• Lea Jakobiak

5 Ways To Nail A Socially Distanced Video Shoot Whilst Keeping Crew Safe

Keeping your content fresh, relevant, exciting, and topical, is not an easy job. In 2020, this has meant thinking outside of the box, whilst ensuring everyone involved stays safe.

The crew featuring facemasks amid COVID-19 restrictions

Businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, and while social interaction has, for the most part, moved online, we’re always trying to find ways to continue creating memorable content for our clients - in a safe, and regulated manner.

So here are five things we have adopted in order to produce content in a way that is safe for everyone involved.

1. Get the crew to wear facemasks

Carbo, the lightest folding electric bike in the world, asked Zena Media to keep the fresh content coming despite lockdown restrictions. So our team took all the precautionary measures needed to do so in a way that was safe for everyone involved, and here's the result!

2. Train one of your Producers to become a qualified COVID officer

Many clients now request that a shoot includes a COVID officer. Think of it as someone responsible for 'Health & Safety' overall. Whilst this is an option, it costs about 300 GBP per day. So why not give one of your Producers the right training instead? It's free, and you kill two birds with one stone.

Here is the link:

3. Keep the crew as small as possible

Studios are usually filled with people; Floor Managers, several camera operators, Producers, Assistant Producers, Guest Bookers, Guests, Runners, Make-Up Artists, Sound Technicians, the list goes on.

But this is how the latest CNBC Catalyst x IDA Ireland shoot looked, a production our Head of Content Lea Jakobiak worked on. The crew at the studio was kept to an absolute minimum, in order to keep the headcount down.

The Directors and Producers all joined in virtually via an all-day feed through Microsoft Teams. This meant the show could still be filmed, whilst keeping those involved safe.

4. Send a "home video kit" to your key online contributors

We cannot take for granted that those who we are asking to take part in our online show or online interview have the right set up, correct light or connection at home. But the quality of their shot and their connection will make or break the show.

So it's worth investing in a small "filming from home" kit that you can send to your contributors, just for the day of the shoot (and you get it back once the shoot is done).

What the pack contains will depend on your budget, but the basics will be a ring light, a solid webcam, a mini tripod for a smartphone and if possible a dongle.

If you're organising a big online event, you don't have to send this to all your attendees, but to the online Moderator and the Panellists for example.

5. Keep 2 metres apart at all times

Not all productions can be done remotely. Some content requires things to be filmed from scratch. But even if that's the case, it's possible to do it safely, by ensuring the location is disinfected and that the crew keeps the recommended distance.

We had the pleasure of working with our favourite media partner, Fintech Finance, to produce and film a new promo video for Fintech brand Hooyu.

Fintech Finance hired a house in Canterbury, and ensured it had been disinfected and totally cleaned out before shooting.

The cameramen stayed two metres away from the person they were filming at all times.

Most of us need content to stay informed, connected and entertained.

As a result, content production is here to stay. What the industry has proven over the past few months is that it's possible to continue to produce quality content in a safe way, by using these methods.

Let us know how you are getting on, or if you have any other tips to share in the comments below!

- Team Zena Media