I feel very lucky that our film industry, with only a handful of careful changes, can be open and producing safely, when sadly, so many other parts of the creative industries cannot.Paul Chronnell
Worthily Films illustrates how IT IS possible to shoot a short film with a cast and crew of over twenty while still following British Film Commission (BFC) guidelines. When the BFC finalised the ‘COVID-19 Production Guidelines1’ at the end of May, we were ready to GO.
‘Waiting for Time,’ a script written by Paul Chronnell, was to be the vehicle we would use to find out just how difficult shooting a socially-distanced film would be – and on Super 16 film, no less. In Pre-Production we edited the script to ensure it was COVID friendly, taking out unnecessary handshakes and physical contact. Fortunately, WAITING FOR TIME is a script about a socially dysfunctional man, thus the story was perfect as our lead spends most of his time alone (social distancing tick).
Still we were entering unchartered territory and no doubt, we had our hesitations. Could we pull this off? Will it all come together? Where to begin?
First, we made preparations. We stocked up on enough cleaning supplies to sterilise a full hospital, which was a challenge in and of itself considering how some supermarket shelves were still bereft of cleaning wipes and gloves.
Secondly we insisted that the entire crew listen to a presentation outlining the safety measures put in place. Our casting director, cast and their agents were adamant that we adhere to a set of enforced protocols on set. Their concern only highlighted our already implemented efforts; Worthily Films had a close eye on all the news and film guideline updates. We were fully prepared and ready to adhere to BFC Guidelines.
Social distancingwas enforced on set; we put masks and gloves around the set and put each department in a designated space to avoid too many people crossing paths. Both the BFC, in writing their guidelines, and the Waiting for Time cast and crew understood that keeping a two-metre distance would not be possible throughout the entirety of the shoot, so – as per the BFC’s advice – masks, gloves and sanitisation were used thoroughly when close proximity was necessary.
WAITING FOR TIME, is a short film that touches on mental health. During lockdown we felt a strong desire to work on a story that delivers a message of hope. We received great feedback from our team on set and were taken aback by how everyone worked so well together.
We are currently in post- production and are gearing up for our festival run. Worthily Films are simultaneously building our slate and eager to move into our next production. We have such respect for all the talent (in front and behind the scenes) that collaborated on this project with us. There was a tangible positive attitude in the air, and that was the only infectious aspect of the experience.