Safety Measures for Film Studios During COVID | Films4U
What safety measures do film studios have to comply with?
When the coronavirus crisis turned the world upside down earlier this year, every single industry and work place was affected. The film industry was no different.
When lockdown began, the production of countless movies was paused. Most have since resumed filming, but there’s now a lengthy list of safety measures with which film makers have to comply, making shooting a movie a very different experience for everyone involved.
When did filming stop?
Cameras stopped rolling in film production in mid-March, when the seriousness of the coronavirus situation became apparent and countries across the globe started going into lockdown. As movie stars can’t exactly work from home (unless we want the next Marvel film to be shot over Zoom), the industry ground to a sudden halt; the red carpets were put into storage, cinemas closed their doors, and dressing rooms were suddenly empty of A-list presence.
Some people working in VFX and post-production continued to work because they were able to work from home or on premises if they socially distanced. However, their work soon dried up as there was no new footage being filmed.
When did filming start again?
After the government published its coronavirus recovery strategy in May, movies were allowed to resume filming in June as long as they followed government safety guidelines. The latest flick in the Jurassic World franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion, was the first film to resume shooting in the UK, soon followed by Avatar 2 and The Batman.
Getting cameras rolling again didn’t come cheap. Jurassic World: Dominion reportedly carved out a budget of almost £4 million to implement Covid-secure safety measures, this included testing everyone prior to filming and carrying out more tests throughout shooting.
What safety measures are in force?
There are countless measures now in force to keep film sets Covid-secure. From fitting rooms to lighting systems to on-set catering, every aspect of life on-set has strict new rules to follow to keep cast and crew safe.
Firstly, every single film set must now have a dedicated coronavirus health and safety officer to oversee the implementation of Covid safety rules and ensure guidelines are being followed. This officer can either be an existing health and safety officer that has received special Covid training or they can be a new crew member hired specifically to fulfill Covid safety requirements.
To ensure that every member of cast and crew is asked about Covid symptoms each day, a dedicated staff member should also be hired to monitor coronavirus symptoms on set, and employing a dedicated staff member to take temperatures is encouraged.
Furthermore, to ensure that everyone on set is aware of the rules, all cast and crew must undertake online training on how to work safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. And that’s not the only thing that will be online. Everything that can be done digitally should be done digitally, with all pre-shoot briefs and writers’ meetings now taking place via video call, limiting the amount of mixing between cast and crew.
Additional measures to reduce the number of people on set include a socially distanced queuing procedure for staff to sign in and out, local crew being used where possible, and inessential visitors being banned.
Getting dressed up and pampered is all part of an actor’s work but this won’t be as fun during these times. Visors and facemasks must be worn during costume fittings and, even more unusually, the cast will be asked to do their own hair and makeup wherever possible to avoid close contact with hair and makeup artists. Safety measures are even affecting what the cast and crew are eating whilst on set, with buffets banned and all cutlery now strictly single-use.
To ensure these measures are followed, there should be a confidential reporting system in place to allow the cast and crew to raise safety concerns if they believe that any rules aren’t being followed to a satisfactory standard.
How is this affecting the industry?
Just like every other industry, the film industry has been dealt a huge blow by the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the subsequent safety measures. For one, it’s hugely affecting job security in the industry. With a limited number of people on set and local crew members preferred, a lot of freelancers face many more months of uncertainty. From lighting technicians to makeup artists, this is having an impact on everyone who works behind the scenes.
Cinemas have also been very badly affected by the crisis. Firstly they were forced to shut their doors for over three months and now they must run at limited capacity due to social distancing guidelines, thus earning limited revenue.
Their earnings have subsequently taken a nosedive, leading film bosses to postpone some of the biggest budget flicks to next year, when cinemas will hopefully be running at full capacity again. For example, the latest James Bond film No Time To Die was recently delayed once again. Originally destined for an April 2020 release, it was pushed back to November 2020 because of the pandemic, and has now been pushed back to April 2021.
Which films will be delayed due to Covid and the safety measures?
The latest James Bond adventure isn’t the only film that’s been experiencing delays. From delaying release dates to delaying production, pretty much every film has been delayed this year.
For example, the release of Bill and Ted Face the Music, a sequel to the classic Bill and Ted, was delayed, as well as Scoob!, a new animated Scooby Doo film. Paranormal Activity 7 was delayed by a whole year – originally meant to be released in March 2021, it will now be released in March 2022.
Several films’ cinematic debuts were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, and instead were aired on streaming sites; Enola Holmes, for example. The mystery film was originally destined for the big screen but instead premiered on Netflix. Similarly, Artemis Fowl went straight to Disney+.
Films whose productions will be delayed due to Covid and safety measures include a new Disney Snow White film, Legally Blonde 3, and a fifth Indiana Jones film.
So it’s been a bumpy time for the film industry, but this year has made us appreciate movies more than ever. By providing entertainment and escapism, movies have been sanctuaries for many of us during the pandemic and with so many great films in the pipeline, we have a lot to look forward to, even if they arrive on our screens a little later than originally intended.
No matter how challenging the circumstances, film will always be a part of our lives – and a good way to invest your money. At Films4U we have years of experience investing in movies – and we haven’t lost money on a film yet! Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you and your money.