Tuesday, July 23, 2024

WORTHILY FILMS Closes the door on COVID

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.

_________________________________________________________________________

  1. http://britishfilmcommission.org.uk/guidance/regarding-covid-19-coronavirus/

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