I. Film Production Health & Safety
These are the health and safety measures taken by the Film and Television Division specifically to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while resuming on-ground activities. Special care has been taken to consider the industry approved and state mandated media production guidelines for safe sets most appropriate for film students. However, students are ultimately responsible for their own safety and those around them.
Below are the minimum requirements and that students should always adhere to higher precautions as they deem necessary. Five Towns College is not liable for the health and safety of students on film productions. The Five Towns College Plan for Reopening (Plan) outlines the college wide precautions. Any guidelines provided in the Plan supersede this document.
The Film and Television Division will have signs posted around the Equipment Room and Room 303/Studio A areas. Additionally, students will be provided with a set of laminated signs to post around their film sets as part of the COVID-19 Health & Safety Kit any time they checkout equipment.
These are the signs to be provided:
- Cast/Crew Limited to 6 People Notice
- Hand Hygiene, PPE Instructions, and How to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
- Equipment Handling Limited to 1 Person Notice
- Film Set Health & Safety Compliance and Reporting Hotline Notice
- Do not touch face/mask sign
- Signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Students are encouraged to post additional signs as suitable for their film set. CDC approved signs are available here:
Students are encouraged to read the following industry guidelines on safe sets.
New York State Guidance for Media Production
PERG Return to Work Guidelines
Worldwide COVID-19 Film Production Guidelines
Doc Society – COVID Risk Assessment Checklist
II. FILM SET HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTING HOTLINE
We acknowledge that there can be moments when peer pressure to break health & safety precautions can feel insurmountable. When prevention is not possible, the professional thing to do is to speak up when you see something. The best option is to say or do something to directly correct the situation. However, sometimes you may need to report the activity after the fact or to another person.
To support our students we have created a way for anyone to report health & safety violations and concerns that you witness on any FTC related film set.
You can report anonymously. However you are encouraged to provide contact information if it will help with thorough follow up.
The form is available in the Resources folder on the Film/Video Division Board on Schoology and here: https://bit.ly/31qHV5s
III. EQUIPMENT POLICIES
- Students must read and sign to acknowledge receipt of the Health & Safety Production Guidelines before checking out equipment.
- Equipment kit reservations must be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance.
- Equipment checkouts and check-ins will require precise appointment times.
- Checkouts will have a 15-minute grace period before the equipment is returned to the shelves.
- Check-ins will have a 15-minute grace period before the $50 late fee is imposed.
- Equipment will only be approved for coursework. Due to the burdens of sanitizing equipment, extracurricular projects will not be approved for equipment at this time.
- Equipment is only available in kits as assigned to each individual course.
- Students MUST use the Spring 2021 Call Sheet Template. This has been emailed to all students and is posted in the Resources folder in the Film/Video Division Board on Schoology and the Film/Video Division Wiki. A call sheet must be submitted to professor when requesting equipment before approval.
- Failure to adhere to these policies or the health & safety production guidelines may result in stopping all equipment checkouts for the entire Division and/or access to the studio space.
IV. HEALTH & SAFETY PRODUCTION GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS
Students and anyone involved with an FTC film production MUST adhere to these guidelines. Any safety precautions required by the college or the government that exceed these guidelines supersede these requirements.
- These guidelines must be sent in an email with the call sheet to everyone involved with the film production at least 24 hours BEFORE filming commences. A separate PDF titled “Health & Safety Production Guidelines for Students” is available in the Resources folder in the Film and Television Division Board on Schoology and the Film and Television Division Wiki. If you do not have access to this Schoology group, contact email@example.com to be added.
- ALL student film productions MUST submit a call sheet to instructors for approval at least 48 hours BEFORE filming.
1. Students MUST use the Spring 2021 Call Sheet Template provided and fill it out entirely with ALL cast/crew information. The bit.ly links and COVID statement cannot be removed.
2. Students MUST receive approval IN WRITING from their instructor before filming.
3. Students MUST send the approved call sheet to all cast/crew no less than 12 hours before the call time.
4. The call sheet must be re-submitted to the professor if the location, cast, or crew are changed after initial submission.
5. If students shoot without call sheet approval disciplinary action may be taken.
- All participants must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. This includes cast members while acting. Be creative and use the movie magic of different angles or VFX to make actors appear closer.
- This distance is increased to 12 feet if actors are doing anything that increases their outward breath projection (running, yelling, singing, etc.). These activities are only permitted outdoors.
- Film set locations MUST be on the Five Towns College campus or outdoors. Students who wish to work together outside of campus MUST have the location approved by the Film and Television Division Chair in writing. This permission is not required if the student works entirely alone or only with their housemates.
- Requests to shoot indoors with the presence of classmates can be made via a meeting with the Chair. The Chair’s virtual office hours are posted on the Film and Television Division Board on Canvas. Be prepared to demonstrate the square footage of the location with measurements and photos. Be prepared to present the location’s ventilation system. Both the square footage for capacity and ventilation must adhere to CDC guidelines.
- The location must be outdoors if actors are doing anything that increases their outward breath projection (running, yelling, singing, etc.). Note that reports say that aerosols can remain in the air for 4 hours.
- The total number of people (cast & crew) permitted on a film set at one time is limited to 6 people. No set visitors are permitted.
- All cast/crew MUST be currently enrolled students at Five Towns College that have signed the Waiver of Liability as mentioned in the Five Towns College Plan for Reopening. Hiring of crew is ultimately the responsibility of the director/producer of the project. There are 2 exceptions to this:
- The student is working without the help of their classmates and ONLY works with their housemates.
- The student is filming in a public place outdoors with more than 6 feet between people at all times.
- Masks must be worn at all times on set. The only exception is for actors while on camera. Actors are to wear masks when present on set during rehearsals, blocking, and between takes if the reset is not immediate. The camera, crew, and actors are to remain a minimum of 6 feet away from each other. Masks must cover your nose AND mouth. Wearing around your chin or below nose is not acceptable.
- Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes must be readily available on set at all times during production. The film’s producer is responsible for providing these items. If there is no separate producer, the director is the de facto producer. If a cast or crew member touches their face or mask they must immediately disinfect their hands.
- Access to sink with soap must be available at all times during production. The cast and crew must take a break to thoroughly wash their hands at least once every hour during filming.
- Working while sick or with symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted at any time. If a cast/crew member develops symptoms within 14 days of being on a film production they MUST report this to the Film Set Health & Safety Reporting Hotline. All cast/crew on that production will be notified for contact tracing purposes.Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- The signs provided in the Health & Safety Kit must be posted in a visible place during production. Students not checking out equipment may request these kits while filming with personal equipment.
- Shoot days are to remain under 6 hours, as hot catered meals are required for shoots that exceed 6 hours total. The logistics of safe food handling at a student production level are not typically achievable.
- The filming location must have all high touch areas wiped down with sanitizing wipes BEFORE and AFTER production.
- For crews that have 2-4 people, the equipment must only be handled by a single crew member. Equipment staging areas must be separated by crew member designated to that equipment to keep crew at least 6 feet apart. This applies to props as well.For example:
- Sound Recordist is the only one who handles the sound equipment. Actors MUST mic themselves. The Sound Recordist is not to handle a lav mic and then place it on an actor. The lav mic must be returned directly to the case when it is no longer in use and cannot be traded between actors.
- Camera Operator is the only one who handles the camera equipment.
- Lighting Technician is the only one who handles the lighting equipment.
- Student production meetings must be conducted virtually.
- Casting and auditions must be conducted virtually via self-tape and online video conferencing.
- Any students who choose not to follow these guidelines or practice any unsafe behavior in contradiction to local government guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action, which may include shutting down equipment and studio access for the entire Division.
Video conferencing software is recommended for conducting rehearsals with actors prior to production to reduce time and contact on set.
Conducting a thorough location scout is recommended to better prepare for specific site logistics, such as sink accessibility. Scouts must be conducted in a way that maintains social distancing.
Note: All Film and Television students MUST read and sign this document in order to checkout equipment for the Fall 2020 semester.