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Autor: Redaktion


Guide to film shootings under corona conditions

How to start film shooting with corona regulations still in place? We collected some information to reactivate filmmaking.

With the accompanying easing of restrictions, some normality is now to return to film production. In the USA there are currently no cross-regional concepts and each state is creating its own guidelines depending on the severity of the pandemic. According to the news agency Reuters,

"...filmmaker Tyler Perry is expected to be the first to get going with plans to shoot two television series [...] in Atlanta, Georgia in July."
In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, a unified plan is currently being worked on under high pressure.
 
"The so-called Film And TV Production Codes Of Practice are currently undergoing a period of industry consultation [...], after which the guidelines will be finalized..."
says the Hollywood Deadline.

The globally networked industry seems to be keeping an eye on Germany, because a resumption of operations should now be made possible. On May 18, the German Employer's Liability Insurance Association for Energy, Textiles, Electrical and Electronic Media (BG ETEM) published a first draft for film shooting in compliance with the SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standard. The FAZ quotes the chairman of the producers' alliance, Alexander Thies:
 
"...we (have) now been given a framework of action by an authorized body which makes it possible for film and television productions to be restarted or continued in all genres throughout Germany."
Furthermore, a new staff position was created. This is entitled "Hygiene Officer for Film, TV and Photo Productions" or can be found on online portals such as Crew United as "Hygiene Officer (Corona Protection)". To this end, DEKRA's offer has been updated and a further training workshop has been created with a focus on SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

To mark the occasion, we are compiling the following list of the most important guidelines for the industry in addition to general requirements such as strict compliance with minimum distances, the prerequisite for strict hygiene measures and the wearing of a mouth and nose protector. In doing so, we provide information that relates exclusively to German regulations and the local film market, but which could form the basis for considerations by other nations.

A collection of links and the full text of the BG ETM can be found at the end of the article.


Organization:

  • Offer employees telephone advice from the company doctor.
  • Draw up a more detailed risk assessment.
  • Establish access restrictions for the various work areas. Visibly mark the work areas.
  • Provide at least one hand washing and/or disinfection facility and cleaning and disinfection agents in each area.
  • Instruct the employees:
  • Require employees to comply with the protective measures specified in the risk assessment and document these.
 

Cleaning:

  • Preparation of a cleaning concept for the entire facility in coordination with a specialist cleaning company. The cleaning work should be carried out by specialists.
  • The disinfectant used should be at least "limited virucidal" and should be used as required in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
 

Locations:

  • The minimum distance of 1.5 m may only be undercut in comprehensibly justified exceptional cases.
  • Select the film location (room size) according to the number of people required to maintain the minimum distance.  If possible, motifs should be selected outdoors.
  • Before searching/selecting a motif, clarify whether there may be possibly infected persons and persons with known ones.
  • When planning the motif, allow for longer front and back times so that all the trades can work one after the other.
 

External suppliers, extras, people from outside the company:

  • Instruct and oblige all independent and freelance persons, such as riggers, lighting technicians, make-up artists, to observe the specified protective measures.
  • Goods, service providers and visitors are to be received in the entrance area.
  • Divide extras into small groups and keep them constant. Avoid changing the area of the extras if possible.
 

Catering:

The German "Supplement to the Risk Assessment as defined by the SARS-CoV2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard for the Sector: Catering Industry" of the BGN (in the current version) may give you some advise.

  • Arrange working and break times in such a way that as few people as possible are present in the break areas at the same time.
  • Define and mark traffic routes. Ensure that traffic routes are wide enough. If necessary, apply the "one-way street rule". The walking directions must be correspondingly far apart.
  • Place markings for distance control, e.g. in the queue.
  • In break areas, arrange the tables and seating so that the minimum distance of 1.5 m is maintained in all directions.
  • Serve the food or provide it in packaged form.
  • Make the cutlery available individually packed.
  • Ensure that hands are washed or disinfected if they come into contact with used glasses, crockery and cutlery, e.g. when clearing up.
 

Transport:

  • Minimize contact with other people on arrival and departure. 
  • Separate the area of the person driving from the other passengers, e.g. by a Plexiglas pane.
  • Ventilate the vehicle regularly.
  • Clean/disinfect the contact surfaces, e.g. steering wheel, armrests, used fittings, seatbelt buckle, at regular intervals and after changing persons.
  • Equip the vehicles with paper towels, bin liners and cleaning/disinfecting agents.
 

Sound engineering: 

  • Prefer the use of booms.
  • Sound equipment with which people come into contact (hand, lapel, microphones, etc.), disinfect thoroughly before and after use.
  • Equip microphones above the pop screen with personal plastic covers. Change/remove the plastic covers with mouth-nose cover and gloves.
  • If possible, wiring should be installed by actors themselves under the supervision of qualified personnel. If this is not possible, both persons should wear a mouth-nose cover, the sound technician should additionally wear disposable gloves or thoroughly clean or disinfect his hands before starting and after finishing the activities.
 

Wardrobe/Costumes:

  • Performers change or dress without the assistance of the wardrobe/costume personnel. If this is not possible, both persons should wear a mouth-and-nose cover, the wardrobe/costume should be equipped with disposable gloves or the hands should be thoroughly cleaned or disinfected before starting and after finishing the activities.
  • Avoid contact with the performers' private clothing and accessories by third parties. Define and mark storage areas.
  • Store and mark costume parts and clothing of the performers separately.
  • Disinfect jewelry and accessories after use.
 

In front of the camera:

  • As a matter of principle, technical and organizational protective measures must be defined so that the minimum distance does not have to be undercut. For example, by adapting the screenplay to avoid scenes with an increased risk of infection (e.g. scenes close to the body such as hugs, greetings and scenes with a large number of people), increased use of digital post-processing or shortening the optical distances by using long focal lengths.
  • If the aforementioned protective measures cannot be observed, filming should generally only be carried out in compliance with the quarantine measures listed for the persons concerned. This does not apply if the persons in question belong to a household.
 

Work equipment/props:

  • Personalize work equipment and props if possible, otherwise clean or disinfect regularly.
  • For walkie-talkies or similar, attach replaceable protective covers.
 

Mask:

For activities close to the body and face, the regulations specific to the federal states in the so called “CoronaSchVO” must be observed. The following occupational health and safety standards of the BGW, the leading trade association in the field, (in the currently valid version) must be applied.

  • "SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standard for the hairdressing trade”
  • "SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety Standard for Cosmetic Studios"

For face-related activities, the following protective measures are relevant in accordance with the BGW standard on general hygiene regulations.

  • Safety goggles with side protection/visor
  • Respiratory protective mask without exhalation valve (min. FFP2)
  • Hand disinfection
  • disposable gloves
  • Optional: long-sleeved clothing, if possible liquid-repellent

A storage place should be provided for in case the mouth and nose cover of the performers has to be removed. The storage location should be included in the cleaning after a change of personnel.
 

Quarantine regulations:

  • All affected persons, e.g. actors, must enter a 5-day quarantine before the start of the filming.
  • Two swabs are taken in close chronological order. The correct swab technique must be observed and guaranteed and must be carried out by a suitably trained person.
  • Persons who show the known symptoms are excluded from the procedure. Only healthy or freshly infected persons may be screened.
  • The quarantine must be continued until the corresponding screening is completed.
  • In order to make the quarantine feasible, it is possible to carry out a "quasi-quarantine" in addition to the "full quarantine".

Full quarantine: The persons concerned will go into quarantine and will be accommodated in an isolated place. Contact with the outside is not permitted.
 
Quasi-quarantine: The slight looseness is compensated by additional control measures. These include daily clinical checks as well as regular testing, detailed behavioral instructions and controls, regular disinfection and strict adherence to the minimum distance. In this case, those affected can move between two isolated places in a private car without using public transport and without contact with the outside world.
 
  • This should be supplemented by tests of the private (household) environment, which are voluntary due to the lack of contractual ties and the possible inclusion of children. They are carried out once at the beginning and once after about half the time until the end of the shooting.
  • Any contact of persons living in the same household with the outside world must be documented in writing and the respective protective measures must be described. In the event that persons living in the same household have unprotected contact with the outside world, a change to the private quarantine location is only possible for those affected if the contact persons also agree to be tested and the testing period and frequency ensure that during the period of filming there is no higher risk than in the general population.
  • If the tests show that personnel are infected, the person concerned must be excluded from the shooting. If the test result of a person living in the same household is positive, this person must also be excluded from the shooting.





Link collection

Further information on occupational safety, including PDFs for download:
https://www.bbfc.de/WebObjects/Medienboard.woa/wa/CMSshow/1011229

Current and industry-specific information from BG ETEM on the coronavirus at:
www.bgetem.de/corona (German only)

Use of mouth-nose cover and respiratory protection:
www.bgetem.de Web code: 20819581 (German only)

Constantly updated information page on the topic:
https://www.produzentenallianz.de/coronavirus/ (German only)

Link collection of the German Film Academy:
https://www.deutsche-filmakademie.de/covid-19-positionen/ (German only)

Further training for film-makers
https://www.dekra-akademie.de/de/seminar-detailseite?key=122639.763.41.82.00008 (German only)

Downloads:
Full Corona Guidelines For Filmmakers (German)