- NEW YORK
The AICP’s COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines and Considerations for production and postproduction have been updated for a third time (marked as Version 4) since their initial launch in late April. There are new sections, including one on human resources considerations and screening, as well as revamped items based on new information being released from many private and public sources.
“When AICP launched these guidelines and considerations last month, we knew they would evolve very quickly and regular changes would be necessary, which is why they have lived only on our website,” said AICP president and CEO Matt Miller. “As responsible production resumes, including commercials, AICP and its members want to ensure that decisions are being made using sensible procedures and with planning in place.” Miller noted that AICP’s members are nationwide, and timelines of when productions resume will remain fluid. For parts of the country, production can--and is--happening, using various forms of remote technology and most recently, small gathered groups; while other regions are still weeks away from any in-person shoots.
“With no direct guidance on safe work in our--or related--industries from any official body, it was imperative that we got in front of this curve to assure that our members had comprehensive guidance and safety considerations to be ready to work, when practical, with the safety of all personnel being the paramount concern,” continued Miller.
The guidelines are intended to assist the commercial production industry and its stakeholders as in-person productions and postproduction work begins to ramp up as shelter in place restrictions are lifted at federal, state and local levels. To create and update the guidelines, AICP staff collaborated with a working group of leaders in the industry and heard from many outside sources eager to contribute their thinking and expertise.
Miller said that these guidelines will evolve as production resumes, and feedback from real-world experiences is considered and collected. “Many of the recommendations in these guidelines and considerations represent a new approach to working. Many are here to stay, while some may be temporary or transitional,” said Miller. “Making sure we communicate with all involved in the process is key to successfully adapting to the new normal, and keeping commercials and advertising content a safe, efficient, and viable industry. The basic premise of working with the safety of individuals in mind is a constant and should be informing all decisions from every sector involved in production and postproduction.”
Miller presented Version 3 of these guidelines to the Advertising Production Management Committee of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) last week. Click here to view and download the latest updated guidelines, or see below:
COVID-19 WORKPLACE GUIDELINES AND CONSIDERATIONS
Version 4 - May 20, 2020
As we prepare (and look forward to) a time where we create practicable approaches to production in the near future, we must be prepared for new realities. This document has been assembled with the mindset that we will have to place an unprecedented amount of thought and planning into steadfast attention regarding hygiene and sanitation that maintains safe and healthy working environments. By proactively articulating our resolve toward this goal, we hope to inspire the confidence of all participants, as well as civic leaders and regulators.
We want our industry to get back to work with confidence that we are doing so responsibly, taking into consideration the unique aspects of our multifaceted industry. In this preparation, we must anticipate how to carry out the myriad aspects that go into Production and Post Production efficiently and effectively.
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 will be forever changed. With leadership and planning, this can come from a place of innovation, and not concession.
All facets of our business must ensure a new level of safety for all involved, by all involved. We must be mindful and realistic about factors such as time and cost that will be affected by required diligence. While we do not yet know how our new practices will 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 (i.e. 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 surrounding the environments in which we work will be a constant—and will inherently prefigure any developing requirements.
One thing is for sure, planning to work with the least number of people in close proximity to each other will not only put us in the mindset of anticipating rules, but it will create a sense of confidence amongst participants that safety measures can be controlled and are of paramount concern to us.
These new ways will require patience and mutual respect. Each company will develop a variety of approaches to implementing recommendations, as works for differing scenarios. Experience by our membership will lead to responsible practices that will ultimately become second nature for all personnel.
For the foreseeable future, we will keep offering insights and commonsense guidance, with the goal of maintaining the responsible, productive industry we are so proud to be a part of.
GENERAL PRACTICES FOR ALL WORKSITES (On-Set/Stage/Studio/Facility/Office)
● Consider the health and wellness of all personnel during these unprecedented times.
● Establish responsible policies for personnel to self-diagnose health symptoms and report to a designated Compliance Assistant.
○ Office: Existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) Administrator
○ Set: Person sourced by the production team
● Consider Policies for personnel traveling — locally and long distance.
● All personnel (in addition to those hired by Agency / Client i.e. talent) to provide contacts for family /
household in case of emergency.
● All personnel should be contacted subsequently in the event that fellow workers or talent are found to
have contracted COVID-19 within two weeks following possible exposure.
● Review any established Paid Time Off policy for conformity with new state and federal requirements.
Symptom Identification and Personal Screening:
● All personnel will be required to participate in daily symptom monitoring prior to arriving on set or
● Some ways to fulfill this requirement are:
○ Electronic survey, which can be pushed to a mobile device. This then provides personnel with an electronic certificate, which they show to gain entry to the building, set, or location.
○ Manual screening by designated individual using checklist (if on set, done by, or coordinated with the Medic) prior to personnel entering the workplace.
● Americans with Disability Act (ADA) conformity:
○ All employees should be subject to the same screening, after a conditional offer of employment.
○ In accordance with the ADA and other applicable laws, only a designated person(s) may be privy to medical information provided by personnel. All such information must be stored separately from the employee’s personnel records and be held in the strictest confidence.
● Please note, when working at a rented facility (e.g. studio lot, stage), there may be specific requirements for screening and it may be performed by designated individuals employed by the facility.
● Currently, testing for active cases is not available on-site. In addition, testing such as antibody testing and temperature taking are not reliable screening indicators — therefore, using symptomatic polling is the most reliable screening process.
Development of Symptoms:
● All personnel are expected to immediately report to a designated person(s) at the workplace if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
● Designated person(s) must know symptoms, protocols to process symptomatic individuals.
● Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave immediately, and return home.
● If any personnel develop symptoms of COVID-19, they must not go to work and should immediately contact their healthcare provider, and their direct supervisor as soon as practicable.
● Anyone who reports to work with symptoms of COVID-19 will be instructed to return home and contact their healthcare provider.● Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 must follow CDC-recommended steps. They should not return to work until the following conditions have been satisfied:
○ The CDC’s current Symptom-Based Strategy is recommended, which at this time calls for:
■ At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
■ At least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.
■ A person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized may return to work only when their healthcare provider advises them to do so.
● Persons who have not had COVID-19 symptoms but who tested positive and are under isolation should follow the CDC’s time-based strategy:
■ At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
■ If they develop symptoms, then the symptom-based strategy should be used.
● Doctor’s notes are not required to return to work as long as the individual meets the CDC criteria listed.
● If any personnel have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must not go to work and should contact their healthcare provider, and direct supervisor or designated person as soon as possible. Local public health guidance for quarantine (14 days) will be followed. “Close contact” will be defined per CDC guidance as within six foot for more than a few minutes’ time.
● If any personnel is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality as required by the ADA.Exposure Reduction:
● Employers may conduct basic testing and request COVID-19 related health history/information
from current or prospective personnel who have received a conditional offer of employment.
● All Employers should familiarize themselves with the US Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission rules in this simple Q&A to create company policy and procedures for each work
● Provide a washing station(s) when there is no access to running water.
● Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol (self-dispensing when
● Separate washing stations from hand sanitizing dispensers.
● Offer appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all personnel.
● Permit people to supply their own PPE, when they have specific personal preferences, as long as
the PPE conforms to the need.
● Ensure proper distancing:
○ At work stations
○ Meal seating
○ Also, when possible, implement 6 foot markings on floors where personnel need to line up
● Designate pathways as one-way when possible.
● Store and stock adequate supplies of all required PPE.
● Encourage a work-from-home strategy when possible.
● Consider shifting work day start and end times to avoid rush hour commutes, congestion in elevators, lobbies, and common areas.
● Request that building management share their preparedness plans and confirm that building staff have appropriate PPE, and are adequately educated regarding social distancing and cleaning / disinfecting protocols.
● Request from building management a safety data sheet for all chemicals used for cleaning and have them confirm that the building’s cleaning equipment is operational and maintained.
● Confirm that management inspects and maintains building equipment outside of your control.
● High touch points and equipment should be regularly wiped down during the day.
● Consider having a designated person in the role of a Compliance Assistant to support in maintaining best practices suitable for your worksite(s).
○ This individual should be trained on health and safety precautions, policies and procedures related to COVID-19 prevention, infection prevention practices including disinfection, and PPE.
○ This individual should be present at all times during work hours.
○ The designated individual(s) will oversee and monitor physical distancing, symptom monitoring, disinfecting protocols, and PPE compliance.
○ All personnel should know who the designated person(s) is and how to contact them.
● During production, incorporate pertinent COVID-19 considerations into Daily Safety Meeting. Staggered start times may require multiple meetings.
● All personnel should familiarize themselves with the current Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 information.
● Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose.
● Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
● Periodically attend to hand hygiene during the day and at the start and end of all scheduled breaks.
● Utilize PPE, including but not limited to face coverings that cover the nose and mouth, face shields, goggles, gloves, finger cots, etc., as needed or required.
● Replace PPE as necessary.
● Dispose, clean, or store PPE properly.
● Limit number of people to essential personnel.
● Maintain good ventilation.
● Maintain social distance of a minimum of 6 feet whenever possible.
● Face coverings should be worn in the presence of others and absolutely required when 6 foot social distance is not possible.
● Maintain personal hygiene and follow CDC advice (e.g. sneeze or cough into the elbow or tissue).
● Work with the Producer and Department Heads to follow proper sanitary guidelines.
Surface Transmission Mitigation:
● Department heads and managers must ensure that proper sanitary measures are being taken.
● Designate individual(s) for overall housekeeping.
● Post signage to remind people to wash and/or sanitize their hands.
● Designate an area to receive deliveries outside vs. inside office / motorhome, and clearly post sanitary policies for messengers and deliveries.
● Provide covered no-touch trash disposal.
● Provide ample disposal receptacles for PPE.
● Provide appropriate disinfectant supplies to all personnel.
● EPA-approved disinfectant with a claim against SARS-CoV-2 should be widely available at the workplace.
● Maintain regular housekeeping practices in your immediate space, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment.
● Use appropriate disinfectant to avoid damaging surfaces.
Reduce Commonplace Touchpoints:
● Provide a sensor-activated environment when possible (water coolers, toilets, faucets, soap dispensers, paper towels, and hand sanitizer dispensers).
● Consider providing finger cots or gloves for any shared equipment (e.g. copy machine, microwave) especially when washing stations are not immediately accessible.
● Assign individual designated printers and scanners when possible.
● Assign tasks to specific individuals when possible (e.g. one person turns office lights on/off, one person adjusts thermostats, one person accesses specific areas, etc).
● Provide specific disposable office supplies, such as pens (and have individuals label and keep them).
● Clean and sanitize all surfaces including high touch areas (fixtures, light switches, appliance handles, buttons, etc.) on arrival and departure of staff and clients.
● Ensure adequate stock of eco-friendly paper and plastic products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc).
● Eliminate self-serve in kitchen and designated food service areas (includes coffee).
● Do not provide snack bowls or unpackaged goods.
● Do not provide fruit that isn’t individually wrapped.
● Do not provide shared platters.
● Stagger group meals to allow for social distancing guidelines.
Reduce Commonplace Touchpoints (Continued):
● Use a cell phone as opposed to a landline.
● Individuals should park and move their own vehicles.
● Use personal/reusable water bottles (clearly labeled with owner’s name), dishes, and flatware when sanitary conditions for use can be maintained. Otherwise, use ecologically friendly single- use flatware, plates, and cups.
● Use contactless payment (as opposed to petty cash) whenever possible.
● Do not share cell phones, tablets, or computers.
PRODUCTION SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS
● Allow the appropriate amount of time to achieve pickups and dropoffs.
● Make decisions on the tech scout, get approvals from Agency / Client as early as possible.
● Consider the potential value of art department prep and strike days. The time may be coordinated with location cleaning requirements.
● Allow for time to switch out and sanitize props as necessary.
● Coordinate between Art and Wardrobe departments with regard to handling of jewelry, bags, etc.
● Schedule pick-up from camera house if necessary.
● Handling of camera equipment should be done only by members of the camera department.
● Review procedures of camera houses to minimize the number of handlers.
● Consider remote casting sessions and callbacks.
● Schedule in-person auditions and callbacks further apart to accommodate social distance.
● Require that talent honor their specified appointment time.
● Distribute scripts digitally.
● Check talent in from outside the casting office.
● Sign talent in and out digitally if possible, otherwise assign one individual to do so.
● Minimize the number of personnel working with talent.
● Consider having talent bring their own personal items to simulate props (phone, etc).
● Place partition between or provide appropriate PPE for talent during in-person group auditions.
● Include wardrobe specs in the breakdown to increase the likelihood of being able to use the talent's personal wardrobe.
● Consider backups for each role when making final cast selections.
● Limit the number of Agency / Client personnel attending a callback due to social distancing requirements.
Catering / Craft Services
● Provide adequate tables and seating (outdoors when possible) to allow for social distance.
● Provide hand washing station(s) in close proximity to the meal area.
● Provide only single-serve packaged condiments.
● Provide individual, prepackaged snacks and other food items.
● Refill reusable water bottles without person-to-person contact, and without contact between bottle and dispenser.
● Wash hands before entering the catering or craft services area.
● Wear PPE at all times when preparing or handling food.
● Follow all public health regulations regarding the delivery, handling, preparation, and distribution of food, including use of appropriate food service PPE, safe food temperatures, etc.
● Stagger meals times when possible.
● Serve food from the truck window or from individual boxes.
● Craft service may not cook or prepare food.
● Assign one person to distribute drinks.
Director Scouting / Tech Scouting
● Director scout virtually when possible.
● Self-drive when possible.
● Minimize the number of locations that require in-person scouting.
● Consider size and space when reviewing location options.
Electric / Grip Departments
● Handling of grip and electric equipment should only be done by members of those departments (stingers, apple boxes, stands, etc. often support other departments).
● Coordinate specific needs of Art and Camera departments well in advance.
Hair & Make-Up
● Wear appropriate PPE for the duration of person-to-person contact.
● Provide space between make-up stations or provide a partition in between.
● Use single-use brushes and applicators if proper disinfectant cannot be guaranteed.
● Disinfect equipment in between uses.
● Mix foundation, powders, lipstick, etc. on a separate clean palette for each individual.
● Clean hairbrushes and combs with appropriate disinfecting solution.
● Have talent wear a mask when possible (e.g. while having their eyes or hair done).
● Only remove the PPE when essential.
● Once made up, talent may consider a face shield (as opposed to a mask) to not disturb completed make-up.
● Consider having the talent show up having done their own hair or make-up (confer with your Hair or
Make-Up Artist first)
Handling of Equipment
● Assign work tools to individuals or have them use their own tools whenever possible.
● Require individuals to sanitize their own equipment.
● Limit the number of people who handle certain materials and/or equipment.
● Check gear in a separate space to avoid cross contamination, when possible.
● Avoid direct handoffs (one person puts an item down, another person picks it up without proper
● Do not allow for shared walkie talkies.
● Sanitize replacement batteries in between uses. No one should carry replacement batteries for others on
● Hands should be cleaned before and after handling props, accessories, and other items.
● Provide a clean work environment.
● Utilize locations repped by agents / services (as opposed to cold scouting) when possible.
● Assign one individual to handle (post and remove) location signs.
● Close every set. No non-essential visitors — must be actively monitored.
● Require the owner of a location to reduce personal belongings prior to shooting.
● Apply for permits as early as possible.
● Neighbors or neighborhoods may have a diminished desire for the presence of film crews for the time being.
● Acquiring signatures will be more difficult, logistically.●○ Fewer people may be eager to provide signatures for filming activity on their street. Consider electronic methods to gather permissions.
● Execute location contracts as early as possible.
● Anticipate providing alternative lodging to house occupants for the duration of the shoot (may be best
for them not to return home in between crew call times).
● Anticipate possibility of having to board animals.
● Set medics should be trained to recognize symptoms of COVID-19 and procedures related to individuals
who show symptoms.
● Wear appropriate PPE for the duration of person-to-person contact.
● Observe the set and consult with personnel on safety measures.
● Schedule the pre-pro meeting as early as possible in order to have time to plan properly.
● Finalize as many creative decisions as possible no later than the pre-pro meeting in order to reduce last
minute changes on shoot days, and to plan for all sanitary accommodations.
Schedule / Staffing
● Stagger call times by department, when possible.
● Build in time for each department to “step in, step out” at a time.
● Decide whether a prep, pre-light, or strike day will be required.
● Strive to keep the same individuals on an entire job (as opposed to individuals swapping in and out), thereby minimizing the number of interpersonal contact.
● Provide a separate monitor when possible.
● Provide an earpiece when required.
● PPE must be worn for the duration of person-to-person contact.
● Disinfect Comteks before and after each use.
● Label Comteks with the name of the user.
● Disinfect Lav mics and transmitters before and after each use.
● Replace Lav mounting components that can not be thoroughly cleaned.
● Consider utilizing boom-only audio (as opposed to rigging Lav mics).
Stages / Studio Lots
● Investigate requirements for cast/crew entry to stages.
● Plan for extra security/screening time for gate entry.
● Discuss sanitary practices performed or provided by studio operations staff.
● Understand all differing requirements of staffing, catering and access for each facility.
● Prepare for quarantine measures at a multi-stage facility where other productions may be taking place.
Actors / Extras
● Consider a temporary barrier between actors while establishing marks and positions.
● Consider alternate shot set-ups, camera angles, lenses, etc. to allow for maximum separation.
● Consider the number of Extras required.
● Provide ample space and infrastructure for Extras holding areas.
● Manage paperwork digitally. If not feasible, provide a pen for each Extra to keep while completing
● Prep and execute talent paperwork digitally when possible.
● Provide actors with extra tender loving care. Remember, they have to give an on-screen performance.
● Allow ample time for permitting.
● Notify guardians to not bring non-essential persons.
● Provide ample space and infrastructure for schooling.
● Confirm you have PPE that fits minors.
● Provide PPE for teachers and guardians.
● Provide extra attention for children to ensure they follow safety guidelines.
● Avoid doing hair or make-up unless absolutely necessary.
● Limit number of people in a passenger van at one time.
● Consider a higher-capacity bus for shuttling, to allow for social distance.
● Allow time for people who prefer to walk from crew parking to set rather than be shuttled.
● Add signage to the van exterior identifying maximum capacity and requiring all personnel wear masks.
● Keep windows down to promote ventilation (weather permitting).
● Additional shuttle trips will be necessary.
● Commit to one driver per vehicle when possible.
● Stakebeds may be required to transport cross-loaded equipment from crew parking to the location.
● PPE should be worn for the duration of person-to-person contact.
● If you reside in a city, county or state with a stay-at-home order in effect, you should abide by the legal ordinance(s) governing your jurisdiction.
● Review individual airport and airline requirements for the use of face coverings or other PPE.
● Review state guidelines for travel restrictions or quarantine requirements. A list of opening states is available on our blog.
● Review CDC guidelines and considerations for domestic travel.
● The U.S. State Department has a Global Do Not Travel Advisory in effect for U.S. citizens.
● Travel may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite time frame with limited assistance from the U.S. Government.
● Review the U.S. Embassy website of the country you plan to travel to in order to determine if there are any entry restrictions or quarantine requirements for U.S. citizens.
● For travelers returning to the U.S., review U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines, entry restrictions, and quarantine requirements.
● Review CDC health advisories and travel recommendations by country.
● Review CDC guidelines for returning from international travel.
● Review any World Health Organization (WHO) specific guidance for countries/regions you will be visiting.
● Encourage the use of a remote video village to be used whenever possible.
● Locate the physical video village in a designated area that is only accessed by the Agency / Client team.
● Provide for audio feedback between video village and set.
● Set up chairs 6 foot apart (when a physical video village is required).
● Consider easily cleaned furnishings.
● Wear appropriate PPE for the duration of person-to-person contact.
● Wear PPE when preparing the wardrobe.
● Plan wardrobe ahead of shopping / pulling from rental houses.
● Use PPE when looking through garments in rental houses and retail stores.
● Anticipate delays at rental houses and retail stores.
● Review current retail return and exchange policies.
● Book talent as early as possible, and get sizes as early as possible.
● Encourage remote alternatives to stages for selecting wardrobe.
● Stagger talent appointments for fittings.
● Sanitize jewelry and glasses with appropriate, non-damaging cleaning solutions.
● Consider having actors arrive in their own wardrobe, as much as possible.
● Assign one person to take fitting photos.
● Costumes and outfits should be bagged up individually, by performer.
● Seek permission from Clients to allow actors to keep purchased wardrobe.
● Use of antimicrobial floor mats and surfaces treated with bio-barrier coatings.
Unions & Guilds
If working with Union or Guild represented employees, be mindful of requirements as outlined in the agreement(s) you are signatory to. Reasonable discussions should lead to practical solutions when analyzing new scenarios in these unprecedented times. Submit a set of your company guidelines, procedures, and/or protocols to applicable unions prior to employing personnel.
POSTPRODUCTION SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS
General Studio Procedures
● Consider assigning defined roles to specific employees, for example:
○ IIP Program Administrator or Compliance Assistant: Assures that all employees, visitors, clients are aware of protocols and are following them. Has responsibility for education of freelance workers in new protocols.
○ PPE Manager: Maintains current knowledge of PPE use, quantities, stock, location, disposal.
○ Deliveries Manager: Administers receipt of and the sanitizing of all items arriving in the workplace such as packages, couriers, food, etc.
○ Craft Service / Food Distribution: Strictly limits those responsible for serving food, using the strict sanitized processes.
● Assign workstations and disallow sharing of equipment, computer peripherals (keyboards, mice, wacom
● Establish methodology for determining maximum suite occupancy for sessions and post clearly in each suite. Limit session attendance to match occupancy guideline.
● Consider a staggering schedule of supervised sessions to minimize studio occupancy.
● Maintain a list of session attendees sorted by the rooms they occupy.
● Consider steps to meet all guidelines for ventilation of suites with closed doors.
● Schedule supervised sessions based on maximum capacity allowed to maintain adequate social
Client Requirements / Session Preferences
● Discuss with the client any corporate policies they may have for in-person meetings.
● Consider offering hybrid approaches to supervised sessions such as:
○ Artist in facility / Client remote supervising
○ Artist Remote / Client in facility
○ Artist and Client remote, Editorial Assistant in facility
○ Limited number of in-person sessions to be allocated as desired (i.e.: approvals only, approvals & conform, etc.)
● Create a policy for the studio and conduct regular counts of occupants per floor, per session and per office throughout the day.
● Maintain count of occupants at reception and post clearly visible maximum occupancy signage at entrance.
● Wherever the potential exists for lines to form, it may be helpful to mark 6’ separation increments (kitchen, bathrooms, elevator banks, emergency exits, etc) to aid in social distancing .
● In all open work spaces or bullpens, consider alternate layouts, such as alternate desks / workspaces in a checkerboard pattern, disable alternating desks, or remove them entirely if they do not allow for recommended social distance.
● Consider how to maximize usage of studio floor plan to spread out all personnel.
● If possible, add panels between desks including height adjustable panels for sit / stand desks.
● Specify permanent seat assignments for all personnel.
● Reduce capacity of larger existing spaces—e.g., remove some chairs from conference rooms and post new maximum capacity.