Production safety guidelines issued by the EUFCN and the EIHSFI as Europe starts to come out of lockdown

10 May, 2020

As EU countries begin lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions, the European Film Commissions Network and the European Institute for Health and Safety in Film Industry have issued a baseline set of safety rules and protocols for film production that should be adopted on film sets in the following period.

Although film production will resume after the decrease or termination of government preventive measures, the risk of contagion will persist for the next months or longer, and since a film shoot often involves a large group of people, and shootings can extend on a long period of time, technical and organizational measures for contagion prevention need to be established.

The joint European film commissions’ document includes 10 categories which cover testing, personal protective equipment, personal disinfection, on-site organisation, temperature measurement, catering, necessary documentation, management during filming, and waste management.

These measures have been issued in accordance with the European Safety Directive 89/391/EEC, and depending on the EU legislation of the individual countries, they can be adapted from country to country and from project to project. The organizations also recommend that these measures be decided before the film shoot begins.

The guidelines include:

All actors should be tested for SARS-CoV-2 virus as close as possible to the filming date so that the test is relevant at the beginning of the shoot.

Moreover, the main actors should be completely separated from the rest of the crew, because their presence is necessary throughout the project.

Extras in scenes without actors should have their own department; they must wear face masks at all times, except the actual shooting scenes. Extras in scenes with actors, where the shot requires a distance shorter than 2 m, must undergo testing just like actors and must be separated from the other extras.

Make-up artists must have separate makeup sets for actors and people listed above. It is recommended to consider having different make-up artists for actors and for extras. They are also required to wear protective masks and gloves.

All crew members present on the set must be equipped with face masks and protective gloves. Face masks should be replaced every 3 hours.

All surfaces touched by the actors must be disinfected beforehand, especially when filming in a public space in the city or in another uncontrolled environment. It’s important that the costumes undergo regular disinfection.The frequency will depend on the individual risk assessment.

If the scene being shot is extensive, crew members must carry pocket disinfectant wipes or a 30 mil bottle of personal disinfectant so they don’t have to leave during filming to hand disinfectant stands. Stands with hand disinfectant gel need to be placed near the facilities, catering and directly on the set.

It is necessary to take into account more space requirements for the use of locations in a public space, so that there is a 2 m distance between team members. At the same time, sufficient space must be available for the crew to eat so they can be spaced from each other.

Before filming commences, production and suppliers need to become familiar with the risks and measures for filming. Information boards with safety instructions (hand washing, covering mouth when coughing, avoiding contact with face areas, etc) are recommended to be placed at the shooting locations.

The full document is available here. The guidelines specific to each country are added here, as they are updated.

Writer, photographer and videographer. For Films in Frame she writes news about the latest happenings in the film world and brings to the readers' attention the productions that can be seen at the cinema. When she's not writing articles, she's photographing people in a small studio or searching for new cake recipes.