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12 Ways to Film in a Pandemic

By 27 August 2020December 17th, 2020No Comments

We’re open for business!

Everyone has been affected by the pandemic, and at NRG we’re no different. To be sure we are working safely with you,  NRG follows the guidelines developed by a group of braodcasters, including the BBC, ITV, ITN and Channel 4: Managing the risk of Coronavirus in production making. We have also successfully completed the Safe Sets™️ COVID-19 (Level A) Certificate.

We’ve worked hard to change up our filming process so we can make great content for our clients, while keeping it all totally Covid-secure. From consultation to clean up, everything has changed. Here’s 12 ways to film in a pandemic, keeping our staff, cast and crew safe.

1. Remote Consultations

Our pre-production meetings and client consultations are now being held virtually via Zoom. I’m sure you’re familiar with it by now (if not Zoom veterans like us). It’s a nifty tool for avoiding unnecessary contact before we get to filming.

2. Amending the story

Making a few changes to the storyline will help to avoid problems down the line. Altering scripts to remove large groups or close contact between actors reduces the likelihood of infection.  

3. Staying up to date with lockdown locations

Sometimes it’s as simple as checking the news for local lockdowns, or the list of countries with a UK travel corridor if we’re filming overseas. When necessary we’ll relocate and ask the cast and crew to arrange their own transport to the film sites. 

4. Thinking big!

Literally. Choosing big spaces to film in gives you more room to play with on set, making social distancing a lot easier. See our video for Exeter cathedral (filmed pre-pandemic) for the size of space we mean.

5. Risk assessments

Anyone in film will know that there’s already plenty of risk assessments involved, even before the pandemic. Luckily that means we’re well practiced at identifying risk before it becomes a problem. We’ve updated our risk assessments to include guidance on face-coverings, social distancing, hand washing etc.

6. Fewer crew

Of course, we’ll always need the director, lighting, sound and camera crew. But we can make changes, such as asking the cast to apply their own make-up means fewer people in close proximity to each other.

7. Track and trace

In line with government guidance, we’re taking the contact details of everyone on the shoot in case of an outbreak of symptoms among the cast or crew. We are also asking everyone to sign a document confirming that they’re fit and healthy and ready to work.

8. Packed lunches

Cast and crew might miss having a hot meal on set, but packed lunches prevent potential contamination via shared food, as well as reducing the number of people we need on set. Don’t worry, we can always arrange to provide food that’s prepared and packaged off-site.

9. Boom poles

Another little change that helps us keep cast and crew distanced is using boom poles for sound recording and leaving off lapel mics wherever possible.

10. Zoom lenses

Likewise, our crew can use camera zoom to imitate close-up shots. This is a simple solution for any close up that doesn’t require a great depth of field.

11. Sanitising

We take responsibility for making sure that all our equipment is sanitised before and after every shoot. It’s simple and straightforward, and a small inconvenience to be able to keep filming.

12. Covid cleaning bags

We’ve asked all of our cast and crew to prepare their own “Covid Cleaning Bag” stocked with hand sanitiser, cleaning wipes, gloves and facemasks. Everyone has access to all the personal protective equipment they need at all times, in a bag that’s easy to carry and stock back up.

Covid is going to be with us for a long time, but that doesn’t mean you have to be deprived of the video content you need to get your message across. By following the guidelines set by the main broadcasters and sticking to these measures, we can still produce the quality content you need.

If you have found these 12 ways to film in a pandemic useful and would like to talk to us about how video can strengthen your communications, give us a call on 01252 717 707 or email us at

Rob Edmonds

Author Rob Edmonds

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