Screen Brussels Outlines New Shooting Guidelines, Safety Protocols to Resume Filming During Pandemic
Updated: May 18
Read the most up-to-date regulations about shooting in Brussels here. Film crews can soon begin resuming production in Belgium, following the guidelines set forth by Screen Brussels.
This set of tips and recommendations aims to help prepare the future restart of filming. These practices are non-binding and are intended in particular for short shootings (corporate, commercials, students, TV shows...). The cast and crew present during the shooting, including clients and production team, will be limited to 15 people.
This document is not intended to replace existing federal, regional or municipal directives, nor the sector guides in application. A guide validated by the National Security Council, developed by professional associations, is also in preparation.
Physical distancing (minimum 1.5m between each person, on all sides) is the basic rule. When not possible, personal protective equipment (mask) must be worn.
Resources: 1. General guide to prevent propagation of COVID-19 at work: https://employment.belgium.be/sites/default/files/content/documents/Coronavirus/Genericguide.pdf 2. Specific guide for branded content by the BCPB association: https://cfp-belgium.be/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/2020.05.04-BCPB-Covid19-Guidelines-Film-ProductionsUK.pdf 3. Coronavirus : preventive measures and labour law implications (update 16/04/2020) : https://emploi.belgique.be/fr/actualites/update-coronavirus-mesures-de-prevention-et-consequences-sur-le-plan-du-droit-du-travail 4. Info Coronavirus : https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en 5. SPF Economie - Coronavirus : new measures (update 27/04/2020) : https://economie.fgov.be/fr/themes/entreprises/coronavirus/coronavirus-nouvelles-mesures
Measures concerning work before the shoot
1. Pre- and postproduction should take place remotely (using digital and online tools) whenever possible. When not possible, work should be organized to guarantee physical distancing between everyone present. All and any preventive measure should also be put in place – see “Generic guide” 2. On site location scouting should be limited to the strict minimum. Only one scout or location manager, wearing a mask, should perform this task. They will make sure to interact with only one person responsible for the location.
3. Castings should happen remotely (online…). When not possible, preventive health measures should be put in place (distancing, mask…) – see “Generic guide” 4. The production team must inform all crew and talents as well as any subcontracted companies about the health and safety measures in place while shooting. 5. The production team will select a referent contact person (profile to be determined according to trainings organized in the future) who shall ensure proper implementation of the health measures. 6. The production team shall buy and distribute the necessary health protection equipment. Personal protection equipment (mandatory mask and optional gloves) and individual bottles of alcohol-based gel shall be provided to all workers. 7. In the case of reusable and washable masks, production shall ensure of its daily cleaning. In the case of single-use masks, production shall provide enough closed bins to manage and dispose of this special waste.
Shooting at Private Locations
1. Shooting in a private location is not prohibited EXCEPT in the case of shared commons (staircase, lift, entrance hall…). 2. The location shall be disinfected before and after shooting. 3. Contact shall be limited to one person representing the location and one person representing the production crew.
Filming in Public Spaces
1. Filming in a public space is possible, subject to authorisation by the municipal authorities and compliance with all official guidelines in force.
2. The impact of filming will be limited as much as possible: reducing the number of parked vehicles, planning the scenes to reduce the amount of equipment on sidewalks or roads… A safety perimeter shall be clearly defined to allow passers-by to avoid the site, the vehicles and the equipment.
3. The safety of everyone – talents, crew and residents alike – shall always be the priority.
Transport and Vehicles
1. Means of transportation that allow physical distance measures shall be favoured. Individual transport (car, bike…) is recommended. 2. Those who cannot come alone by car shall respect a minimum distance of 1.5m between each person inside the chosen vehicle. The number of people that can be transported therefore varies according to the type of vehicle. Frequent airing and cleaning of all vehicles is recommended. 3. When using a bicycle, electric scooter or commuting on foot, a sufficient interpersonal distance must be maintained. Shared bicycles, shared electric scooters, etc. shall preferably not be used. Wearing a mask between home and work is also recommended. 4. Transport by taxi or VTC is permitted, provided that a minimum distance of 1.5m is maintained between each person. The number of persons which may be transported therefore varies according to the type of vehicle. 5. When travelling by public transport, wearing a mask is mandatory, as well as following any specific instruction from the transport company.
Safety on Set
1. Clearly visible display of the prevention recommendations in several places. 2. No non-essential to the organisation of the shooting may be present. Only the "essential technical and artistic film crew," selected beforehand and clearly identified, shall have access to the film set. 3. Work tasks and processes should be planned so that people can ideally maintain a physical distance of 1.5m or wear a mask. As few people as possible should be present at any given time. 4. Maximal capacity shall be determined for each room in use, taking into account distancing measures: minimum 4 m²/person (to be adapted following official federal directives). 5. A sufficiently large waiting area shall ensure control of the in- and out- flow of people. 6. Personal temperature shall be taken with a non-contact thermometer on the day of shooting for all persons before they enter the set. Any person showing symptoms associated with the COVID-19 disease should leave the set immediately. 7. Production will ensure that disinfectant gel and masks are provided to all workers. Any person without equipment will not have access to the set. 8. Masks cannot be taken off, unless in case of extreme necessity (such as talents stepping in front of the camera). 9. The premises will have sufficient toilets for effective hand washing, with water point, liquid soap, disposable towels and closed garbage can. 10. Workers must respect the following preventive measures: regular hand washing (water+soap or disinfectant gel), blowing their noses in disposable tissues, avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth. 11. A cleaning procedure for surfaces and equipment (including electro, set design, HMC...) will be established beforehand and implemented during the whole shoot. The premises will be cleaned carefully twice a day, before and after the shoot. 12. Particular attention will be paid to the proper aeration of the premises. No AC.
Specific measures concerning HMC and talents (actors, extras, etc)
1. HMC : single-use equipment shall be preferred. When not possible, equipment shall be personal to each actor and regularly disinfected. See specific sector guide once published. 2. Hair or make-up touch-ups will be done by the actors themselves as much as possible. 3. Costumes will be disinfected beforehand by a specialized laundry. During the shooting, the clothes of each actor will be identified and separated by plastic protections. In the case of body-doubles, a double wardrobe must be provided. 4. Scenes with animals are not advised. 5. Scenes where two or several people must come into close contact should be limited. 6. Work with actors under the age of 18 or with at risk people should be considered on a case-by-case basis. 7. The presence of extras should be avoided as much as possible. As far as possible, crew members will be used as extras in order to keep the number of people present to a minimum. The same rules apply for the HMC as for the main actors.
Catering, Craft Services, Breaks, etc.
1. Physical distancing will be observed 2. The lunch pause in an inside mess will be limited to 30 minutes per person. 3. Meals will be separately packaged in an environmentally friendly container, preferably airtight. 4. The catering staff must wear masks and gloves. No self-service. 5. Bottles, cups, mugs or glasses shall be personal and clearly labelled. Ideally, they will be washed daily (several times a day when possible). 6. On-site cafeterias and bars shall be closed. 7. Craft tables are prohibited. A package including snacks for the whole day shall be provided to each worker. Individually packaged food only is allowed. Fresh fruit will be washed before eating. 8. Break areas will be located outdoors, except when impossible. Workers shall maintain physical distancing.