Covid-19 – Filming Guidance

The following guidance sets out DTW’s approach to managing the risk of Covid-19 when delivering filming projects.

For each specific project, we will undertake a risk assessment which addresses each of the sections set out in this document, any identified risks and details on any mitigation measures required.

Where additional specific guidance from clients or filming locations exists this will be considered alongside the guidance set out in this document. Where updates to government guidance occur ahead of filming taking place we will consult with staff and clients involved as to whether and how this should be reflected in the delivery of a project.

Travel

To deliver on the requirements of film projects, there will inevitably be an element of travel required in most cases. At all times we will endeavour to adhere to social distancing principles when making travel arrangements. Key points we will consider are as follows:

Physical

  • When travelling to and from locations by car we will, where possible, aim to use single occupancy vehicles.
  • Where it is not feasible to use a single occupancy vehicle appropriate social distancing measures will be put in place for vehicle occupants – this could include, but is not limited to, passengers sitting in the rear of the vehicle and no more than two occupants of a standard vehicle (eg car).
  • Where required for the job, additional contributors and crew will be sourced locally if appropriate to minimise travel requirements.
  • We will avoid using public transport wherever possible.

Planning

  • Where travelling to a location in multiple vehicles, consideration for appropriate parking and facilities will be given.
  • Where use of public transport is unavoidable, this will be scheduled for quieter times of the day and will be in adherence with all required guidance at the time.
  • Should international travel be required, adherence to specific local requirements and quarantine restrictions will be required, both out and inbound.

People

  • Hands should be washed and/or sanitised before and after using any public transport, taxi or shared vehicle.
  • Vehicle touch points in taxis and shared vehicles should be wiped down with sanitising wipes before and after travel.

Location

Consideration will be given to the physical capacity of any space where filming is intended to take place given the requirements of social distancing along with provision of key hygiene facilities, risks that may be introduced to others who already occupy the space and cleaning of the location prior to and during occupation of it. This includes:

Physical

  • Where possible filming should be facilitated outdoors. Where this is not possible it should ideally be undertaken in a large open space with good ventilation. Small rooms with little or no ventilation should be avoided where possible.
  • Based on maintaining 2m separation between individuals, this will require a location to provide a minimum of 4m2 in a clear space or 6m2 where furniture or equipment is present. Using these figures, if filming a single subject interview with two camera operators, an interviewer and an additional member of the client team (five people in total) this would require a minimum empty clear space of 20m2 or 30m2 if there is furniture or equipment present.
  • When filming on location or at client premises, these should be cleaned appropriately prior to the film crew gaining access as well as regularly whilst on site. Cleaning guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings
  • In situations where multiple contributors or interviewees are involved in filming, where possible there should be a separate ‘holding areas’ provided for them to wait in ahead of their designated slot whilst maintaining social distancing.
  • If filming in a household or office space, additional consideration will be given to the risks introduced to these environments through the introduction of equipment and additional people.
  • Equipment, objects and surfaces which are touched regularly will be cleaned and disinfected regularly over the course of a filming session, including ahead of each time a new interviewee or contributor enters the space.
  • Suitable facilities for hand washing with soap and warm water should be available. Where this is not possible, hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content should be available for crew and contributors to clean their hands on a regular basis.
  • Where appropriate, either through government guidance or client/location requirements, non-surgical face masks/coverings will be worn by crew members.
  • If filming overseas is required, further consideration will be given around travel, accommodation and healthcare availability as well as the specific requirements of the filming to be undertaken.

Planning

  • Floor markings will be used to mark out the 2m distance (or where appropriate a 4m2 area around where crew/camera will be placed), particularly in areas which are likely to become crowded.
  • Where appropriate, one-way routes will be employed for circulating around a location and, if possible, staircases will be designated as up or down only.
  • Specific roles/responsibilities will be appointed to crew members for reinforcing and adhering to social distancing and hygiene measures. This could include individuals nominated to remind those taking part in the filming of social distancing requirements or responsibility for regularly cleaning equipment.
  • Appropriate messaging to ensure uptake and compliance with hygiene and distancing measures will be undertaken. This could include daily briefings for crew and signage for contributors taking part in filming.
  • Appropriate messaging around signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and when not to come into work/attend filming will be provided to all crew and contributors involved.
  • If filming in a space which can be accessed by the public or by a wider group of people who are not directly involved, consideration will be given to providing information on restrictions in place, such as numbers of people allowed in the area as well as discouraging people from gathering to watch.

People

  • Crew members and those involved in the filming will be instructed and monitored in adhering to good practice for infection control including:
    • Social distancing
    • Hand hygiene
    • Avoiding touching the face
    • Minimising the passing around of equipment and documents. Where it is necessary to share equipment and documents they should be placed down so they can be cleaned/sanitised.
    • Minimising touching of shared surfaces (eg door handles and table tops) and wiping them down regularly
    • Placing forms and documents in cleanable plastic wallets.
  • We will minimise the number of people involved in filming at any one time through use of scheduling and having dedicated holding/waiting areas available for people who are “on standby”
  • Should members of the public stop to watch, if necessary filming will be paused to wait for people to disperse.

Work activities  

Consideration will be given to activities that will need to be carried out in order to deliver on the project, the roles required to achieve this and whether these require adapting or changing to reduce risk. Measures which will be implemented to deliver on this will include:

Physical

  • Filming will be planned to maintain a 2m social distance between all individuals including both crew members and contributors.
  • Where possible boom or stand mounted microphones will be used to capture audio maintaining a 2m distance.
  • Where lavaliere or radio microphones are unavoidably required these will be cleaned and disinfected prior to issue with instructions provided so that contributors can fit the mic themselves.
  • Where possible and appropriate natural barriers between people (such as windows, doors or screens) on location will be utilised.
  • Consideration will be given to use of barriers and screens to separate people who will be in close proximity for long periods of time – where this is under consideration expert advice will be sought as to their effectiveness in the specific circumstances.
  • Advance planning will be carried out to minimise the amount of time required for setup of equipment on location and the amount of time required working with people in close proximity.
  • Where documents or materials are required for reference or completion as part of the filming these will be provided digitally wherever possible, with equipment cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis.

Planning

  • Where multiple large numbers of crew and contributors will be attending a location, arrival times will be staggered appropriately to avoid any unnecessary congregation of people.
  • Where review of content is required, this will be facilitated through remote monitors maintaining social distancing protocols.
  • Where it is not possible to remain 2m apart and the filming activity needs to continue in order for the project to be successfully delivered it should be done side by side or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible.

People

  • Good hygiene practices within all work practices will be adhered to at all times.

Equipment

Camera and editing equipment is key to the delivery of film projects. Hygiene and potential issues with equipment will be managed through:

Physical

  • Where possible crew members will be assigned specific and dedicated equipment for their use throughout a shoot. Where this is not possible, items of equipment will be cleaned before and after each use.
  • All equipment will be cleaned and sanitised before use each day and regularly over the course of a day as appropriate.
  • Where equipment, such as lavaliere microphones, are provided to contributors these will be cleaned before and after issue along with instructions/guidance on how these can be self fitted.

Planning

  • Appropriate cleaning and sanitising products for maintaining crew and equipment cleanliness will be provided for each shoot.

People

  • Equipment will be cleaned ahead of filming commencing and at the end of each filming day, or if equipment is passed between users.
  • The amount of equipment required on location will be planned carefully in advance and kept to a minimum wherever possible.

Work patterns

Additional precautions to manage Covid-19 risk may result in increased requirements for prep time and overall production time. Consideration of this will be factored into scheduling at the planning stage of the project.

Planning

  • Wherever possible, crew will work in ‘cohorts’ keeping production teams as small as possible.
  • Where additional team members are required to facilitate delivery of a project, social distancing will be maintained in line with guidance set out earlier in this document.

PPE

Use of PPE will be considered where government and/or client/location specific guidance requires it. Where PPE is required it should be put on, taken off and disposed of correctly.

Face masks/coverings

  • Community Protection – Use of a face covering can reduce the likelihood of passing the virus onto others, however this is only effective if the majority of people in any given location are using masks or coverings.

The current UK guidance on wearing a face covering states that, in addition to on public transport where wearing a face covering is mandatory, you should also wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

  • Personal protection – Face masks for personal protective equipment should only be required when filming in higher risk settings such as hospitals, in such situations guidance should be sought from the host institution on appropriate provision, protocols and training.

It should be noted that the current PHE guidance is that the UK does not currently advise use of face masks outside of care settings.

Personal protection face masks, and all PPE, must be of the correct specification, FFP2 or above, fitted and worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly and disposed of safely.

Gloves

  • If wearing gloves, these should be washed, or removed and replaced, as frequently as you would wash your hands and should not be used in lieu of good hygiene practices and provision.

Other PPE

  • Other types of personal equipment may be required for protection against Covid-19. The virus can enter the body through the eyes as well as the nose and mouth so face shields may be appropriate. Aprons or gowns may be considered where there is felt to be a risk of clothing becoming contaminated.