Adapting to New Reality Caused by Pandemic
The past two years have been extraordinary. Not only did we manage to shoot a fairly large number of projects, but we also had to work during the Covid-19 epidemic. There were no government regulations concerning the filming process in any way, so technically we had to limit ourselves to fairly simple recommendations for the prevention of the disease, which many of us viewed as insufficient for the safety of the group. Therefore, we have developed our own standards of work and, as it seems to us, are quite effective. At the very least, we did not record any cases when it would be possible to say that someone got infected on our set.
So, at first we took the recommendations of the sanitary inspection:
Using protective masks.
Social distancing and the following rules:
We introduced a rule on the mandatory wearing of masks on the set and socially distancing between one another. We divided the departments into separate groups, depending on the work tasks, and started taking the temperature of the group members before and during filming. These are basic things from the requirements of the sanitary service.
Before shooting begins, each group member receives a set of masks, respirators, an individual sanitizer and a memo on sanitary rules.
In addition to masks, we have added requirements for wearing a respirator inside locations. The respirator provides the best protection for both the wearer and those around them. Recently, the requirement for respirators has been dropped, leaving simple medical masks.
The filming process began to be planned in such a way that people could be more outdoors. Catering has been moved to the street, even if it is possible to arrange food inside the location. They began to pack all the food in individual boxes; they had to abandon their favorite open catering and cooking on the site.
A medical officer was brought onto the staff, whose main task is to make sure that the sanitary rules are being followed on the set and there is always easy access to sanitizers and masks.
Personnel with any symptoms of Covid-19 were no longer allowed onto the site. Separately, we warn the heads of departments that we will remove these people from the site and we need to be able to replace a member of the group.
A separate issue is actors who must be filmed without personal protective equipment. These are the first members of the group for whom the test was mandatory before and after the filming process, people who were required to have no contact with sick people for two weeks.
The formation of the smallest possible film crews was important during the first year, but today, not as much. We worked in a format that if a person can do work remotely, then they must do it remotely. And if a person can be released from the site, they must be released. As a result, the first time the film crew did not exceed 40 people, including the actors, there was an expression on everybody’s face saying “What? This is possible?”.
It should be noted here that shooting tasks almost immediately began to exclude mass scenes. This was both an understanding of the process on the part of creative agencies, and a reluctance to shoot scenes that in reality will not become a reality in the near future.
After the tests became widely available, as did the general vaccination, some points were added.
Mandatory testing for actors and those working with actors as well as drivers, catering workers before filming. Sometimes even after shooting.
It was necessary to separately clarify that the requirements for sanitary standards and testing are also needed for vaccinated participants, since they may be carriers of the virus.
This is what we plan to introduce when the percentage of vaccinated in Ukraine reaches 30 percent:
The formation of a film crew with more than 50 percent of vaccinated people.
It should be noted here that vaccination is necessary for full-fledged work in a film crew, therefore, among the film community of Ukraine, the percentage of vaccinated people is quite high.
We cannot say that we have always been perfect. There were situations where after filming, the group's workers were diagnosed with Covid-19, and we called the group and warned them about what had happened. We are very fortunate to say that we have not recorded cases of transmission of the virus on our shooting sites, but the main thing is not to relax, get vaccinated and continue filming, which we will do.
We wish everybody a lot of health and we hope this article will be useful to you.