Every day I wake up and feel like I'm living in the "Upside Down" from Stranger Things. We are living in a once in a generation event and the world will never be the same. The film industry, like so many others, is taking it on the chin, and COVID-19 is the fist that is doing the punching.

Our entire industry can't wait for a vaccine and effect treatment to re-open. The economic toll is too great for the millions of film industry workers, not to mention the thousands of support companies that make a living off the industry. Everyone in Hollywood has been scrambling to put together safety guidelines to put people back to work in a safe way.

"We can’t sit around for 18 months waiting for a vaccine. We have to find a way out without pharmaceuticals, and that’s repeat testing, taking people out of circulation, and then contact tracing, so it’s an interesting analogy."
- Elizabeth “Betz” Halloran, Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

As indie filmmakers, we too need to figure out how to keep that film engine going but in a safe and responsible way. I was riding around my neighborhood in Los Angeles yesterday and I saw a group on young filmmakers shooting an indie film. They were NOT social distancing. They DID NOT have masks on, not even the crew. They were shooting like the world hadn't changed at all.

I do understand the want and need to keep shooting. Trust I do, but it is irresponsible for you to endanger yourself, your talent, your crew, or anyone because of a lack of basic precautionary measures.

This is why I decide to address this issue because I know indie filmmakers are going to shoot regardless of the risks. I don't want our artist passion to hurt anyone so I've gathered a collection of multiple film production safety guidelines from around Hollywood and the world as a potential blueprint for indie film productions.

There is no perfect way to protect everyone that is part of film production from COVID-19. The balance of staying home to protect yourself and not making money to pay your bills is a very delicate one.

If you absolutely need to put a film production together to shoot any kind of content please be safe and responsible about it. I hope the ideas I laid out here and in the podcast can help you come back in a safe way. No one should feel unsafe on a film set.

Please share this article and podcast episode with your filmmaking colleagues. Be well and stay safe out there.

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