Posted by Laura Williams
4th November, 2020

Camera man wearing Covid-19 mask

Shooting at a safe distance

‘Business as usual’ may not be quite where it was before Covid-19 struck, but many businesses are continuing to successfully shoot brand videos while keeping social distancing and self-quarantine guidelines in place. We spoke to our sponsor — branding agency Beyond — who has been receiving a lot of questions about whether video production can still go ahead during the Covid-19 pandemic. The simple answer is yes!

Beyond’s production team has been working with clients to film on location according to strict and safe protocol issued by APA’s Covid-19 guidelines for Commercial filming and the British Film Commission’s Production Guidance for Feature and HETV. Here’s a snapshot of some of the steps they’ve been taking to ensure that video production can still happen safely and successfully:

  1. Equipment is cleaned before and after each shoot
  2. Social distancing is maintained at all times
  3. Correct, approved PPE is used where required
  4. Antibacterial hand gel is used rigorously throughout the day
  5. Shoots take place outside where possible
  6. Crew sizes are reduced and split into bubbles
  7. A medic and Covid-19 advisor is on location at all times
  8. Daily temperature checks are taken for cast, crew and clients

Beyond’s Creative Producer, Heidi Snelgrove shares more on her latest experience of shooting content during a global pandemic.

What have been the main changes you have found since the outbreak of Covid-19?
The pandemic has brought many challenges and we’ve had to jump over some strangely shaped hurdles. At first, almost every project was put on pause. Nightmare! Since then, processes have been put in place meaning that we are able to create content and shoot ads safely. New processes include incorporating time for deep cleaning, sanitising, temperature checks, completing in-depth Covid-19 risk assessments, team bubbles various travel restrictions and much more.

Has it been difficult to find locations?
To start with it was a little tough to find indoor locations that were right for the brief and big enough to incorporate the new safety measures. But it has meant that we’ve had to work harder with our reccies and we’ve found places you may never have thought of. It’s amazing how much people have been willing to help and offer their own homes, gardens and workspaces. It’s really pulled clients and agencies together like never before.

Can you tell us a bit more about safety guidelines on set?
Yes, we have a Covid-19 supervisor and medic on set at all times to perform temperature checks and ensure the latest safety guidelines are kept in place. Our project team including cast, crew and clients are separated into bubbles. Shoots are most often very local and the locations and sets are much larger than they would usually be so that we can incorporate the 2 metre safety measures and we use PPE wherever required.

At Beyond, we always like to look on the bright side. Have you noticed any creative positives from working this way?
I have indeed! It’s made everyone one of us think even further outside of the box. We’ve come up with creative ideas and completely fresh approaches that we might not have previously thought of had it not been for the new safety measures. It’s also encouraged clients, cast and crew to form a stronger bond as we’ve approached new challenges together. While the changes have been stressful at times, I’m really proud of the team and the work we’ve produced.

If you have any more questions about filming during a global pandemic feel free to get in touch with our friends at Beyond.