Filming and Covid

Our Covid Policy – Updated January 2022.
We continue to work with APA recommended guidance as below,
The Government has announced changes to Covid testing generally and for travel.
For travel for productions this is good news- no pre-departure to the UK testing for fully vaccinated people and a fully vaccinated person  arriving in the UK can do a LFT test immediately on arrival in the UK and is subject to no restrictions (provided the test is negative). So travel for fully vaccinated people will be much simpler and cheaper and a fully vaccinated person who takes a lateral flow test which is negative can start work as soon as they arrive in the UK.
Those changes are:
From 11th January 2022 (announced by the Government as a temporary measure) anyone who takes a LFT and tests positive must self isolate immediately and not take a PCR test. They must self-isolate for 10 days but they may end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFT tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFT test should not be taken before the sixth day. LFT’s are for people who don’t have Covid symptoms, anyone with symptoms should still take a PCR test.
4am on January 7th 2022 if you are fully vaccinated you do not need to take a test before you travel to England or self isolate when you arrive. The Government guidance now says to take a rapid lateral flow test on or before day 2 after you arrive and if it’s positive you must then take a confirmatory PCR test.
From 4am on 9th January, you can take a rapid lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England if you qualify as fully vaccinated. If you test positive you must take a PCR test.
If you are not fully vaccinated you must take a Covid-19 test to be taken within 2 days before you travel to England. You must book and pay for a Day 2 and Day 8 PCR test and complete a passenger locator form to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England.
Update July 21

As we return to production after lockdown, the safety of our cast, crew and contributors is our highest priority. In order to ensure the health and safety of our people during the continued pandemic we have carefully assessed the risks of COVID-19 during production with reference to government and industry guidance.
In order to reduce those risks identified, as far as reasonably practicable, we will implement a package of control measures that will be in place during all stages of our productions.
How we are keeping people safe.
We are focusing on the following areas to ensure we can manage the risks of infection from COVID-19, carrying out specific assessments where necessary.
■ Minimising – minimising the number of people in our offices at any time.
■ Communicating – ensuring those who have symptoms or are ill know not to come into work and to return home immediately if they become ill at work.
■ Commuting – considering the risks in commuting especially on public transport, introducing mitigations such as staggered start times.
■ Social Distancing – making every effort to ensure social distancing is adhered to from space planning to signage.
■ Cleaning – increasing the frequency of cleaning.
■ Face covering – supporting our people in the safe wearing of face coverings on a commute and in scenarios where they choose to wear.
■ Travel – seeking to minimise travel requirements and follow social distancing principles within travel arrangements, wherever possible.
■ Location – considering the physical capacity of space used, given the requirements of social distancing, as well as ensuring the provision of adequate hygiene facilities.
■ Work Activities – considering the activities that people are going to need to undertake across roles in a production and if these can be adapted or changed to reduce risk.
■ Work Equipment – managing the sharing of work equipment which is key to production from cameras and headsets to edit suites. Focusing on good hygiene and managing potential issues with touchpoints.
■ Work Patterns – reviewing work patterns to encourage fixed teams (cohorts) of people who don’t come into contact with other groups.
■ Catering and Rest Areas – reconfiguring catering provision and planning breaks to ensure our people are as safe as possible.
■ First Aid and Emergency services – planning activities to reduce the risk of requiring emergency services to be called as well as advice to first aiders on COVID-19 risk.
■ Masks, Gloves and Other PPE – as per the APA COVID Shooting and Office Guidelines.
■ Mental Health – the COVID-19 risk and the response has had a potential Mental Health impact for those working on productions which should be considered. Those having to work at home may feel isolated with those on set perhaps feeling fearful and anxious of the virus.
■ Monitoring – compliance will be monitored and if required people will be reminded of the new COVID-19 working practices (such as social distancing).

Update: Jan 2021.

Shooting can continue during the current UK lockdown. Presence is now PCR testing all heads of department 2-4 days ahead of any scheduled shoot to minimise risk of production shutdown. We will be using government approved PCR tests only. Contact us for detailed guidance on mandatory testing as per the APA.

With the increase in COVID transmission rates, associated with a more contagious mutation of Coronavirus, the APA recommends the testing of people scheduled to attend commercials productions.
Guidelines Compliance Remains Key to COVID Safety
Complying with the APA COVID Shooting Guidelines remains key to production companies:

  1. Safeguarding the wellbeing of all attending a production.
  2. Satisfying their obligations under COVID Law and Government guidance.
  3. Meeting their obligations under health and safety law.
  4. Meeting their obligations under the Tripartite agreement.

Update: 9th Dec 2020: Shoots can continue as before with Covid Supervision on set. Quarantine rulings are as follows;

1. Travel corridor countries
If you come to England from a travel corridor country as we have listed you do NOT need to quarantine.

2. Non-travel corridor countries
If you come to England from a non-travel corridor country then you have to quarantine for 14 days.

3. The advertising exemption
A director, DoP or actor (which we interpret to mean anyone appearing on screen who is directed, in any audio visual advertising) must quarantine for 14 days along with everyone else arriving in England from a non-travel corridor country, but they are allowed to leave quarantine to attend a confirmed filming location, to then return to quarantine once shooting is finished. 

4. The NEW music video exemption
The latest exemptions (published by the Government, dated 3rd December 2020) “permit a music video performer” to leave quarantine to go to a confirmed filming location. This applies to the artist if they are appearing in the video and anyone else appearing in it.
It does NOT apply to music video Directors / DoPs or any crew.

Source: Advertising Producers Association

Update: 2nd Nov 2020. Shoots can continue in England throughout the lockdown period (currently 5th Nov until 2nd Dec 2020).
The new restrictions do not affect shoots – they can continue as before.
During the upcoming four week period:
Restaurants, pubs and non-essential retail must close. Work at home if you can. Production can continue – like manufacturing it cannot be done at home. You can continue to shoot in people’s homes – they are locations for the purpose of filming only. Our remote animation teams continue as normal.
Update: 28th Sept 2020. Directors, DP’s and actors are now exempt from having to quarantine for 14 days on arrival into the UK. Get in touch for the most up to date Covid Shooting restrictions around commercial and advertising content filming here.

Whilst businesses wrangle with the very difficult issue of Covid-19, production continues. We have access to specialist low latency remote filming capabilities with high quality security encoding for celebrity shoots. Clients can stream the shoot safely and securely in high quality video from anywhere. We have remote casting capabilities across the world and covid supervisors on set as necessary.

Presence uses guidance issued by the APA and PACT for our shoots in the UK. For shoots in the US, we are utilising the AICP guidance.

We have access to the best casting directors who have an abundance of talent available on self tapes. Directors and animators with home studios, and top directors of photography who are used to complex remote filming systems to create high end imagery in a cost effective way.

Médecins Sans Frontières all produced using distributed animation teams.

Our team have been shooting in Norway, London and the US. A series of tax incentives have been made available to shoot in some countries. We are producing high level 2d and CG animation using our distributed teams.

Contact EP Danny Fleet to get the latest information on where you can safely produce content at scale using the best crew and safe shoot environments for everyone.