Covid-19 guidelines for student productions

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way professional TV, film, VFX and animation productions are made. Student productions are similarly affected.

Everyone working on a student-led production - whether planning, attending or assessing it - has responsibilities in respect of the risk of Covid-19.

A group of education film and TV industry representatives (including ScreenSkills, Middlesex University and many others) have put together guidance for the effective assessment and management of that risk: Covid-19 guidelines for UK further and higher education screen productions. The central aim is to protect the health and safety, and wellbeing, of everyone involved in student productions, as well as those they live with. 

Who are the guidelines for?

The guidelines are for use by practice-based screen industries’ students (including postgraduates), lecturers and academic support staff, in the higher and further education sectors, across the UK. The guidance covers the broad range and scale of film, TV, VFX and animation productions within an academic context.

These guidelines are not intended for industry practitioners working in a professional context, for whom there is already safe working guidance.

The Covid-19 guidelines for UK further and higher education screen productions are needed because the specific context of working on student productions needs more tailored guidance than is possible in the industry guidelines. Young people are learning about how film and TV production works in the first place, what different roles involve, what technical requirements are, how they need to develop their skills and being asked at the same time to then adjust this practice to work safely in the light of Covid. There is also a unique interplay between health and safety requirements of a small student production and the wider policy of their university or college.

How should I use the guidelines?

These guidelines are for reference only. They are not mandatory, and each university or college will take its own specific approach on how to deal with filming under Covid-19 restrictions, based on context, provision and resource. Please liaise with an appropriate member of staff when deciding how best to use the suggested protocols contained within this document.

Please note that while these guidelines will support safe practice when planning and undertaking student productions, they will not qualify you to carry out a professional health and safety or Covid-19 supervisor role, for which additional experience and training is essential.

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You might also be interested in ScreenSkills e-learning module:  coronavirus basic awareness on production.