
  • Not shooting crowd scenes or in public places.

Shooting in well ventilated, clean studios. The other key procedure is maintaining high levels of hygiene throughout the shoot. This involves providing adequate PPE – gloves and masks – to all crew, along with antibacterial hand gel and encouraging regular hand washing.

We will regularly sanitise any camera equipment we use and ensure it is handled by as few people as possible. We’ve also updated our risk assessment processes.
What is involved in a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is undertaken at the beginning of every shoot, regardless of the logistics. The usual hazards to look out for are cables, wires and other electrics; heights; heavy equipment; and trip hazards. We have updated our risk assessments to ensure that any shoots we partake in can be complete safely while maintaining social distancing.

What kind of shoots won’t you be doing?

There’s no hard and fast rule on what we will and won’t be shooting, although it’s highly unlikely we’d do anything in a public place. Street scenes are definitely out one area we will need to take even further precaution and planning prior to filming. Every project will be assessed individually, and we will find a way to achieve each one.

The nature of video production is that we must be able to adapt to any problem that comes our way. That was true even before the coronavirus struck. This might be something to do with weather, or the talent’s availability (or time-keeping), or a piece of kit malfunctioning. We find creative ways to overcome these challenges, and what we’re going through now is, in many ways, no different. We just need to be creative.

For instance, many productions can be conducted while maintaining appropriate social distancing by using boom mics and longer telephoto lenses, or even remote cameras where the operator does not need to be in the same room as the talent. Talent will have to apply their own makeup and hair styling so there does not need to be any physical contact with the crew.

How long will these measures be in place?
We will be reviewing APA and government guidance on a daily basis and adapt our approach to productions as and when things change.  Until then our priority is to continue to make high quality, engaging content for our clients while keeping our crews and others involved in productions safe and healthy.

For more information please get in touch.