Cait Lyn Adamson

Covid Safety On Set

Distilled best C19 practices for film production companies

As lockdown 3:0 cracked down on us in the new year the film industry and the creatives within it have had to find ways to adapt, persevere and most importantly keep their teams safe amongst the pandemic. What I’ve found personally most effective in curbing the crisis - outside of the new rules, protocols and systems that can be put in place - is patience and instilling an ethos of compassion and safety within your teams. Surviving and thriving en masse. 

At the beginning of the pandemic I know that producers and production teams like myself were losing sleep trying to find seamless, efficient and quick solutions in order to get back to doing what we love - creating films, content and being on set, the environment all of us thrive in and miss dearly. 

After the training, the relearning, the rewriting and new implementation of how and what to do on and off set there was still an ever present anxiety about everything that could go wrong. Until I found time to take a step back and breathe. 

What was most impactful for me was realising that there wasn’t one air tight, 100%, absolutely perfect solution that would make any set or circumstance absolutely covid free. That so much of making a set work in these times is also up to the individuals and the transparency and emotional/mental support that comes from above (production). 

Not only are we all doing the best we can on set, but we’re also doing the utmost best we can to personally survive the pandemic. The most useful, effective and the most important is two things I’ve found are:

  1. Inspire your team to keep themselves and others safe
  2. Encourage your team to express their work, mental and emotional boundaries. 

Whether or not it’s check in calls, going the extra production mile to courier or transport something so your team can keep safe, working the extra hours to find more suitable locations that will make people more comfortable, and understanding when people might need space and a mental health day. What we do for the mental safety of everyone we work with, is just as important as the physical elements we implement as well. 

If the last year has taught us anything it’s that what might have seemed impossible, or stressful, or anxiety riddling is just part of the process.  Covid policy experience is really just familiarity and becoming more comfortable in the new protocols and strategies we have to put in place. Now, organising and setting up shoots in line with APA and industry standards safety is something we’ve gotten used to. And while we are still isolated, waiting for the pandemic to come to an end, checking in with your team, and being a support mechanism is hopefully something that won’t be lost when it’s all over. 

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