Post and vfx trade body, UK Screen Alliance, has published its guidance for safe working as lockdown eases during the coronavirus crisis.

“Guidance for safe working in Post-Production and Visual Effects during the COVID-19 Pandemic”, has been put together in consultation with companies from the post and VFX sectors, several US Studios and industry bodies British Film Institute, British Film Commission, Pact and BECTU and the UK government.

The guidance has been published at the same time as the BFC’s for the production of film and high end TV.

While post and VFX companies have been able to keep working during lockdown with a combination remote working and skeleton on-prem staff,  much of the post work in the pipelines is now drying up due to the production shutdown. As competition increases for the work available, the guidelines serve to set out minimum safety standards. “UK Screen Alliance contends that companies must never compete on their acquiescence to compromise the health and safety of their staff or clients. Their guidance aims to define industry-accepted best practice, reduce confusion, and give consistency across the sector, thereby lessening the pressure on employers to accept external demands for modes of working which could be considered unsafe for workers or visitors.”

Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sport Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP said: “The UK is recognised around the globe as a brilliant place to make films, and is home to the world’s best film and high-end TV talent. We’ve worked hard to support the industry through these difficult times, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to agree this step forward towards getting the cameras rolling safely again.”

Neil Hatton , CEO, UK Screen Alliance, said: “The combined launch of detailed guidance for filming and for post-production is a significant indication that the UK’s film & TV’s industry is proactively making itself open for business. Post-production and VFX never closed. The guidance for post & VFX will be a living document; currently a statement of current best practice, and it will evolve into a route map back to on premises working whilst ensuring the safety of our employees, contractors and clients.”

Sir William Sargent, CEO , Framestore, said: “This document, by the UK Screen Alliance, is a major contribution to getting our community back to work in a safe and productive environment. The speed and contribution from all parts of our sector shows commitment and solidarity at the same scale as the world class standards we all operate at.”

Alex Hope OBE, DNEG Co-Founder, said: “The BFC’s COVID-19 recovery Production Guidance and UK Screen Alliance’s Post and VFX Guidance provide the industry with a framework under which it can re-open for business. The speed and thoroughness with which these guidelines have been produced demonstrates the extraordinary level of cohesion and integration found in the UK’s screen sector.”

Rich Moss, MD, Gorilla TV, said: “Gorilla TV welcomes this industry guidance from UK Screen Alliance and is pleased to add our endorsement to this comprehensive document. Although Gorilla has remained operational throughout this crisis, a staggered ‘return to work’ brings its own challenges which can be managed through use of this guide which we hope will help bring a level of normality to our Industry in the future.”

Lucy Ainsworth Taylor, CEO, Bluebolt,said: “It is essential we do not lose the creative collaborative environments we had pre-Covid 19. This guidance will advise you on how to apply government advice and bring safety into your office environments.”

David Klafkowski, CEO, The Farm Group, said: “I’ve been very concerned that everyone returning to work feels as safe as they possibly can. Even if the risks are low, employees and clients may well be anxious. UK Screen Alliance’s efforts in the creation of this guidance go a long way in providing this reassurance that our industry is getting back to work while taking the right steps for the health and well-being of everyone.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said:  “The industry is extremely keen to restart production as soon as possible, but not without a comprehensive road map for how to do it safely while the threat of COVID-19 still looms large. Today’s Guidance provides that reassurance, reflecting the latest Government, technical and medical advice available. We will also update it on a regular basis, giving clarity on the latest measures recommended to ensure a safe shoot for cast, crew and the wider public.

“This is a vital step to getting our world class film and high-end TV sector back up and running, giving the world confidence we have the most rigorous safety measures in place, and signalling that our sector is ready to return to full strength, and to making its important contribution to the UK Exchequer.”

 

The guidance can be found here

Guidance for Safe Working in Post-Production and VFX during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jon Creamer