10 Keys to Safe Video Production During a Pandemic

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  • Date:

    July 28, 2020

10 Keys to Safe Video Production During a Pandemic


July 14 dawned much like any other day for Wray Ward’s Motion team.

The major difference? Our two-day shoot for a building products brand was kicking off in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. After several months of exclusively remote work in the comfort and safety of their home offices, our producers, content developers and director were clearly back in their element on-set, creating an outdoor siding product installation video with on-screen talent.

Like the rest of the industry, we’ve had to reinvent our approach to on-set video production in 2020. And if you’re in marketing, you’ve also had to innovate and adapt or risk letting your brand get left behind.

The bottom line? You still have to sell products. Reach customers. Tell your story.

Here’s a look at policies and practices our Motion team has implemented to keep the cameras rolling safely, even as the coronavirus continues to influence almost every aspect of the marketing industry and people’s lives. From national commercials and documentary-style videos to high-end animation and tabletop shooting, we’re focused on giving you the award-winning quality you expect and deserve — all while following safety protocols that go above and beyond current industry standards.

How to Ensure Safety During Video Production

1. Preproduction Planning

While this step has always been part of our process, it’s even more meticulous now, covering safety checklists in addition to addressing every creative aspect of the shoot.

2. COVID-19 Compliance Officer

A Wray Ward staff member has completed the COVID-19 Compliance Officer (C19CO) training and manages all aspects of shoot safety. The COVID-19 officer does things like ensure regular disinfection of all surfaces and prevent equipment sharing. She also watches for signs or symptoms among the cast and crew.

“If I can walk away from a shoot knowing I did everything in my power to protect not just the crew but also their families, I will sleep better at night.” –Chelsea Giacchi, Motion Production Coordinator and COVID-19 Compliance Officer

3. Set Medic

This person is stationed at the set entrance to take temperature readings and evaluate individuals for visible symptoms.

4. Screening Survey

This is required of all individuals before they are allowed to enter the set. Questions include things such as whether the person is suffering from or has come into contact with someone experiencing symptoms in the last seven days.

5. Safety Scope Documentation

Our COVID-19 officer produces this document and includes it on the call sheets distributed to all parties. It covers things including how meal breaks will be handled and where crew can source personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and hand sanitizer stations. While many items are fixed, we also customize elements for individual shoots as needed.

6. Expert Guidance

We are in direct contact with industry organizations such as the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. Four members of the Wray Ward Motion team have AICP training, and we follow AICP best practices. We have also completed education offered by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Craft (IATSE) — the people writing the rules regarding handling of crew during this pandemic. Finally, we follow union shoot guidelines because they’re the gold standard for cast and crew safety.

7. Regular Sanitization

Adhering to strict protocol, we sanitize the entire set every two to three hours as well as before and after meals.

8. Masks

Masks are provided for every individual who enters the set.

9. Social Distancing

Cameras and camera operators should remain 6 feet apart at all times. When cast members cannot wear a mask because they are on camera, strict social distancing is enforced.

10. Remote Feed

We have the ability to send a live feed from cameras to any location in the world. This creates a direct link to the director or anyone else on set. Remote feeds are an excellent option for clients and partners who want to virtually supervise or observe shoots because of travel limitations or personal preference.

How We Protect Your Investment and Create the Best Product

All of these new measures could easily increase the cost of video production, but that’s why we approach every conversation with our clients on an individual basis. We don’t boilerplate safety measures, and we don’t boilerplate creative direction. And, as an in-house production company within a marketing firm, we have the ability to start these important conversations at the earliest possible point of budgetary and execution decisions. This keeps costs under control and protects the final creative product.

As your video production partner, we do need to know your budget early in the game. This way, we can design our creative approach within your comfort zone, ensuring we don’t sacrifice quality and messaging at the production stage from the get-go.

As our client, you will receive an acknowledgement form that provides a clear picture of all costs related to COVID-19 safety measures.

Other Approaches to Video Content During a Pandemic or Anytime

As much as we’re focused on making our sets as safe as they can be, now’s also a good time to mention all the other video content that can work hard for your brand yet doesn’t require a shoot with multiple people.

For example:


With in-house animators, Wray Ward does a lot of high-end animation spanning explainer videos, instructional videos and national spots. Animation is an extremely cost-effective approach to impactful creative, and we’ve done even more of it since COVID-19 entered the picture.

    Motion Graphics

    Our staff has in-house motion graphics capabilities including 2D and 3D. We’ve done this for clients like GE Lighting, Huber Engineered Woods and VELUX®.

    Stock Libraries and Editorial or Postproduction Work

    We have access to fantastic libraries of stock footage for many of our clients. If you already work with us and have hired us for video production in the past, we can dig into the well and create something new from what we already have. We have not slowed down at any point during this pandemic, and that’s largely due to editing work.

    We currently have studio space around the corner from our Charlotte office. In September, that will change when we move to Wray Ward’s gorgeous new office at 2317 Thrift Road. Of course, I’m most excited about the incredible on-site studio, which will give us (and our clients) lots of creative control and maximize safety. For example, we will be able to execute tabletop shoots with no outside interaction.

    “New normal” may be the most overused phrase of 2020, but it’s an accurate description. And no matter how long the coronavirus continues to affect our work and daily lives, we’ll remain committed to giving our clients a superb creative product, at an affordable cost, in the safest possible way.

    Think we can help you tell your story through video? Email me.

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