The first steps to resuming work in the film industry are underway, with the British Film Commission publishing a 34-page document outlining Covid-19 production guidelines in line with government advice.
The document, titled Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production, gives a flavour of what the industry could look like as filmmakers adapt to life after the initial outbreak.
The guide sets out recommended practices on hygiene standards, social distancing measures, regular symptom checks and mental health counseling for members of staff. It stipulates that “a trained Covid supervisor must be hired for the production”, and also recommends “recruiting an appropriately trained mental health and wellbeing advisor”. Sets are also advised to establish quarantine and isolation zones, as well as using local crews wherever possible to reduce travel.
As well as outlining diligent hygiene practises, the document also sets out Covid-19 Safer Working training and the need for appropriate medical PPE for essential emergency use. The document recommends “avoid standing face-to-face” during production where possible, staggering call times, making sets off limits to all but essential crew and encouraging others to work remotely.
The biggest practical change which could affect viewing experiences for fans applies to crowd scenes. As hinted last month, the guidelines also notably suggests that filmmakers replace extras with CGI equivalents in scenarios “where the UK Government’s social distancing requirements cannot be observed”.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said: "The UK is recognised around the globe as a brilliant place to make films, and is home to the world's best film and high-end TV talent. We've worked hard to support the industry through these difficult times, and I'm delighted we've been able to agree this step forward towards getting the cameras rolling safely again."
The UK’s film industry could resume from next month, with cinema chains such as Vue, Odeon and Cineworld hoping to re-open by July 4.
See the full document here