Directors trade body, Directors UK, has released a new set of guidelines aimed at factual directors shooting under COVID restrictions.

Working Under COVID: Advice for Factual Directors has been compiled by Directors UK in collaboration with Directors UK Board Member and factual director Nic Guttridge, legal counsel Prash  Naik and  safety consultants First Option.

The advice was developed in consultation with working factual directors and members of the Directors UK Pay and Working Conditions Committee. The advice offers factual directors a structured approach to decision making to help ensure their own safety and that of their crew and contributors during the pandemic. The advice takes government health and safety advice and top-level industry guidance and fills in the gaps for factual directors who often have a range of responsibilities beyond those encountered in drama or scripted production.

The nature of a factual director’s working environment leaves them particularly exposed to the risks of COVID-19. Unpredictable ‘real world’ environments, and contributors who aren’t paid professionals used to the requirements of filming, make proper planning and preparation more vital than ever.

Nic Guttridge said: “Even under ordinary conditions, stories about excessive hours, painful schedules, and a lack of adequate support on location make it clear that safety standards have not always been met within factual production. But this pandemic gives us an opportunity to reset the dial and build a better industry –one in which our ‘new normal’ is kinder, more inclusive, and more human-focused. And in which safety for all is unquestionably the highest of priorities.”

Jon Creamer