• Nathan Rees

Our Filming Experiences During COVID-19... so far

As a production company, we have been trying very hard to continue our work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has become increasingly difficult when trying to adhere to rules and restrictions related to coronavirus eg the rule of six, wearing masks and social distancing. These particular restrictions are hurting the arts massively, both on stage and on screen. However, there are people and companies making the changes to allow filming to happen. One of those companies, is us! So far we have filmed two projects since the lockdown was announced in March. We went through months of seeming hiatus, when in fact we've been busier than ever, and now we are finally back filming and pushing out content for you to enjoy. In this blog, I'd like to share some of our experiences and how we are overcoming and pushing through this pandemic.

THE OFFICE

At the start of the year, we acquired a new office space. Then before you could say "award-winning film company", BOOM, the country seized to do... anything. Left for months, the office was unloved and unused. Until, like a phoenix rising from the flames, we were back and... we couldn't really do anything. So we planned to get the space ready for when we could. A post-production space, white screen and green screen, new sound equipment, sound proofing, a desk, and most importantly, lots of hand sanitiser. This was the first step in allowing us to push forward and start filming again.

QUARAN-LEAN

Our first project was a sketch written by myself called 'Quaran-Lean'. Inspired by my failings in trying to keep fit over lockdown, this was a sketch we knew would be easy to do at a social distance. What made things easier was the fact that everyone in the cast and crew on this shoot was from the same bubble. (If you're reading this in the COVID-free future, a bubble was a group of people you could interact with and EVERYONE ELSE WAS A DISEASE-RIDDEN BAG OF GERMS). This allowed us to use our own property without the issue of deep cleaning and other such pandemic-related measures. Although we were all within the same bubble, we still treated the shoot as if we weren't. It's good practice. Due to the nature of the sketch, it was a lot easier to distance and stay safe as every shot was static as if the camera was the webcam of a laptop. Also, one of the shots was done outside so ventilation wasn't an issue. Overall, this shoot was made easier in the fact that it was a skeleton crew with a very simple set-up. The focus was on the acting and not the camera work.


FIRE AND IRON ADVERT

As well as sketches, we have also been working on our own advert, as it's unreleased I can't tell you what it's about, but I'll give you a sneak peek into what happened on the day.

As this was a bigger project we needed a slightly larger crew. As these people were outside our bubble we, of course, had to social distance and wear masks for the entire shoot. This was strange to say the least however, it was not a hindrance as some Karens would like to suggest. One big obstacle to overcome was giving direction to the actors. It is very hard, as you might've come to notice, to communicate with just your eyes. Losing half your face makes it harder to convey what you mean, which is especially difficult when trying to give an actor direction. When directing an actor, it is very important to be clear and concise, whilst also not giving the actor a line reading. Masks do make this more difficult, but not impossible.

This aside, it was a very successful shoot and proof that safe filming is possible during this time. It wasn't the same, sure, but it was still just as fun, which is what filming should be.


Have you got any stories from 2020 you'd like to share? Comment down below and lets have a conversation.


Bye for now!

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Southend-on-Sea, UK

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