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  • Writer's pictureProducer Yearsley

Getting creative in lockdown

Even during lockdown, content is still being produced and TV shows are on-air, however, all with serious considerations to protocols ensuring the utmost safety for all crew and talent. And now, with restrictions beginning to lift, more productions are starting to look into their own creative ways to film on location whilst adhering to social distancing measures. We have seen this week how the government is working closely with our sector to understand how different types of productions can comply with guidelines so there are safe ways in which to return to work.

As you will have seen in our last article; pre-production has, and can continue to, run rather successfully – this is thanks to regular video conference checks-ins, coupled with our creatives, researchers, storyboard artists, script writers, producers and production managers continuing to work from home.

The Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday, left some questions unanswered, but here is what we feel is relevant to our industry and is particularly applicable to us in the South West of England.

  • Work from home if you can, but you should go to work if possible

  • Avoid public transport

  • The UK Government will work to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-safe

  • Workflows and venues must be safe, and social distancing must be enforced at all times

The Fixstars protocol for filming in the South West:

  • We can now undertake ‘remote’ recces; meaning one Fixstar Producer, (travelling in their own private car), meeting one location representative, will either video conference in the team, or provide film clips and photographs, alongside comprehensive recce notes.

  • We will initially discuss what can be shot at home with members of the same household, or using online tools.

  • We can arrange for sterilised kit to be delivered to homes, and work with you to provide guidance for contributors filming themselves.

  • If an experienced crew member is required, we are lucky to have an extensive database of self-shooting directors and lighting-camera operators, who can also record sound. They would travel in their own private car, maintaining social distancing and hygiene regimes at all times, and we would ensure no crew or contributors display any symptoms in the weeks and days leading up to the shoot. There’s even a mobile voice-over recording ‘studio’ in the local area!

  • We have a detailed protocol document that we review daily, to ensure reasonable and practical steps are being taken, to safeguard the health and safety of everyone.

As we continue to monitor, develop and review practices we also follow how other countries are moving forward, as well as productions closer to home.

In the meantime, The APA has produced these more detailed guidelines, including a Health Declaration Form which must be completed by everyone before they can attend a shoot. If you are considering filming or photography in the South West, please get in touch to discuss how The Fixstars can support you.

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