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COVID-19 and Film & Video Production I – Guidelines & Protocols
I gathered some of the guidelines and protocols to present a way to continue film & video production during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but these documents are a good start.


IATSE / DGA / SAG White Paper & ‘Safe Way Forward’

White Paper

As a starting point, I recommend taking a look at the comprehensive white paper on proposed health and safety guidelines from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. These guidelines are created and presented by AMPTP’s The Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (the “Task Force”) which consists of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Basic Crafts Unions, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, (SAG-AFTRA) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Nearly all film unions I know.

The guidelines are based on discussions with health experts, guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and include input from industry participants familiar with the working conditions of motion picture and television production.




To download a copy of the white paper, click here.

Safe Way Forward

The second article I recommend is “The Safe Way Forward.” These are more detailed guidelines from the same unions.

“Developed jointly by the Unions and Guilds in consultation with leading epidemiologists and experts, the Guidelines are a follow-up to the Industry White Paper recently delivered to the Governors of New York and California, and other state governments. While the White Paper offered a foundation for the appropriate state agencies to examine the resumption of production and provides guidance Employers must follow to provide a safe working environment, it expressly contemplated that specific protocols regarding mandatory testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and department-specific procedures would be the subject of further discussions and agreement between the producers and the unions. Today’s Guidelines announced by the Unions and Guilds set forth key components of those detailed protocols.” – (SAG-AFTRA, June 12, 2020 )

It is written in a language that is very easy to read. It almost feels like a conversation. This has the smartest most applicable ways to implement production safety I’ve seen in any guideline for production.

I highly recommend you take an hour of your day and read this.

Click here

for The Safe Way Forward – Production Safety Guidelines pdf.



Would you like to get a Covid-19 Compliance Officer (C19CO) / Health Safety Supervisor (HSS) certificate? If so, check my next post!

Pandemic Production Guidelines and Protocols in Popular States

Here are some of the local guidelines for states and cities that are popular destinations for filming.


Opened June 12, 2020.

L.A. County Department of Public Health Reopening Protocols (Revised June 18, 2020)

Reopening Protocols for Music, Television and Film Production: Appendix J (Updated June 29, 2020)

(Source: )

New York

On June 22, entered Phase 2 of Reopening.

Reopening New York, Media Production Guidelines for Employers and Employees 

New York State DoH, Interim Guidance for Media Production During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency (June 23, 2020)

New York State DoH, Business Reopening, Forward Safety Plan Template

(Source: )


State of Georgia Film & TV Production Best Practices to Reduce Contagion of COVID-19

(Source: )


Illinois Department of Commerce Film Production Guidelines

(Source: )


Effective June 3, 2020 on-set/on-location media production can operate

Open Texas (Minimum Standard Health Protocols) Checklist for Media Production

Open Texas (Minimum Standard Health Protocols) Checklist for Office-Based Employees 

(Source: )

For other local guidelines, refer to the specific cities or states film commission websites.

Are you a line producer? A creative producer who will appreciate a budgeting template? An Indie filmmaker who’s all ears for production tips?

Then let’s connect!

Leave your email with me. I will give you free tips, tools and producer’s checklists, all for free!

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If you want to follow the latest news on how productions are reopening, I recommend checking this great series called ‘Reopening Hollywood’ by Deadline. They report regularly about the ‘effort to get the industry back on its feet while ensuring the safety of everyone involved.’

Do you want to learn about the newly emerged role: Covid-19 Compliance Officer / Health Safety Supervisor?

If so, please check my next post, I am sharing certificate programs I know, and my class notes.

Lastly, if this was useful, please share, and make sure to join my mailing list for other useful tips!
I look forward to connecting, stay safe!

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