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  • Writer's pictureProducer Yearsley

The balancing act for future productions

This week we see continued discussions about how the UK Film, TV and Content production companies could restart, and what considerations and processes will be essential to create safe working environments. With that in the forefront of our minds, The Fixstars continue to review and develop processes to best support any productions this coming year.

UK Film & TV Union Bectu are consulting with members this week, on a proposal to restart productions. Head of Bectu, Phillipa Childs says, “These are important discussions and Bectu will be listening to all areas of our membership to ensure that the economic necessity of returning to work is balanced with people’s health and safety.

We think that Phillipa has a important point and we will work with productions to help balance the economic necessity, but also consider alternative ways of reducing any risks.

In comparison to the rest of the UK, the South West has seen lower numbers of Covid-19 cases, and as a region we will ensure we are not encouraging unnecessary travel to the region, therefore maintaining a low risk status. However, as the year moves on and restrictions are lifted there will be an economic need for businesses to move forward in to what will be considered the ‘new normal’.

As and when that happens, we are going to ensure that productions are carried out in the safest way possible and we will continue to review our safety protocols and guidelines.

The Fixstars are all working from home and already using video conferencing for pre-production and development meetings, and this will most certainly continue as we work with teams to plan logistics, discuss creative and provide updates.

For any parts of the production that require a physical presence, in the first instance, we will assess if it can be carried out by one person travelling alone in their own private transport.

In this part of the UK, this is somewhat easier as we are blessed with a range of locations that are only a short distance from each other.

Where suitable, we will be undertaking ‘remote’ recces; meaning one person will either video conference in the team, or provide film clips and photographs which can be shared with comprehensive recce notes.

When we look at possible locations we will consider how they can provide enough space to achieve social distancing, facilities for enhanced hygiene methods, and isolation from the public – balanced with the creative and editorial needs, of course!

When the time comes for a physical presence, the key elements of these protocols will be: Distancing, health monitoring, hygiene and cleaning at every step of the production process.

Our protocols and guidance are intended to help productions look at the safest way possible to carry out filming and photography shoots and to minimise risk to any crew, contributors and the public. We will be developing stringent risk assessments and assessing each production on a case by case basis.

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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