New guidance for safe working during Covid-19 in film and HETV

Guidance for safe working under Covid-19 has now been published for film and high-end TV, joining guidance for the VFX and post-production sector and for television production. ScreenSkills will fast-track training for safe return to work in film and HETV in response. 

Today’s publication of the film and HETV guidance follows global consultation and has been devised to be scalable, with producers encouraged to apply the guidance according to each production’s specific needs. It is advisory, not mandatory.

As previously announced, this month ScreenSkills will roll out free online training to support the safe return to work.

Seetha Kumar, ScreenSkills CEO, said: “It will be important that this guidance is understood at every level of film and high-end television and ScreenSkills is committed to supporting industry to interpret the guidance clearly and effectively for all scales of production.

“We are working with expert input to develop basic training so that film and TV workers know how to keep themselves, their colleagues and their equipment and environment safer and sanitised in the context of Covid-19. We will also do everything we can to work with practitioners as well as the BFC and BFI on making the guidance itself accessible and useful so productions can tailor it to their own needs.”

The guidance for film and HETV was devised by a working group including ScreenSkills, convened by the British Film Commission is part of the BFI Screen Sector Task Force working on COVID-19 recovery. It has been ratified by the UK government.

It has been developed to help the physical production industry to protect crew and cast by adopting a safe working environment and practices in light of Covid-19 related risks, as well as the latest Government advice; and to be able to factor in to their current health and safety assessments how changes can be made in order to achieve this.   

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "The UK is recognised around the globe as a brilliant place to make films, and is home to the world's best film and high-end TV talent. We've worked hard to support the industry through these difficult times, and I'm delighted we've been able to agree this step forward towards getting the cameras rolling safely again."

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: “The industry is extremely keen to restart production as soon as possible, but not without a comprehensive road map for how to do it safely while the threat of COVID-19 still looms large. Today’s Guidance provides that reassurance, reflecting the latest Government, technical and medical advice available. We will also update it on a regular basis, giving clarity on the latest measures recommended to ensure a safe shoot for cast, crew and the wider public.”

Ben Roberts, chief executive of the BFI, said: “Our film and TV industry has been growing faster than other any other sector, generating over £7.9 billion a year in GVA to the UK economy and employing 166,000 people — so creating scalable guidance to help restart film and high-end TV production as safely and as quickly as possible has been paramount.”

Neil Hatton, chief executive of the UK Screen Alliance, said: “The combined launch of two sets of detailed guidance for filming and for post-production is a significant indication that the UK’s film and TV industry is proactively making itself open for business; in fact, post and VFX never closed.” 

To learn more about working safely on set in accordance with guidance during Covid-19, take our Coronavirus basic awareness on production training.


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