As I’m sure is the case for many if not most businesses, the sudden rise of Covid-19 was a bit of a shock to the system for Tinker Taylor. In a matter of hours, all of our planned filming was cancelled, projects in the early stages were postponed until further notice and we were left with just a small number of projects in the postproduction stage we could still deliver.
Of course, we wouldn’t be Tinker Taylor if we didn’t find a way to be proactive and work flexibly even in these unprecedented circumstances. The team all moved to working from home, and we devised a way to film interviews through Skype using an innovative 3-camera setup, which our Creative Director Sam has written about in this recent article.
However, Skype interviews are not the answer for all of our clients, and with the Covid-19 crisis ongoing for the foreseeable future, we have to find ways to continue to provide the high quality content our clients have come to expect from Tinker Taylor, on brief and on time. To ensure we start up production in a way that is safe and reliable in this ‘new normal', we will be using a series of guidelines published by the Advertising Producers Association (APA). Putting into practice the reasonable and practical steps outlined in the APA document, production companies like Tinker Taylor can safeguard the health and safety of everyone involved in a film shoot.
Besides government-mandated advice around hand washing, working from home where possible and sneezing and coughing in the crook of the elbow, the APA guidelines contain a number of helpful tips specifically tailored to the film industry, which we will be following:
- Use microphones on a boom rather than attached to the interviewee’s lapel
- Film in well-ventilated locations which are cleaned before, during and after the shoot
- Work with minimal crew on location
- Use markers to indicate where a contributor should stand
- Avoid sharing equipment where possible, i.e. only the camera operator touches the camera
We have shared the documents provided by the APA with all of our core team, and will do so for any freelance crew and any contributors in advance of filming. This way, we will be able to resume filming in safe environments only, and both our clients and trusted team can rest assured they are not putting themselves at risk of infection when they work with Tinker Taylor. With these guidelines in place, we are excited to get back to filming and welcome a lot of exciting new projects, because as Tuli Kupferberg said, “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge."
The purpose of our guidelines is to enable production companies to take reasonable and practical steps to safeguard the health and safety of everyone attending a film shoot in relation to Covid-19 and to meet their obligations under the Health and Safety Act, and law, and Government regulations on Covid-19. Production companies have that responsibility, which they can meet by following these guidelines.