Simply Thrilled use these guidelines to let us take reasonable and practical approaches to helping safeguard the health and safety of everyone on our video productions in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic. Simply Thrilled, as well as everyone else on the cast, crew and beyond have a responsibility to stay alert and look after themselves and others.
These guidelines will be kept up to date in line with government advice.
The Government says: (Coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do)
■ Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home).
■ If you go out, stay two metres (six feet) away from other people, where possible.
■ Wash your hands as soon as you get to work & arrive home.
The Government has said carry on with business (and work at home where possible) while making clear that social distancing should be followed in the workplace “including, where possible, maintaining a two metre distance from others.”
They clarified further: “With the exception of organisations covered above [this refers to pubs, restaurants etc] in the section of closing certain businesses and venues, the government has not required any other business to close - indeed it is important for business to carry on.”
Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)
And, from the Health and Safety Executive, a governmental organisation: “Keep your business open. With the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, we are not asking any other business to close - indeed it is important for business to carry on”.
Source: the https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/social-distancing-coronavirus.htm
■ The time between exposure to COVID-19 and the moment when symptoms start is commonly around five to six days but can range from one to 14 days.
■ COVID-19 is transmitted from infected people’s respiratory secretions (coughs/sneezes) reaching the nose, eyes or mouth.
■ The most common symptoms are high temperature, continuous coughing and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
■ Some people with COVID-19 su er or show no apparent symptoms. Asymptomatic su erers may still be infected and there is strong scientific evidence that they can transmit the virus too.
■ COVID-19 can also survive on surfaces and be transmitted from them.
The purpose of social distancing and PPE is to break transmission of the virus and reduce the risk of infection. We should operate on the basis that we all have the potential to be asymptomatic carriers and must adhere to the safety principles to minimise risk. Therefore the following essential rules are based on current UK Government guidelines, and must be adhered to:
■ Maintain social distancing wherever possible - two metres apart.
■ Wash your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser (containing at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available, for at least 20 seconds as often as possible.
■ Cough and sneeze in the crook of the arm or into a tissue and bin immediately.
■ Report COVID-19 symptoms to employer.
■ Work from home where possible.
These are our recommendations for our live-action video productions. They will be constantly reviewed and updated.
Both pre-production and production are likely to take longer to enable compliance as a result.
The number of people on location should be kept to a minimum. Anyone - production staff , cast, crew, agency and client - who is not absolutely necessary to have at the location to make the film should not attend. Furthermore, every person who will be attending the location - because it is necessary that they do so - shall sign the COVID-19 Health Declaration Form (Schedule 1, below).
■ Scripts and storyboards need to bear in mind the current restrictions in both their messaging tone and the mechanics of their production. Simply Thrilled will take every opportunity to advise agencies and clients as to how to create a script which can be shot in compliance with these guidelines, so it can be produced.
■ We aim to get approvals from agency/client as early as possible. Finalise as many creative decisions as possible in order to reduce last minute changes on shoot days, and to plan for all sanitary accommodations.
■ Simply Thrilled encourage early confirmation of projects to allow for additional prep time. Also, we want to encourage and explain the need to the agency and client the importance of sticking to scheduled confirmation dates.
■ Where possible all pre-production processes should be managed remotely from home: including storyboards, production meetings, meetings with the agency and PPMs.
■ Distribute these guidelines to all involved in the production.
■ Avoid printing and paper distribution except for clear safety posters on set - note: COVID-19 can last 24 hours on paper.
■ Casting sessions and callbacks can be done remotely via video link ups and self-casting.
■ When casting children, their supervising adult should remain close at hand.
■ Those aged 70 or over, or with known pre-existing conditions should be given special consideration and enhanced measures or, ideally, excluded from the shoot.
■ Consider workarounds if needing to replace talent.
■ Simply Thrilled will not confirm any cast until they have signed the Health Declaration form In Appendix 1.
THE SHOOT - GENERAL
■ Stagger call times where possible to avoid congestion.
■ Keep the film crew as small as possible and minimise the number of crew/ agency/cast on set at any one time.
■ Departments should be organised in ‘cohorts’ and kept separate throughout.
■ Wash and thoroughly dry hands on arrival and during the day at regular intervals. Alcohol-based sanitisers should be visible throughout location and soap and water provided wherever possible.
■ We will consider a video-conferencing facility relaying video village remotely to agency/client.
■ We will consider increasing video monitors on set to avoid clusters of people.
■ All crew to adhere to any safety guidelines or notices given on the day.
■ We will consider any space markers where possible.
■ Walkies to be correctly sanitised, bagged-up and labelled with crew names before distribution - do not share radios.
TALENT ON SET
■ Where social distancing of talent might not seem achievable on set due to creative or action required, you need to do all you can to minimise the risk of transmission. If possible, adapt the process (eg: use members of the same household, shoot individuals as separate plates and composite in post, use screens or barriers to separate talent from each other, shoot back-to-back or side-by-side, keep the activity time involved as short as possible etc) to achieve the aim within government regulations.
NB: Government regulations on working within social distancing state that you should do everything practical to manage transmission risks by considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate, keeping the activity time involved as short as possible, using screens or barriers to separate people from each other, using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible, staggering arrival and departure times, reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’.
■ Initial location research can be done remotely using location libraries.
■ Social distancing must be used when visiting locations and meeting property owners/managers.
■ Note that councils are unlikely to grant any filming permits at the moment.
■ Try and ensure common areas and holding areas are outside wherever possible.
■ Preference for one location per day, without unit moves.
■ Preference for location in a 4G/5G area, where possible, to transmit live video over the internet.
■ Locations to be well ventilated.
■ Avoid the use of vapours, steam and hazers (including but not limited to dry ice, oil, mists or glycol) as they are likely to keep airborne infections in the atmosphere longer.
■ Locations where possible also required to share their COVID-19 preparedness plans.
■ Locations to be cleaned prior and after shooting if possible.
■ Avoid locations at a distance which would require overnight accommodation for those involved, also avoid locations which will not permit minimum social distancing.
■ Director’s recce and tech recces: minimum crew only (self-driving and maintaining social distancing throughout) where possible. Masks and gloves available for all attendees as required c/o production.
■ Location Prep: Prelight/set-build/set-dress etc to be undertaken separately by one crew/department at a time if possible.
■ All these guidelines apply to studio productions as well as locations. However, studios are likely to have their own risk assessment and COVID-19 preparedness plans which you will have to adhere to as well.
■ If fittings have to be done in person, then the wardrobe department can set up clothes and supervise fitting from a safe distance.
■ If fittings can be done at home they should be, and relayed via video-call or photos.
■ Wardrobe department to utilise existing/talent-owned options where possible (shops and hire companies currently closed through risk of infection).
■ Wardrobe department to supply clothing in plastic coverings plus separate plastic covers for the talent’s own clothes.
■ Discuss heat treatment/washing with your wardrobe department as necessary.
■ Talent dress themselves wherever possible.
HAIR AND MAKE-UP
■ HMU department to utilise disposable kit where possible.
■ Kit should remain unique to each artist.
■ Follow appropriate barbicide and other disinfecting processes.
■ Talent to do their own touch-ups where possible.
■ If HMU crew need to step in they should wear enhanced PPE (Tier 2 - see PPE and Sanitisation section below) as necessary.
■ Keep HMU separate from Wardrobe. Provide sufficient space for both departments to maintain two metres distance.
■ Require all crew to notify you in advance if they develop symptoms.
■ Simply Thrilled will not confirm crew until they have signed the Health Declaration form in Schedule 1.
■ Provide crew with an email confirmation of their engagement for them to produce if the police question them on their travel to the location.
NB: a waiver of rights by a crew member in respect of their contracting COVID-19 is of no value - English law does not permit excluding liability for causing injury or death through negligence, so a waiver is not part of this guidance.
■ Boom sound where possible, or train talent to apply mics themselves if booming not feasible.
■ Camera team to wear appropriate PPE if breaking social distancing around camera (see PPE and Sanitisation section below).
HIRED EQUIPMENT - GENERAL
■ COVID-19 can survive up to 72 hours on plastic and steel, so try to work out advance collection/delivery/quarantine of kit/materials where possible. If that is not possible, apply a thorough sanitation process.
■ All equipment hire facilities should have their own risk assessments and health and safety practices and should provide you with a copy.
■ Refer to the technician or company’s cleaning protocols and make sure they work for your production.
■ As equipment is usually expensive and specialised, please rely on crew or companies to clean before hire and after with instructions how to wipe down during hire period for sanitation.
■ Consider individual hot box delivery instead of mobile kitchen.
■ Meals pre-packed to avoid contamination, no self-service facilities.
■ Everyone must wash their hands before entering any catering/ dining area.
■ Dining space requirement to ensure increased distance while eating with at least two metres space to be observed between people.
■ Disposable, recyclable plates and cutlery to be provided.
■ Where possible hot drinks and water stations to be available.
■ Crew to drive themselves to set (one person per car) and be dissuaded from using public transport where possible.
■ Where required, production to organise transport using drivers or car service able to demonstrate that they can socially distance passengers.
HEALTH AND SAFETY - GENERAL
■ Full risk assessment, on a job by job basis, will be carried out by the project producer during prep and tech recces.
■Simply Thrilled might need additional crew for some of the logistics of each shoot.
■ Read the list of COVID-19 compliance tasks in Appendix 2 and allocate them to a member or members of the production team or crew.
■ The person or persons to whom performing the tasks in Appendix 2 are allocated, or the person engaged as a COVID Supervisor to perform those tasks must have completed an APA-approved COVID Supervisor health and safety training course that trains to enable the production to comply with these Guidelines.
■ Production cannot safely confirm any crew or cast who have travelled to, or had any contact with an individual returning from, high COVID-19 risk countries (as https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-essential-international-travel-guidance
deemed by UK FCO) in the 14 days prior to a shoot.
■ All crew and talent to provide contacts for family/household in case of emergency on the day of shooting.
■ Individuals on the shoot should be contacted subsequently in the event that fellow workers/talent are found to have contracted COVID-19 within the two weeks following the shoot.
■ If crew / talent feel ill on set, they should be referred to production.
■ All workers, if they have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or in advance of work, should report to production and remain in quarantine at home, without going to their workplace.
■ Avoid sharing hand tools and personal property (mobile phones, pens, walkies etc) - crew must be responsible for the safety and sanitisation of their own items.
■ All employees have a responsibility to care for the welfare of others as they would themselves. As per Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, "it is the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be a ected by his acts or omissions at work.”
PPE AND SANITISATION
■ Crew can be asked to bring their own PPE but production must have sufficient for all crew.
■ Only remove talent’s PPE when essential.
■ Clearly visible and spacious hygiene stations for washing, with plentiful supply of hand sanitiser and wipes
■ Each department is responsible for keeping their own area and equipment clean.
■ Clear health etiquette to be on posters around set (eg: Wear appropriate PPE at all times / When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow / Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth + Put down and pickup items rather than handing / Don’t shake hands, or hug + Maintain social distancing, etc).
COVID-19 HEALTH DECLARATION FORM FOR CREW / TALENT / AGENCY / CLIENT ATTENDING SHOOT
As part of our commitment to provide a safe working environment for all on set during the unprecedented, fast-changing COVID-19 situation, we need to ask you to confirm in writing by signing below, that:
■ You have no cause to believe that you have COVID-19 (an NHS symptom checker can be found here).
■ You have been meeting the Government COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing when not at work as defined here.
■ As far as you are aware, you have not been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or anyone who is showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
■ You have not travelled to, nor to your knowledge had any contact with any individual travelling from any high COVID-19 risk countries (as deemed by UK FCO) in the 14 days prior to the shoot.
■ You have not had a cough, or a temperature of 38 degrees centigrade or above in the last 14 days.
■ If you develop a cough or a temperature of 38 degrees centigrade or above at any point before or during or within 14 days following the shoot you will immediately inform the production company engaging you.
■ If you are over 70 years of age or have any preexisting condition which would put yourself at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as defined by the Government here, you must inform production.
■ You will notify us immediately should anything change as regards to the above confirmations.
■ You have read, understood and agree to abide by the COVID-19 APA Shooting Guidelines.
We also need you to provide us with contact details of spouse / partner / home-dweller in the case of emergency on set, please provide those here.
Name of resident emergency contact: ................................................................................................
Mobile of resident emergency contact: ................................................................................................
Print your name: .......................................................................................
Job Title: .......................................................................................
Date of birth: .......................................................................................
Your contact details if we need to contact you in event that crew or talent show symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of our shoot:
TASKS TO BE ALLOCATED TO A MEMBER OR MEMBERS OF THE PRODUCTION TEAM OR CREW OR, DEPENDING ON THE NATURE AND SCALE OF THE PRODUCTION, BY A COVID SUPERVISOR ENGAGED TO PERFORM THEM:
■ Make sure set is clean before shooting - oversee cleaners
■ Ensure distance markers are on floor and remain clear throughout working day
■ Make sure that hand-sanitising stations are set up correctly
■ Make sure all areas have been set up correctly as needed - medic tent etc.
■ Make sure that PPE is visible
■ Make sure notices/posters are set up and visible
■ Make sure toilets are set up and clean
■ During shoot - keep eye on 2-metre distancing
■ Replenish PPE
■ Check communal areas are clean and not over-crowded
Note: this is a non-exhaustive list and production companies should add additional tasks they require depending on the circumstances of the production.