Can we film with social distance

Can we film with social distance? Five tips from our NHS filming

Can we film with social distance? This is a question that is now being asked in every professional production meeting and will be for the foreseeable future. A question that had previously probably never been formulated, perhaps with the exception of wildlife filming.

It is also a relevant question for corporations and large organisations, all now used to using video to communicate with clients, staff and potential customers or users. But all having to rethink how it can be done in the age of COVID 19.

In the last few weeks, we have been filming induction videos for returnees to the NHS. We have worked with medics to establish new ways of working. This has shown us that, while all this is an extra set of complications, filming safely is perfectly possible. Here’s a video summary of how we are doing it.

So what are the new rules to ensure the filming process does not spread the infection.  Here are my five tips

1. Minimum number of people in the room

Firstly, keep the crew number and the observers to a minimum. Ideally just one person behind the camera.

2. Wear Masks

Crews can wear face masks. Obviously, those being filmed probably can’t wear a mask but the crew is not seen and therefore can. As we all now understand non-medical masks protect others in the room rather than the wearer.

Can we film with social distance

3. Two metres apart

Having enough space is something that will take thought and planning. People who book rooms for us to work in often underestimate the amount of space needed to arrange a shot, with good lighting and an inoffensive or even interesting background. Now we have to be much more aware of space. Being safe requires the use of larger filming locations – bigger meeting rooms or even outside spaces.

4. Radio or Boom Mics

Next, to avoid physical contact between crew and performer, we are using radio microphones that clients can attach for themselves, or a boom or shotgun mic, which has the benefit of no physical contact between crew and client. We have all got used to seeing these on the news – news crews all over the world have already demonstrated this can be done.  Fortunately for us, we already have both radio mics and boom mics, so no issue here.

Can we film with social distance

5. Hand Hygiene

Finally, the fifth element of social-distance filming is hand hygiene. We have to make sure that the crew carries both hand sanitiser for personal use and also anti-bacterial, alcohol-based wipes to make sure that items of kit (such as microphones) can be easily cleaned between jobs.

We are working in London, filming corporate videos and available for training as the UK finds its new normal. If you want to discuss what our team can do for you please call +44 (0)20 7099 2212.

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