COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines

As we continue to provide practicable and safe approaches to all phases of production and post production, we issue the following updates informed by a wealth of past experience in some of the most challenging of times and input from our union counter parts of the IATSE, Directors Guild of America and Teamster (Local 399 and 817).

A constant since version 1 is the emphasis placed on remaining diligent in placing an unprecedented amount of thought and planning with steadfast attention to hygiene and sanitation to maintain safe and healthy work environments. By proactively articulating our resolve toward this goal, we hope to continue to inspire the confidence of all participants, as well as civic leaders and regulators. We want our industry to function with full confidence that we are doing so responsibly, taking into consideration every angle of keeping all personnel on our sets and in our facilities, safe.

Depending on the specifics of the work location, the composition of employees, and the overall conditions dictated by the rules of civil authorities, practical adjustments will have to be made using individual judgement. It is safe to assume that the way we approach work has forever been changed. With leadership and planning, we can approach this from a place of innovation rather than concession, finding new ways to work safely, efficiently, and effectively.

All facets of our business must ensure the level of safety for all involved, by all involved, and should never be compromised. We must be mindful and realistic about factors such as time and cost that will be affected by necessary diligence. While we are constantly developing new practices to dovetail with outside entities, communication and understanding of these new practices must foster confidence with all parties who are part of the process. Other entities that influence or establish employee-based rules (unions, OSHA, etc.) and government authorities (Federal, State, Local or Foreign) that will have varying degrees of oversight regarding how we congregate in offices, facilities and on-set will continue to challenge our approaches (e.g. size of groupings allowed). These factors will evolve, as will our practices, but the basic premise of working with the safety of individuals in mind, and respect for all those in the surrounding environments in which we work will be a constant—and will inherently prefigure any developing requirements.

These new practices will require patience and mutual respect. Each company will implement the following guidelines, as works best for differing scenarios. Experience by our membership leads to responsible behavior that must ultimately become second nature for all personnel.

Having produced thousands of commercials under the previous six versions of the guidelines first developed in late April of 2020, we all continue to learn. We've proven our commitment to the business and to each other and have proven our ability to adapt. While there can be no equivocating when it comes to maintaining a safe work environment, our industry is comprised of filmmaking professionals who have each other's backs, at every turn of a project, this dynamic is of even greater importance when it comes to health and safety. There will undoubtedly be times when an individual will need to be reminded that they can step off the set and go outside for some mask-less fresh air, there will be times when an individual will need to be reminded to check their distance from another individual, there will be times when an individual will need to be reminded to wash their hands or fix their PPE. Any amount of designated COVID personnel cannot be in all places at all times. Any participant on any production not only has the right to help correct something in need of correcting, they should feel compelled to and should be encouraged to take action by those in charge. This goes between departments, and it knows no rank. And, this should not be done from the position of anger or shame. This is us having each other’s backs in a time where the entire world needs to have each other’s backs.

For the foreseeable future, we will keep offering leadership and  guidance, with the goal of maintaining the responsible, productive industry we are so proud to be a part of.

Version 8, a.k.a. Appendix A to the AICP Multi-Union Safety and Testing Protocols - Last Updated 04/30/21 (Click Here for PDF Version)

This information is designed as a service to AICP Members and is intended only to provide general information on the subject covered and not as a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of that subject, legal advice or a legal opinion. Members are advised to consult with legal counsel and other professionals with respect to the application of the subject covered to any specific production or other factual situation.