How to keep the production industry going, part two

Kim Knowlton, IPA Production Consultant is on hand to support and advise all our members at this very challenging time.

IPA Production Consultant Kim Knowlton is in daily contact with production staff across the industry and professional organisations such as the APA. She is not only able to provide sage production advice to our members, she now also has a unique insight into how everyone is coping and adapting.

As outlined in part 1 of my coronavirus production update, I am currently working closely with the APA (UK production companies) to provide comprehensive guidelines for the industry on Live-Action shooting, which will be published in the next few weeks.

The areas the shoot safety guidelines cover are:

  • how will social distances affect shooting, how to manage this
  • health declarations by all attending the shoot
  • process for excluding people who have display symptoms
  • Stand-by crew and talent
  • sanitiser provisions
  • PPE provision
  • sanitising all film equipment, props, studios and location, travel
  • remote viewing / approvals
  • risk assessment
  • catering
  • post production

Please be aware:

  • The Government may announce new regulations as we return to work, and we don’t yet know what these might be, e.g. ban gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • In the future, part of the new safety guidelines could see reliable COVID-19 testing mandatory for anyone attending a film set. These will need to be robust and readily available.

Once the guidelines have been published I would advise you to share these with your clients, and discuss the impact they will have on all Live Action productions.

Online webinar

I will be hosting a webinar on the May 18 at 3pm to run through the guidelines and answer all of your questions. 

A production view

From my recent conversations with agencies, production departments are extremely busy. They are re-purposing existing material and seeking fast production solutions to meet their clients changed requirements. (The IPA Legal & Public Affairs team have produced a short legal alert about this for agencies.) Production teams are now actively involved from the very outset on creative strategies, offering their extensive expertise and knowledge in helping creative teams hone their ideas so they can be made under current restrictions.

Last week I heard of more shoots than the previous week, although this is from a very low base. Self-filming productions, remotely managed are the most popular production solution at the present time.

These productions have had to be very cautious in respect of safety and exposure to risk, with clean camera equipment and props being sent to people’s homes so they can film themselves.

Casting is being done remotely, with talent sending in auditions and locations (their kitchen, lounge etc.) Where more than one person is required for the shoot, the family of the chosen main actor/actress are being used. Directors, agency and clients are remotely present and able to see the performances and comment.

CGI and Animation productions have seen an increase, but these productions often require more production time than an average live-action shoot, so are not immediate solutions.

On-street filming

Currently, filming on the street is not advised and agencies should of course comply with government restrictions.

London filming

Please be aware that no London boroughs are currently issuing permits, and the Met Police will disband any crews "whilst lockdown is in place, as currently no commercial filming in London can be justified".

Filming overseas

Some countries/local service companies are rumoured to be open for filming again.

Please be aware that there are restrictions in place in most of these countries, and you will probably find they are similar to those in the UK.

It is not practical to travel, and although remote shooting is available, the number of productions for which that is of use is limited. Agencies are now writing scripts that work within the parameters of social distancing and current restrictions. These are being discussed with production partners who are starting to put in place rolling schedules for productions beyond the self-shot material, that can go into production as soon as Government lockdown ends and Government advice allows for a return to Live-Action filming.

Regulation of ad content in the age of lockdowns, social distancing and public health rules.

Please do get in touch with me for any production assistance, or if you would just like to chat through possible filming solutions. I’m more than happy to help and it’s what I’m here for.

Please contact me ( to see how I can help you.
Last updated 21 January 2022