We at FTH shot our first studio production last week since the Government announced the lockdown. We had a client visiting the studio to appear in a greenscreen shoot, a straightforward piece to camera with autocue. With so many restrictions around the workplace just how did we manage this safely, maintaining social distancing at every stage? Here are my first thoughts – Welcome to our New Normal.
Firstly, preparation is everything. We had the studio deep-cleaned the day before the shoot. We zoned off the studio into client and staff areas using hazard tape, and created separate toilets for staff and clients. Fully stocked with hand sanitizer and paper towels (Forest friendly, natch!) We also used a separate entrance from the client.
We are really lucky at the studio, as it is a large old barn with a big garden, a number of entrances, no corridors, small rooms or pinchpoints. It is big, airy open-planned and well ventilated. We also have a completely separate edit suite and our non-crew team members are fully equipped to work from home on a shoot day.
With regard to production itself, we were fully rigged and had completed lighting, sound and camera tests before the client arrived, to minimise the amount of time they spent on set. We obviously situated the camera at a safe distance and used shotgun microphones instead of lapel mics foraudio, so the crew didn’t need to break SD by approaching the client unnecessarily. 2 metres was entirely achievable at all times. Our client was thrilled with the result, and achieving that locally, without having to brave going into London was a huge bonus.
Getting to grips with the new protocols is essential for all – we are encouraged to have a Covid Host, who is responsible for managing social distancing at all times, and has the power to stop any shoots that become unsafe. So we all need to be aware of, and manage, the risk in the studio for the foreseeable future.
We have always prided ourselves on having a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere on set. If we can manage the new protocols efficiently, while maintaining our trademark easygoing vibe, we can definitely make this work for ourselves and our clients.
That said, I never imagined that I would have to spend time designing a toilet usage protocol, but welcome to my New Normal…
*All new procedures and protocols will be uploaded to our site in the coming few days.