5 Tips for Video Production in the Coronavirus Era
What can be said about the coronavirus that has not been said already? Well, here is something we all need to hear… Our industry is going to start back up regardless of whether it’s safe to do so. For that reason, I want to put together a list of some tips I think are very important given the current climate.
- Make peace with your mask. We are all sick of wearing masks everywhere. However, as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, masks will remain a requirement for everyday life. Wearing a mask throughout the day is literally the least we can do to keep our sets safe. I do have one recommendation though. When you are at a doctor’s office or a restaurant and notice that the staff do not change gloves between clients or dishes, doesn’t that feel a little gross? The exact same principle applies to our sets. We need to be switching to fresh masks at least once per day. Just like gloves, masks trap and gather germs. As time goes on, you will be breathing in and spreading new germs. By switching masks, we can cut down on that buildup and allow a “fresher” breath.
- Get used to small crews. If you are a director of photography who is accustomed to having a couple of assistant camera operators running around to help with batteries and lenses, then I have some bad news. We have no end in sight for the coronavirus, which means that crew limitations on productions will be fully enforced. This will likely mean less assistants on set to help run departments. Less crew means slower setups and breakdowns as well. A big recommendation for producers/assistant directors/executives reading this is to be aware of these changes and plan some extra time around it.
- Think more, do less. With productions starting to gear up again freelancers need to be very aware of the risk they are putting on themselves and everyone around them. Each piece of equipment touched or transported is a slight gamble. It is important to be very strategic with what gear we are touching and when. For example, if we have two grips on a set all day, one should handle all the LED lighting while another preps all the stands and flags whenever possible. I know this obviously does not work for all sets, but we need to be very cognizant of the risk/reward factor is for what we mindlessly touch day to day.
- SANITIZE! SANITIZE! SANITIZE! This is a biiiiiig factor in how successful our industry will be going forward. Many other industries can effectively wear disposable gloves, unfortunately we really cannot. Thin gloves are both very susceptible to tears and are a melting hazard around hot lights. For that reason, everyone needs to be vocal about needing sanitizer on sets. We need lots of hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, and access to hand soap. This is not just a “I’ll wash my hands before I eat” thing; we need to be sanitizing frequently after touching any new surfaces or equipment. Wiping down equipment is advised as well, depending on the item and its ability to be cleaned according to manufacturer guidelines.
- Get used to the unusual. COVID 19 will not be going away soon. This is the reality of our industry until we get a vaccine that is readily available to the public. Our sets will be constantly changing with the news and reported cases. This means we could have large sets back one week and then back to tight crews the next. Whether you are headed to a secure studio (like we have at Renegade Productions) or an open outdoors location, things are going to fluctuate based off data that we cannot control. This industry has always been built on being constantly flexible, so lets just see how limber we can get!
Again, this is just a small piece of the larger post-coronavirus world that we will be entering. As news develops, we will try to update with more tips and recommendations. What parts of video production and marketing are you most interested to see in a post-coronavirus world?