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As the Covid pandemic has gone on, many film and television productions have shut for large periods of time, but the advertising industry has proven to be remarkably resilient. It turns out that companies still need the opportunity to market and promote! 

However, there have been many changes to the way in which productions operate, and you may be wondering how filming has adapted to this new way of working. Here’re our top things to consider when deciding to make a video during the pandemic.

Be prepared!

Productions have often existed in a fast-paced environment. So many parts need to come together to get a production rolling in front of cameras, and these things have often come together in the last moment.

This way of working is no longer possible under Covid. This might mean that the pre-production time increases, to allow for these various sign-offs to happen. Whereas before, a 6-8 week pre-production window might’ve been seen as generous, we’d now encourage allowing 8-12 weeks before getting your project in front of cameras. But being more prepared than ever is never a bad thing!

What can/can’t I film?

I think the biggest impact that I’ve observed is that it’s much harder to rely on contributors and non-film people. There is understandably a lot of caution around people wanting to get involved. So if you’re planning a project that relies on external contributors, like a case-study, or involves shooting in a public place, you might have to think of a creative solution to get around this.

But there are a number of live action options that are still a possibility. Product films are a brilliant fit in this current climate, relying less on external factors than factual content. Dramatic, scripted productions are often very controlled and well-planned by their nature.  And of course, Animation is still a safe and effective option for producing content right now.

You might also want to consider whether your film should reflect the times we now live in. Should your characters be wearing masks? Do you show social distancing on screen? These are important questions to ask upfront!

Socially distanced film-making is slower

Anyone who’s been on set will know what it’s like – lots of people doing lots of things at the same time, all to come together to get the perfect shot. It’s now a much more staggered process to enable to social distancing. All of this means more time, and the possibility of getting less in the can on a given shoot day. 

Embrace the technology

Technology has enabled us to streamline so much of the production process and the industry has always been well placed to embrace this. 

One of the biggest ways in which we can make a set as safe as possible is by limiting the number of people joining us, and so using remote video facilities has become the natural next step. 

Clients can now view every shot in real time online, and provide comments in much the same way as they normally would. It really doesn’t feel any different and it allows clients to have that important input into the shoot itself, all from the comfort of their own home!

I think there was a point at the start of lockdown that I thought I might never shoot another ad again… But I’m amazed at what an adaptable industry it is. Sure, some of the processes are a little different and things are a pace slower, but I don’t think the work has taken a noticeable hit as a result. Far from it! I think we thrive on restrictions and a challenge, and I’m looking forward to what’s to come!

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