Oregon Production Protocols outlined by Oregon Media Professionals Association
Updated: May 19
The OMPA has released the following production protocols in response to resuming business in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Keep pace with their COVID-19 response on their website: https://ompa.org/
* Download addendums and department-specific guidelines (PDF) at the bottom of this post
Getting back to work.
It goes unsaid that these are trying times for everyone, including all of us in the Oregon film industry. Yet, we are a strong and vibrant community of professionals, skilled at solving problems and highly capable of meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19. We are also a community of caring individuals known to support each other and work together with respect and grace. This document provides guidelines that will help us protect each other while also helping to reduce the spread of the virus as we get back to work.
Voluntary but essential guidelines.
The COVID-19 safety guidelines presented here are designed to provide predictability and consistency to the production process. As conditions and government policies evolve, we will continue to establish new policies and practices for maintaining a safe working environment for all productions. While adherence to the guidelines is voluntary, they shall, in the absence of any negotiations which result in alternative guidelines, be presumed to be in effect on productions carried out by Oregon media industry members. It is the responsibility of the parties involved to come to an agreement prior to the commencement of production concerning situations not covered in these guidelines. It is also the responsibility of the parties to ensure state and federal law is being followed.
Following the current Stay at Home order.
The Oregon media production industry is following the Governor’s Stay at Home order by adhering to the following guidelines:
The work being performed is not considered a social or recreational activity.
The business is not classified as prohibited by the Governor at this time.
All individuals, team members and clients, maintain six feet of social distancing at all times.
State restrictions will be relaxed gradually, so it is our intention to create guidelines that can be applied to traditional film shoots that minimize the risk of transmission of Covid-19 — while allowing work to continue under any federal, state or local restrictions and distancing measures, which may still be in place.
How the guidelines were developed.
These guidelines were developed by the OMPA in coordination with Oregon Film, the local chapters of unions and guilds, local department heads and equipment vendors in the industry. They have also borrowed from guidelines offered by sources like IATSE, BECTU, Nordic Film Guide, the EU and others. We have also tried to be as comprehensive as possible by incorporating the thoughts, suggestions and concerns of our Oregon cast and crew. This document is meant to augment —not override — other union, guild, Government agency or local jurisdiction guidelines, or guidelines and regulations from insurance companies, production companies and studios & networks. These protocols should be used as guidelines to protect the safety of all those who work on media projects and will be updated and adjusted as more guidelines are identified and new state and federal guidelines are adapted.
Assign COVID-specific Personnel.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it is recommended that every production should include some form of dedicated Covid-19-specific Health & Safety Personnel that manages new production protocols required to keep crews safe in a post-pandemic world.
We have provided a two-page “top-line” bullet point list of the most important protocols — both in the “Keeping the Workplace Safe From COVID” section immediately following, and as a “Tearsheet” linked in the Table of Contents.
Links to Federal and State guidelines. CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019. CDC’s COVID19 Symptoms Gov.
Brown’s “Social Distancing” Restrictions for Oregon, COVID-19 Resource Page and General Guidance for Employers. Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Page. OSHA, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, 3/2020 — https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf OSHA: COVID-19 page — https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/news_updates.html
Stay safe and be well.
Thank you for reviewing and adopting these guidelines as we get back to work!
KEEPING THE WORKPLACE SAFE FROM COVID
Remember, everyone will have a different pace, situation and approach to return to work. Empathy and accommodation will be needed.
Make your set an open forum for learning and sharing safety procedures. If anyone sees something that could be improved, they are encouraged to share it.
Communication, transparency and visitors.
Publish protocols: All Covid-19 protocols used by the production must be published and distributed to all crew, cast and other personnel.
Anonymous reporting: Production/Producers should establish an anonymous reporting mechanism (via email, phone or online form) that enables all personnel to report concerns about Covid protocols or other safety issues.
No visitors: Only essential cast and crew are allowed on all production sites. Absolutely no nonessential personnel permitted on sets, production offices, stage, or construction mills.
If you feel sick or have symptoms.
At home: If you’re feeling sick with fever, cough, muscle pain, sore throat or difficulty breathing, stay home and immediately inform your supervisor. Consider seeking immediate medical care. Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call and inform them of symptoms. If the symptoms persist, please do not report to work until the Production office clears you to be job-ready.
On the job: Personnel who begin feeling sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing while at work, should immediately inform their supervisor and the Covid-19 Coordinator, and leave the premises if possible. If unable to leave, the sick person should keep wearing their face mask and find an isolated place to wait/rest until the production can arrange transportation. Immediately send home any employee with COVID-19 like symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath, etc.) and not allow the employee to return to work until at least 72 hours after fever and other symptoms have resolved without medication.
Screening and testing.
Screening: All crew members will be screened prior to access to set, trucks, load-in or off-set work. If the answer is YES to any of these questions, they will be ineligible to work and MUST STAY HOME:
Are you experiencing any flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle pain, sore throat or difficulty breathing?
Have you been exposed to anyone with Covid-19?
Do you feel sick in any way? • Future testing: Production will make testing available to crew and cast when/if/how that’s possible.
Social distancing and personal hygiene.
Six-foot rule: Crew and cast will remain six feet away from other people at all times until social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
Work ‘pods’ of small numbers: Crews should be minimal in size, function as department cohorts or ‘pods’ and maintain continuity of personnel whenever possible. Oregon Production Protocols 4 Draft #1 May 8, 2020
Workflow: For camera or lighting resets “working pods” should alternate onset work and not crossover.
Protect cast members: increase physical space between CAST and other personnel. Only personnel designated by Production should work in close proximity with cast members (i.e. Hair and Make-up). All personnel who work near cast should be masked and wear gloves.
Physical contact: Avoid any unnecessary physical contact and touching your face.
Shared equipment: Avoid using other people’s phones or personal work tools. Any shared tools must be sanitized prior to their hand off to another crew member.
Viewing monitors: Multiple monitors should be made available to allow people to review footage while maintaining a safe distance.
PPE and equipment and materials sanitizing.
Protective gear: Crew will wear protective gear provided by the employer, including face covering, with preference to N95 face masks as long as supplies last. Training and fitting of masks/respiratory devices and all PPE must be provided for proper use per OSHA standards.
PPE reserves: Extra gloves & masks (at least x3 per crew member), hand sanitizer and sani-wipes will be provided by production and on-hand at all times.
Audio gear: Use boom microphones instead of neck/Lav microphones in order to maintain social distancing requirements. Lav mics can be used if sanitized prior to hand off and talent mic’s themselves.
Sanitize equipment: All equipment will be sanitized before and after each individual use. Only department members should handle their own gear.
Sanitize props: All props, set dressing and set pieces will be sanitized if they have or will come in physical contact with the cast.
Off-set editing: Any editing and post-production will be done remotely in order to limit number of personnel on production sites.
Catering & craft services: Food must be provided as single serve meals with individual utensils, brought to set from Crafts Services or Catering by designated individuals, and delivered to individuals for their own consumption and not shared with others.
Requirements specific to location.
Disinfect interiors: Disinfect location locations prior to shoot day and let sit sealed and empty for at least 1 day, preferably 3, before occupation and then again after shooting prior to returning to the owner.
Limit access: Limit personnel access inside all locations (i.e. maintain “closed sets” at all times); let crew work in shifts on set and then completely disinfect all areas of locations after completion of photography and before handing over the location to the owners/site representative.
Limit personnel on location: Based on available space inside a location, put a limit on the number of crew members allowed inside the location at any given time.
MINIMIZING PERSON-TO-PERSON TRANSMISSION
1. Production will provide appropriate PPE:
Gloves and Masks to be made available to all persons at all times.
All crew are required to wear appropriate PPE, whether in studio or on location.
2. Limit general interactions between people on set.
Essential interaction between people on set should follow safe distancing guidelines as set out by the government, currently 6’.
3. Designated Areas for each Department.
Each department will be allocated a designated area on the studio floor or location for 1) all equipment not being used on set and 2) as standby area for department crew members.
Required areas include (but not limited to): Director/1st AD/Script Supervisor; Electric; Camera; Grip; Art/Property/Set Dressing; Playback/DIT; Costume and Hair/Makeup Standby etc.
Any department which can remain on standby outside the studio/location, should do so. This could include any cast holding areas, DIT, Standby Riggers and Construction.
4. Use of Radios and other comms.
Use of radio communication to be employed to limit close personal contact.
Clear line of communication to be established from Director or 1st AD > Dept. Head > Department members.
Dept. Heads or nominated persons to be supplied with open comms style headsets to enable quiet, detailed conversation without the need for close contact or a huddle. Onward instructions to be carried out by walkie-talkie.
5. Limited access to communal work areas.
Strictly one department “pod” at a time working within the physical constraints of a set — e,g. Camera establishes positions after rehearsal then exits; Grip & Lighting department light the set, then exit; followed by Set Dressing & Property department, etc.). All work to be directed/supervised by relevant Dept. Heads with support from 1st AD.
If dressing/lighting to camera, time will be allowed to set camera, and for camera team to move away to a safe distance before the next department moves in.
When not working on the set, crew from other departments should move back to their demarcated areas until required.
Look for opportunities to move more tasks away from set (i.e., stepping off actor to have a mic repositioned)
Note: These protocols will slow down prep time on set and mean more time will need to be allotted to allow for this safe workflow.
6. Build, Prep and Pre-light days.
• Where prep requires a wider use of the working space within a studio/location, production should endeavor to schedule enough days for departments to work alone and to hand over the set between departments when necessary. • Time should be allowed to physically mark out the stage for each departmental area prior to the shoot day. Posts/Tape can be used to mark out areas. • If standby support is required between departments, minimal standby crew to remain on set but must observe guidelines for distancing between departments.
7. Keeping crew off set where possible.
Wherever possible any member of the crew should stay away from the on-set working environment • Production office department to remain off set in production office at all times. Contact with the shooting crew should be by radio, text, phone and email. Production should determine protocols for all call sheets, reports, and time sheets, etc. to go digital to eliminate the need for paper to be sent between the offices and set.
H/MU/Costume to allocate dedicated on-set standby artists who remain on set in order to limit movements of crew between off-set areas and the stage.
8. Remote monitoring for Producers/Execs/Writers (TV/Film) and Agency/Client (Commercials), Standby and Departments.
Producers/Execs/Writers and Agency/Client stakeholders are encouraged NOT to travel to studio and to make use of remote video conferencing technology if possible.
If their travel to the studio is unavoidable, Production should provide a room or area, off stage and isolated from the rest of the crew. A production team representative should, in this case, be dedicated to them, and follow the same isolation arrangement.
Set up a wireless monitoring server on the studio floor to allow all departments to individually monitor the playback on their own devices. Consider allowing closed-network streaming to iPads, iPhones and android devices.
Set up a secure remote server to provide the same playback footage to stakeholders in a remote locations that have internet access. Log-in codes can be provided.
Sync on set software can be used to enable remote working for some crew who would normally need to be on set.
9. Access routes and Fire Lanes within a stage to be kept clear and widened to 6’ width wherever possible. One-way system to be put in place where possible.
10. Hand sanitizer available to each department/crew member, as well as hand washing facilities.
11. Where minivan or shared transport is required to set, vehicles should be allocated and engineered to provide social distancing.
12. Where certain crew are required to move regularly between set and the outside world for the purpose of buying/hiring items for set.
Observe all distancing measures at other places of business visited. • PPE to be worn when moving between different areas. • Establish clear single point of contact with the crew on their return.
Follow disinfection procedures for anything coming onto set.
Here is a list from the EPA of disinfectants to use against C-19: www.epa.gov/ pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
MINIMIZING SURFACE-TO-PERSON TRANSMISSION
1. Identify areas likely for cross-contamination
Any areas which have interaction with multiple and cross departmental members to be identified. Examples of such areas are door handles, bannisters, table areas, dining tables, bathrooms, .
2. Establish measures for disinfecting areas of likely cross contamination
Regular cleaning of such areas to be scheduled by the cleaning crew.
Set Services or other crew to be allocated to maintain topical on-demand cleaning.
Cleaning materials (wipes/antibacterial spray, etc) to be made available for any crew member to clean surfaces on demand.
Hand sanitizer to be made available to all crew or at designated stations for regular hand-cleaning. • All crew to be encouraged to wash hands regularly.
Disposable gloves to be made available to all crew.
3. Specific departmental considerations to be taken into account separately – see links below for more details.
4. Here is a list from the EPA of disinfectants to use against C-19: www.epa.gov/ pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
EQUIPMENT GENERAL HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
1. Disinfect all equipment before delivery to the stage/location.
Rental companies should ensure that any equipment delivered to a shoot should be fully disinfected before loading, and that all staff handling the equipment should wear gloves at all times when handling equipment.
Upon arrival to studio/location, all equipment to be loaded directly to its designated department area.
Production should establish additional protocols if rental equipment is to be further disinfected by allocated personnel before being moved onto set.
Gloves and suitable disinfection materials to be provided.
2. To avoid any potential cross-contamination, equipment should be handled ONLY by department members responsible for that equipment. In practice this means that no one may assist in carrying any equipment unless they are allocated directly to that department. Where this is unavoidable, production is to provide gloves, masks and hand sanitizer as needed to any temporary help.
3. Production protocols should be established for any equipment or materials which by necessity must cross between departments.
4. Hand sanitizer must be made available to each department/crew member, as well as hand washing facilities.
5. Crew must not touch, move, lean against, sit on, pick up or otherwise disturb any piece of equipment which is not directly under their purview.
6. Consider using UV light cleaners where possible and where they can be safely operated.
7. Here is a list from the EPA of disinfectants to use against C-19: www.epa.gov/ pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
8. CDC General Business FAQs - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ community/general-business-faq.html
LOCATIONS GENERAL HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
1. Base Camp to be situated within walking distance of location, whenever possible.
2. Safe distancing during transit: when equipment and personnel transportation is required, additional vehicles to be provided to ensure safe distancing is not compromised in transit.
3. Sanitizing during transit: Production will provide cleaning of communal areas in transport. Consider providing a cleaning unit to be on hand at all times to constantly sanitize, as well as dedicated “cleaning valet” at honey wagon or other portable bathrooms to clean each bathroom between uses.
4. Masks and Gloves to be worn whenever using communal transport.Training should be provided to all crew members in how to use and remove gloves, masks and other PPE and calculating measured social distancing
5. Individual private vehicles to be used ONLY where safe and practicable.
6. Dining areas to be expanded in size to allow for adequate distancing measures. Building-based dining areas (halls, gyms, etc) offer much safer environments to ensure safe distancing. Sterilization of dining areas should be performed at least 1 day ahead of use and at least one day ahead of returning to owners.
7. Toilet facilities to be increased on a per-person ratio. Due to their restricted size, a limit to the number of people using a mobile toilet facility at any one time should be considered, depending on the size/design of the facility. A cleaning valet should be assigned to clean after each use.
8. Ventilation of spaces – The risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 through ventilation systems has not been fully studied, but is likely low. Routine HVAC maintenance is recommended. Although it is never the first line of prevention, consider general ventilation adjustments in your workplace, such as increasing ventilation and increasing the amount of outdoor air used by the system. Maintain the indoor air temperature and humidity at comfortable levels for building occupants. Research the use of fans – airflow can help with dispersal of micro-droplets while it can also be shown to spread the micro-droplets. Consider the effects within buildings with enclosed air systems like hotels, restaurants, church halls, etc.
The key seems to be ventilation with filtration: https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/resources
9. Cast holding areas should be expanded in size to allow for adequate distancing measures. Sterilization of holding areas should be performed at least 1 day ahead of use and at least one day ahead of returning to owners. Ventilation (see above).
10. Where dressing rooms are provided, these rooms/trailers shall be offered on a strict single-occupancy basis, unless provided to members of the same household
11. Makeup/Hair/Costume facilities will need to be expanded to allow for adequate distancing measures. Additional trailers may be needed or supplementary large, open plan interior spaces where available
12. Production parking areas at location should be isolated from any access by members of the public, or persons not engaged on the shoot.
13. Additional consideration should be given to space between working trucks/ vehicles to allow for safe distancing guidelines to be observed during loading/unloading/working processes.
14. Appropriate PPE, as determined by the job hazards assessment, is to be used where more than one person is required to unload/carry equipment and 6’ distancing is not possible.
15. Access routes should not be shared by members of the public, or persons not engaged on the shoot. Exclusive use of access points should be arranged.
16. Wherever possible, one-way access routes into and out of locations should be arranged, to avoid crew crossing in confined spaces/corridors.
17. Here is a list from the EPA of disinfectants to use against C-19: www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sarscov-2
18. CDC General Business FAQs - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ community/general-business-faq.htm