The British Film Commission has kicked off a consultation to work out how inward investment films and TV shows can safely get back into production once coronavirus restrictions ease.

Part of the BFI’s COVID-19 Taskforce, the British Film Commission (BFC) has put together draft production protocols to cover best practice on set, on location, and by department.

The draft codes of practice will be sent to the BFC’s key US and UK production clients, UK nations and regions’ screen agencies, public stakeholders, private organisations, trade bodies, industry and unions.

The proposed Protocols will be shared with the BFI Task Force, and presented to government for endorsement as part of a package of measures that are being put together across the sector.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said: “Like many of the UK’s sectors, COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to combat it risk profound and potentially long-lasting economic impacts on film and TV production. There will need to be modifications to the way film and TV shows are made.

“We are working with Government and industry to develop a set of protocols that address the Government’s five tests, and are ongoing, adjustable, pragmatic and common-sense, with proposals scalable to be relevant to any size of scripted production. That will allow the film and TV industry to get back up and shooting as soon and as safely as possible, and playing its part in restoring the health of the UK economy.

“While ideally, production would start again as soon as it is safe to do so, that timetable is up to the Government. But we need to be ready to restart as soon as the restrictions are lifted.”

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of the BFI, said: “We are determined to ensure the UK is ready to resume production as soon as possible, and the inward investment group has been working at pace to produce practical and scalable production protocols and processes. I am full of admiration for the huge amount of work that has gone into producing these comprehensive production guidelines.”

The closing date for responses to the consultation on the draft Production Codes of Practice is Friday 15 May 2020.

Jon Creamer