The safety committee of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, met last week to develop a set of protocols to prepare camera teams for the eventual resumption of film and TV production.
“The conversation about how to return to work safely is getting louder, and I’m hearing more and more from people around the industry about what we think the camera department protocols ought to be,” said Local 600 president John Lindley in his latest video message to the guild’s members. Once developed, he said, those protocols will go to Rebecca Rhine, the local’s national executive director, “so that she can represent us in the larger conversation within the IA (IATSE) and with the other guilds.”
See the video here:
“It’s always important to remember,” Rhine said in the video, “that the employer is responsible, ultimately, for creating and maintaining a safe work environment. But it’s really important that we understand what the issues are that we need to be resolved before people feel that they can go back to work safely. There’s no such thing as a risk-free workplace, but what there are are best practices and mitigation, and we don’t want to send anyone back one minute too soon before every single precaution has been identified and taken.”
In a previous message, Rhine said that “There are a lot of moving parts as we have this conversation. You have the various unions and guilds; you have the various employers; you have the medical establishment, and you have a number of things that are outside our control: government guidelines; state and federal guidelines about how many people can gather together; whether there’s an effective vaccine or treatment that’s developed in the foreseeable future; how insurance companies will insure productions as we move forward.
“And all of these have to be taken into account as we take input from so many sources to try and come up with the right set of protocols. At that point, the Joint Labor-Management Safety Committee is the vehicle that the IA uses to have those conversations. And I participate in those meetings, as do all of the other locals in Hollywood. And I think that there will be a fairly robust conversation about how do we get people back to work safely, but how do we do it in a time frame that allows the industry to get back to work.”
The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee, which has been implementing safety procedures for decades, will play a major role in establishing those protocols. Formed in 1965, it’s comprised of guild, union, and management representatives who research, write and recommend guidelines for on-set safety practices.