The Filmmaker's Guide to Shooting During Lockdown
Over the last couple of months, numerous businesses have had to find new ways of doing what they do best. This is no different for us; we’ve pushed animation and we are working on creating an XR studio so that we can host virtual events, but we’ve also found new ways of filming.
Now that lockdown is being lifted slightly does this mean that we can go back to filming? Well, it seems that if you can film whilst still maintaining a 2-metre distance it's absolutely fine. But just because we can, it doesn’t always mean that we should. This is why we’ve been looking into a series of alternative ways to create filmed content whilst still distancing.
As we headed into lockdown we were set to head into the studio to film for one of our clients, but of course, this was no longer possible. We set about thinking of ways that we could still make the film possible. We first considered animation and the possibility of creating the whole film in an animated world, but this just wasn’t the right fit. So we decided to find a way to film safely. We wanted to film 3 participants in their home without having to come anywhere near them. The solution? Get all the kit, make sure it is clean with antibacterial products and send it to each of the participants in the film. We gave them very clear instructions of how to set up the kit, and how to record their section. We were on standby on the phone in case of any problems. This allowed us to get the footage that we needed without us or the participants, having to leave our house. After they had finished recording each participant cleaned the kit, repackaged it and then we arranged for a courier to come and pick the kit up to deliver to the next participant. Once we had all the footage we were able to edit it together, using stock as B-roll.
We have also taken measures to ensure that we can still film if we need to. This has involved lots of careful planning to ensure that we can do so safely. A couple of weeks ago we set about filming a promotional/explainer video for our new XR Studio concept (coming soon!) in our studio in Bristol. Using our green screen studio we were able to create a safe filming environment by operating with a small skeleton staff, using lots of hand sanitiser and by practising social distancing.
The APA (Advertising Producers Association) has recently released shooting guidelines in an effort to get production safely up and running again in the UK. The guide offers advice on everything from preproduction to wardrobe and hair and makeup. Some key pieces of advice that we will be following when we start production again are as follows:
Avoid shooting at locations which would require overnight accommodation
Preference for one location per day
Stagger call times
Ensure that all kit is properly sterilized before and after use
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.
Keep the unit as small as possible and minimise the number of crew/ agency/cast on set at any one time
Consider increasing video monitors on set to avoid clusters of people
Avoid printing and paper distribution except for clear safety posters on set - note: COVID-19 can last 24 hours on paper.
With all these measures and social distancing in place, we will be able to safely start creating more filmed content again, whether this is operating skeleton staff as we did for our XR Studio shoot, or filming outside. So if you are interested in commissioning a piece of film, then please get in touch by ringing +44 (0)117 972 0081 or emailing email@example.com