New Norm With Video Production Companies in Los Angeles
What is the new norm for working with video production companies in Los Angeles? Well, it depends upon the type of production. Movie and TV productions still are shut down. Small media productions, my focus in this post, are possible.
From the beginning newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts and other media services have been deemed essential businesses in Los Angeles. That means a small video shoot can proceed as long as safety guidelines are followed. The CDC guidelines are a good place to start for more information on what to do to stay safe.
Fortunately, the vast majority of commercial video shoots for businesses are small and shouldn’t have a problem meeting the guidelines. Of course, the fact that most companies aren’t spending money on new marketing videos is another issue. What I want to talk about is how to stay safe for those who are doing video shoots now.
So let’s go over some of the new norms for commercial productions in Los Angeles and how to stay compliant with local guidelines.
The most important thing is to think small! That means less than 10 people between cast and crew. Keep it under 10 and you’re good.
For the time being, put off your ideas that need a bigger crew for later. Design your production from the very beginning with a simple story or message that doesn’t require a lot of people.
This is actually quite easy to do. A lot of ideas and scripts for product videos, social media content and promotional videos can be produced with only a handful of crew and a couple of actors.
Save your big image pieces that need a group of actors, more locations and more equipment along a bigger crew to run everything for when the crisis is over.
Read more about focusing on small crew shoots in our post, corporate video production post Covid 19: portability and efficiency.
Wearing a mask is already required so this is an easy one. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Other than on-camera talent, all others should be wearing a mask. When actors are not on-camera, they should wear masks.
Speaking of actors, you’ll have to use non-union actors. As of this writing, the Screen Actors Guild has not given the go ahead for actors to return to sets.
This normally isn’t an issue in the under 10 cast and crew production world for business videos as the vast majority are non-union anyway. It’s something to be aware of in case you were planning on using union actors.
No shaking hands
This is probably the easiest to follow. Just don’t shake hands with anybody! Very simple. Again, this is something you should’ve dropped at the beginning of the crisis so all you have to do is to continue to not shake hands.
Keep 6 feet away
Another basic guideline that you should also be following. It may be difficult and at certain times unavoidable but do your best to maintain at least a six foot distance from other people during the shoot.
Have hand sanitizer available
Ideally, have a couple of hand sanitizers available and use it often! Make sure everyone knows where the bathroom is and wash your hands frequently. Try not to touch other people’s property or equipment.
It’s much harder for the virus to spread outside than it is inside so shoot at an outdoor location if at all possible. Can your script be adapted for an outside location? If so, then change it.
When you have to film inside, find as big of a room as you can that’s well-ventilated. That means filming in the lobby or in the largest conference room rather than the empty 8 x 8 office that clients always seem to want to film in (which is never a good idea).
Have actors do their own makeup
For a movie or a big commercial, this isn’t possible. For your one minute product video it’s most definitely feasible.
Just be clear with anyone who will be appearing on-camera, that because of the pandemic, they will need to do their own makeup. Explain that it is for everyone’s safety and it most likely won’t be a problem. If you have a makeup artist on set, make sure they wear gloves.
Use a shotgun mic on a boom pole
Rather than have the sound person mic up actors with lavalier mics and a transmitter on their body, use a shotgun mic on a boom pole.
It’s easy for interviews, just attach the boom pole to a stand. If an actor will be walking or moving around on camera, get a boom operator.
Follow these super simple and easy to follow guidelines and you’ll get your video made while staying safe and being compliant.
About Gate5, a Los Angeles video production company
Gate5 is a full service video production company in Los Angeles producing engaging and results driven video content for big and small businesses and advertising agencies from tutorials to commercials.
We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit social media content, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.
Need a live stream or a video project created in post during the shut down? Contact us to discuss your project.
Click here for our video samples.