How We Did It: Tips from a Successful COVID Shoot

Written by Renegade Productions August 1, 2020

In July, Renegade Productions ran it’s first full-sized set since the quarantine began. With more than 20 individuals working as crew, clients, producers, and talent, here are a few aspects we focused on to ensure the safety of our entire set.

  • Zones – In a typical year, a full-scale set held at Renegade Studios would range from 40-60 people including crew, talent, and clients. These sets often see departments sharing locations and work-spaces. Keeping in mind the need for social distancing, we decided to implement a basic zone system to eliminate crossover. This zone system was first introduced to us by the “Safe Way Forward” report released by SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and Teamsters. The report is fantastically written and breaks the zone system down more than I will go in to. A link to the report is located at the bottom of this blog.
  • Contact Tracing – When it comes to fighting the spread of coronavirus, production companies must actively think about limiting possible outbreaks beyond the end of each production. Contact tracing is the process of identifying infectious individuals and checking who they have been in contact with. At the start of our day, temperatures were taken for everyone on set and immediately took their lunch order. This way we could guarantee no one had a running fever and provide a better peace of mind to everyone on set. Luckily, a week out from our shoot, no one from set has reported catching COVID-19. However, if someone had contracted the virus, we would be able to efficiently determine all individuals they interacted with to swiftly stop any added spreading.
  • Crafty + Lunches – When planning out what aspects of the traditional set would need to be axed in a COVID world, we knew that crafty stations would be important to re-think. In my opinion, it is our responsibility as producers to always provide adequate food and water to our workers on set. Since we are lucky enough to have a full studio (fully available to rent for productions in the DMV), we decided to host three separate crafty tables for different parts of the studio. The crew, talent, and clients all had separate tables arranged to minimize overlap in interaction and contamination. We also worked with a local restaurant to provide individually wrapped and named meals for lunch, so crew would not have to line-up or huddle together to get meals.
  • Visibility – Often, while on set, multiple departments will need access to a monitor from camera at once. This frequently leads to groups of people standing in proximity and looking over shoulders to utilize the video streams. It goes without saying that this needed to be prevented. Our solution, with our client’s help, was quite effective. We staged three video areas around the zones. Two monitors were placed in the studio for use by crew and on-hand clients, while another monitor and audio feed were being live fed into our client-only green room. This simple adjustment to the typical setup of our studio directly led to a greater ability to stay distanced.

While Renegade Productions has always been able to promise our clients a top-tier product; we can now add a guarantee of first-class safety amid this pandemic. We are ready to safely execute your video production needs!

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