Film & TV Production Gets Green Light In Spain, Read The Extensive Safety Protocols

Filmmaking production crew

The Spanish Film Commission has published its guidelines for coronavirus-safe shooting as the country begins to ease its lockdown this week.

As of Monday, May 11, shooting is now allowed to resume in regions that are progressing to stage one of the government’s reduction of its lockdown, which covers roughly half of the country’s population, though does not include major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona.

It goes without saying that the move does not automatically mean production will resume promptly, with numerous hurdles to overcome including questions around securing insurance, though it does pave the way for producers to begin thinking about getting back up and running. Smaller shoots, such as some commercials or local TV shows, may resume sooner than larger films or high-end TV.

The 23-page document covers an extensive variety of protocols and is one of the most thorough such docs we’ve seen to date.

Among the key points outlined are: cast and crew should be tested 15 days before they return to set followed by a period of isolation, which is confirmed in a written statement; daily temperature tests using a non-contact thermometer; daily ventilation of indoor spaces; maintaining distance on set, and wearing PPE when this isn’t possible; disinfecting toilets six times a day and having regular cleaning of sets; no sharing of phones or computers, or printing on paper.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the measures.

  • Closed areas must be cleaned and disinfected before filming. Special attention should be paid to common use areas and the most frequent contact surfaces such as door knobs, tables, furniture.
  • Shoots where there is no direct contact between actors and actresses can begin, as long as they conform with general prevention and hygiene measures outlined by health authorities. Where the work requires closer proximity and PPE cannot be used, specific measures must be established for each particular case by the person responsible for the filming based on the recommendations of health authorities.
  • Anyone displaying coronavirus symptoms should not go to work; they must also inform their employers and quarantine at home. Anyone who has come into contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive should not return for 14 days, even if they are symptomless.
  • Anyone in a vulnerable group should not return to work. If they cannot work remotely they should look to benefit from temporary disability benefit.
  • Producers must prepare and provide workers with a general outline of protocols, with specific measures for each space and job. They must also take into account psychological concerns. The production company is responsible for applying the protocols to all activities.
  • The production company must offer information to all staff on the accident insurance in place, and the closest hospital with an emergency department. It is the responsibility of the producers to evaluate the need for having a health professional present on set.
  • It is advisable for staff to undergo a COVID-19 test 15 days prior to beginning work that indicates if they either currently suffer from the virus or can transmit it (this does not apply to those who participate in the production but do not access the shooting location).
  • Remote working should be prioritized for all pre-production and post-production phases, including casting, scouting, and any meetings.
  • Production companies should guarantee workers safe transportation between their residence and the workplace. And transport between locations should be carried out with minimum possible risk. Individual transport is preferable, maintaining two meters between people.
  • In the case of public transport, the maximum possible distance should be maintained between passengers, with a max of two people per row of seats.
  • Two meters must be maintained between each person on set and marked on the ground when possible. Groups gathering in common areas should be avoided. When distance cannot be maintained, people should use PPE. Stairs should used when possible; lifts should be used by one person at a time.
  • Information about hygiene measures should be posted around the set.
  • The production company must provide appropriate PPE and disinfectant gels to all workers.
  • Hands must be washed regularly, particularly when entering or leaving sets, and facilities should be operated by foot when possible. Coughing and sneezing should be directed into a disposable tissue or the inside of your elbow. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. As much as possible, do not wear contact lenses, keep nails short and neat, and hair tied back.
  • Production companies must disinfect facilities as many times as necessary, especially when opening or closing them. Disinfectant products must be those authorized by the Ministry of Health. Frequently used surfaces must be disinfected daily. Cleaning materials must be disposed of safely after use. When areas are shared by more than one person, they must be disinfected after each use.
  • Toilets must have a maximum occupancy of one person, except for when someone requires assistance. They should be disinfected six times a day.
  • Ventilation of indoor spaces should be carried out at last daily.
  • The use of all mobile phones, computers and tablets should be limited to one person, with sharing prohibited. Printing on paper should be avoided.
  • Only essential technical and artistic members of the team should access the set.
  • Extras should adhere to the above guidelines and not be changed during filming.
  • Entrance to and from the set should always be staggered.
  • Temperature checks are recommended for every worker each day before they enter the set, using a non-contact (infrared) thermometer.
  • For make-up, hair and costuming, PPE must be warn ensuring the protection of crew and cast, with disinfection of materials after each use.
  • The clothing of each actor should be separated with plastic covers and washed in a specialized disinfectant wash. Any shared garments must be sanitized after each use.
  • Camera, light and grip equipment must arrive on set with a disinfection guarantee signed by the supplier. It can only be used by authorized personnel and must be disinfected daily.
  • Tie microphones must be disinfected after each shot and will only be used by one actor. Headsets will be non transferable and disinfected after each use. When used, a pole microphone must be kept at a safe distance from an actor and disinfected after each use.
  • Catering must be provided in shifts with safe numbers of people eating at any one time. Food will be provided in individual boxes using hermetic (eco-friendly) vegetable fiber containers. Handling of products at the filming location will be reduced to the minimum and catering staff will be provided with the necessary clothing, single-use waterproof gloves and the use of protective masks.
  • Disposable cutlery, preferably eco-friendly, should be provided, and anything reusable should be washed at more than 60ºC after each use.
  • All stage cars must arrive with a disinfectant guarantee from the supplier and disinfected after each use.
  • Filming with minors must be done in consultation with labor authorities regarding the necessary conditions that must be established.
  • The production will designate an individual or team to carry out a daily register of actions to be carried out to prevent the virus spread.
  • Shooting can taken place in private locations, provided they are disinfected, but it is not allowed to shoot in locations where the use of common spaces for access is required.
  • Administrators in each region will determine if public shooting can taken place, and the conditions for this. Recommendations established in the Good Practice Guide must be maintained, whenever feasible.
  • International shoots are subject to the limitations set by foreign countries and current travel restrictions.

You can read the full document here.

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