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Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production
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Lights, Cameras, Masks… Action: the New Normal for Film Production
21/07/2020
Group745
Advertising Agency
London, UK
130
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Ogilvy Health London's head of production Simon Stacey looks at the now familiar restrictions of shooting during Covid-19
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Simon Stacey, head of production at Ogilvy Health London reflects on the changes to film production over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Although film production isn’t a sector that’s been legally required to close as a result of Covid-19, we still have a duty of care to anyone attending a shoot – agency, talent, crew and client. The APA (Advertising Producers Association) has issued guidelines to help production companies work within the social distancing principles – and a new normal for film production is quickly establishing itself.

One interesting development is the trend for live streaming shoots. We’re now able to set up systems that allow people to dial directly into the film set, with feeds from the main camera and additional satellite cameras. This means we can use minimal crew on set, helping us manage safe social distancing and meet the appropriate hygiene requirements.  

The main restrictions are, by now, familiar to everyone. Film sets must use areas that are large enough to allow safe distancing, while masks are worn as much as possible. In addition, we’re minimising the time that actors work closely together, and though we can still use stylists for hair and make-up, they’re all required to wear full PPE. The requirements, and the logistical implications of live streaming, have naturally changed the entire dynamic of film shoots. But the innovative new approach is helping us find a safe way through. 

So what’s it all mean for client work? Setting up for live streaming does require additional budget – though costs vary depending on the amount of people dialling in and the streaming delay. Shoots are generally taking longer – with many moving from one to two days. This is impacting pre- and post-production timelines and, of course, costs too. But with video rapidly becoming one of the most popular and effective components of brand marketing strategy, the additional investment is worth it. The alternatives could be far more costly in every sense of the word. 

Images courtesy of The Operators Creative

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