Productions in times of Covid 19 are now possible in Spain. Since May 11 it is possible to shoot in our territory. The provinces that are in PHASE 1 of the de-escalation process are allowed to host audiovisual productions, as long as they comply with the hygienic-sanitary measures provided by the government.
PRODUCTIONS IN TIMES OF COVID-19 IN SPAIN
This article has been created to provide comprehensive and relevant information in regards to film production in Spain during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
There are many prevention protocols established in order to face the effects of this crisis and reactivate the economy of the film sector. As an employer, production companies must ensure that government guidelines to minimize the risk of contagion are adhered to, this way we can all adapt our industry to the extraordinary times we are living in.
BUT HOW CAN WE SHOOT?
- Films can be made on sets and private spaces, as well as in public spaces that have the corresponding authorization from the City Council or competent Administration.
- For interior shoots- The set must be clean and disinfected prior to filming. Production is responsible for frequent cleaning of contact surfaces – this includes: door handles, surfaces, bathroom fixtures, and any equipment handled by more than one person. Any workstation used by more than one person needs to be cleaned between each user.
- It is permitted to shoot on sets and private outdoor spaces after the evaluation and the prevention of risks in the workplace are fulfilled.
- Regarding shootings where there is no direct physical interaction, involving contact between actors and actresses, they can start accordingly with the general prevention and hygiene measures against COVID-19 indicated by health authorities.
- In cases where the nature of the work does not allow to respect interpersonal distance or the use of protection equipment, appropriate to the level of risk (for example actors and actressess), specific measures must be established for each particular case by the person responsible for the filming based on the recommendations of health authorities.
12 KEYS TO SHOOT IN COVID-19 TIMES
Anyone exhibiting mild or severe symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted to entry the set and must inform the production company in charge as soon as possible. This person must remain in quarantine in their home. A dry cough, fever, muscle pain and sore throat are considered to be symptoms of COVID-19.
When possible companies should provide their workers the option of teleworking in order to limit the spread of the virus.
If teleworking is not possible the protection measures recommended by the health authorities will be taken:
- All people on set are required to adhere to health authority guidelines on hygiene and behavior required to minimize risk of spreading the disease.
- Alcoholic hand sanitizer is to be made available at points of entry and common areas.
- The use of masks and gloves is mandatory specially for interior spaces, where social distancing can be difficult to maintain consistently.
- It is required that people can maintain a social distance of 2 meters while working.
- It is important to have a document that certifies work activity in order to facilitate urban mobility.
The production team must follow a cleaning and disinfection protocol of all the workstations used during a shoot.
Casting should, as a rule be done remotely over video conference or using self tapes.
Since the past 14/3, administrative deadlines have been suspended and therefore the permits that are granted with the administration (public roads, parks, coasts, highways …)
It can be shot in private locations with the agreement and consensus of the number of people and disinfection measures, respecting the safety distance between people.
The work permit for minors is temporarily suspended throughout the national territory.
The number of crew on set should be kept to the minimum required.
Agency and client are likewise encouraged to send the fewest possible number of representatives. The meetings between producer, agency and client (briefs, PPMs …) will be held electronically.
Anti congestion measures are taken in the locations so only the indispensable crew would be present during the shooting.
- Wardrobe options will be presented in the PPM dossier and the selection will be made from there. The onsite wardrobe test will take place on the same day of the shooting and production is required to provide dressing facilities where social distancing measures can be upheld.
- A “clean shoot” scenario will be established where the number of crew will be the minimum required.
- Every crew/cast member should undergo temperature measurement with a contactless thermometer before the start of the shooting day and before entering the shooting location. Any new incoming subcontractors undergo temperature measurement upon arrival. Human body temperature limits must be with accordance to the country specific health regulations.
The essential crew in a “clean shoot” cannot exceed 25 people for the technical team and 10 people for the talent team. It is required that people maintain a social distance of 2 meters while working.As part of the “essential crew” we must add one representative from the agency and one from the final client.
The budgets will be linked to the protocol in force and, if necessary, will be updated with the protocol changes.
10 BASIC RULES AND PHASES
These are the generic individual protection measures recommended by the WHO and the Ministry of Health for all possible cases.
Production companies must prepare and provide their workers with a Contingency Plan or General Protocol on Occupational Safety and Health on COVID-19. This will include the specific preventive and protective measures for each specific space and job, taking into consideration the psychophysical and health of each crew member.
10 BASIC PERSONAL SAFETY RULES
- Frequent hand hygiene (washing with soap and water or approved alcoholic solutions).
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow flexed.
- Use disposable tissues and throw them away after use.
- It is required that people maintain a social distance of 2 meters while working.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as the hands facilitate transmission.
- Staff members and all of the people involve in the production direct or indirectly must use the Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE) recommended on this protocol.Basic protective equipment can be divided into two categories: face masks (protects others) and rubber/ latex gloves.
- In some specific cases, other measures will also be used (such as protection screens, glasses, shoe protectors, etc.) and what the corresponding prevention service determines.
- Use of own vehicle whenever possible. The maximum number of people allowed in a 5-seater vehicle will be 2 people, always placed in diagonal.
- In case of using public transportation it is important to maintain the required safety distance from others and the usage of the mask at all times.
- If a taxi or VTC is used, only one person should travel for each row of seats, maintaining the greatest possible distance between the occupants.
Preproduction with COVID-19
We have proposed 2 technical location options. One is minimized for smaller productions and the second one is for a bigger one, where a major number of staff will be needed. This second escenario will be done by phases to avoid the congestion of people increasing the risk of contagion.
- Location or Production Manager
- Production assistant / Assistant director
- Art Director
Option 2 (for groups of 4)
- Location or Production Manager
- Production assistant / Assistant director
- Other departments
- Assistant director
Safety for our employees
Producers must prepare and provide workers with a Contingency Plan or General Protocol on Occupational Safety and Health on COVID-19, which will include the specific preventive and protective measures for each specific space and job, taking into account the psychophysical and health conditions of people who occupy them.
The Contingency Plan or General Protocol on Occupational Safety and Health on COVID-19 should be pragmatic, simple and clear. It will be subject to constant monitoring by companies and their workers based on the evolution of the disease and the guidelines determined by health authorities at all times.
The production company will apply this Contingency Plan COVID-19 or General Protocol on Occupational Safety and Health to all the activities carried out, as well as to subcontracted companies and to all those that access any filming workspaces or sets.
Mutual insurance and occupational hazard prevention professionals
The production company will offer all the staff, at the time of joining the project, information about the accident insurance company. In the case that the work takes place in different locations, it will be necessary to know the closest hospital (with an emergency department) and accident insurance company.
It is responsibility of the producers, in each specific case and depending on the nature and characteristics of the shooting, to evaluate the advisability of having a Occupational Risk Prevention, Preventive and / or Health Resources professional on the set.
Due that health authorities recommend it, and following its instructions, it will be advisable that staff who works at the filming location carry out, fifteen days prior to they incorporation, a diagnosis test that certify that they neither suffer nor can infect COVID-19 disease.
In the case of actors, actresses, doubles and extras who cannot keep the interpersonal safety distance or use protective material, diagnosis tests for the detection of COVID-19 will be carried out to prove they are healthy. This will be always done under medical prescription and in accordance with the guidelines, instructions and criteria agreed to that effect by the competent health authority.
In the above assumption, these people may also make an Affidavit of having remained in a situation of isolation from the time of the test until their incorporation.
This recommendation does not affect people who participate in the production but do not access the shooting location.
Remote work will be chosen in all the pre-production and post- production phases of the projects, in order to avoid contagion and minimize any risk whenever possible.
Casting will be carried out preferably by telematic means, except when the presence of the actor and / or actress is necessary. In this case, the basic safety and prevention rules will be respected, the interpersonal distance of two meters will be kept and only the minimum essential team will attend.
The first option will be using self tape , after this have been seem by the casting director and the rest of professionals in charge , they must do a selection . In case of doubt or necessity to redirect the actors they can complement with the second option of casting taking all the preventions recommended.
In the second option of casting , the casting director will quote in stages and record each of the actors live using applications that allow HD recording of the video call.
Scouting tasks will be carried out whenever possible remotely, using the files of the locator. When the presence in the place is justified, a single person accredited by the producer will attend carrying with his/her Responsible Declaration. In this case, it is advisable to respect the following recommendations:
- When accessing an interior location, wear shoe cover.
- Reduce the dialogue in the location to a single person.
- Maintain the minimum interpersonal distance of 2 meters.
SAFE SHOOTING WITH COVID-19
- Only the “essential technical and artistic filming team (including extras)”, perfectly identified, will have access to the filming set.
- In the case of extras, it will be ensured that they are always the same persons.
- The maximum capacity established must allow compliance with the interpersonal distance requirement.
- Entrance and exit of filming location will always be in a staggered manner and the team will only remain on set when necessary.
- The entry into the filming location of any person who does not provide services therein and it is not essential for the organization and viability of the work will be limited.
- Disinfectant gel and PPE will be available at the entrance of the filming set. PPE should be use while staff remains in the filming facilities. This material and any other that is disposable must be located in the access to the facilities and in the same place, there will be litter bins with a lid and pedal to deposit it when leaving. These bins will also be available in other spaces and should be cleaned frequently, and at least once a day.
- It is recommended to take the temperature with a non-contact thermometer (infrared thermometer) every day to all people before entering the set.
- Filming actions that require an interpersonal distance of less than the recommended 2 meters should be the minimum possible and for the shortest time required.
- All instruments, work equipment and stage elements must be disinfected whenever necessary.
- A space will be set up so during waiting times, the team can follow the recommended general safety measures and keep the safety distance between people of approximately 2 meters.
MAKE UP-HAIR DRESSER AND WARDROBE
- In makeup, hairdressing and wardrobe activities, the appropriate protective equipment must be used according to the level of risk that ensures the protection of both the worker and the artist, in any case ensure the maintenance of the distance of two meters and disinfection of materials after each use.
- It is preferably to work with laundries, hiring the specialized disinfection wash. During filming, it is recommended that the clothes of each actor or actress and extras is identified and separated with plastic covers. In the case of stunts, specialists or precision drivers, it is advisable to have a double vestry.
- Hygiene and disinfection measures will be taken with clothing material (hangers, irons, sewing machine, motorhome …).
- Measures will be implemented so that the garments are sanitized before they are made available to others.
PROP, CAMERAS AND LIGHTNING
- The elements of decoration and props that are in contact with the technical and artistic staff will be disinfected before and after each scene.
- Camera, Light and Grip material must arrive at the shoot with a disinfection guarantee signed by the material supplier.
- It will be daily disinfected after use with alcohol and may only be used by authorized personnel.
MICROS AND SOUND
- Tie microphones will be disinfected after each shot and only one will be used for each actor or actress. The protective plastic will be changed after each scene and character.
- Headsets will be non-transferable and will be disinfected after each use.
- When its use is essential, the pole microphone will be protected, will be located at a safe distance from the actor or actress and will be disinfected after each shot.
FOOD AND SETTING PRODUCTS
- Food and any product that it is on scene must have custody, and be protected and isolated from its preparation until the moment the filming begins.
- It is recommended the use of single use cutlery, glasses, plates and utensils on stage, if possible eco-friendly. In the case of using reusable cutlery, glasses and dishes the will be washed with hot soapy water, preferably in the dishwasher at more than 60oC.
- All stage cars must arrive at the start of production with a disinfection guarantee signed by the supplier.
- During the shooting, the interior of the vehicle must be disinfected after each use.
- A special space will be set up for catering, when it is not possible to carry out a continuous shooting day, establishing shifts to maintain safe distances and avoid crowds.
- The presentation of food will be in individual boxes using hermetic (eco-friendly) vegetable fiber containers. Handling of products at the filming location will be reduced to the minimum and the catering staff will be provided with the necessary clothing, single-use waterproof gloves and the use of protective masks.
DAILY REGISTER OF ACTIVITY
The production company will designate a person or team responsible for carrying out a daily registry throughout the filming period, which will list the actions carried out, the schedule, the people who access the set, disinfection operations, delivery of PPE material… This information will always be updated and available when required.
It is clear that 2020 is not going to be the best year for the global economy, and even less for the audiovisual sector.We have a very long way to go, but we can finally start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Lets hope our sector can recover as soon as possible without forgetting that we all need to apply common sense and a commitment to minimizing the spread of COVID 19, in what we think we can responsibly execute on a case by case basis.
With this article we seek to provide comprehensive and relevant information in regards to film production in Spain during the current COVID 19 pandemic.