Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) is a members organisation that promotes the growth and sustainability of the Irish audiovisual production sector. , working closely with Industry Stakeholders, has developed Return to Production Guidelines for the Film, TV Drama and Factual genres of the creative screen content industry.
Under the Government Revised Roadmap for Reopening Ireland, creative screen content production can return to work in phase 3 from June 29th. On June 25th the Government confirmed the opening of phase 3. Industry guidelines have been developed to support productions of all sizes as they return to production and take on the challenges specific to the creative screen industry.
The Production Guidelines includes information on options for modifying work structures to help to reduce contact, how to implement an effective cleaning and sanitation regime to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, and options for minimising risk for activities such as costuming and make-up. While each production will be required to develop specific ways of working based on their individual risk assessments, this guidance document helps to translate the government protocols and public health guidance into a workable approach for the unique world of screen content production.
The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has confirmed that these guidelines adhere to Government COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and the Guidance is separated into two documents: one of for Live Action, i.e. Feature Film and TV Drama, and one for Factual and Entertainment production.
The Irish screen industry faces many challenges as a result of COVID-19, however the health and safety of cast and crew on Irish productions is of paramount importance as we prepare to return to production from June 29th. These guidelines, written in consultation with key industry stakeholders and funded by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. through the Screen Skills Ireland Stakeholder Support scheme, will enable productions to ensure that they are using best practice with regard to health and safety on their sets and shoots and that they have the basis for developing their own Protocols and Risk Assessments for each individual project
SPI conducted a survey with Irish producers online between 26th March and 3rd of April 2020 to show the immediate impact of Covid-19 on production companies. The results showed that 24 productions were stood down, a further 59 companies reported having to delay the start of production and many projects have been delayed in post/ distribution.
Irish production companies, cast and crew are ready to go back into production. While nothing can fully eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, these guidelines have been developed to provide a framework for reducing this risk and all owing those working on productions to do so with confidence.Elaine Geraghty, CEO – Screen Producers Ireland
SPI will be updating the Guidance as required and as Government and Public Health advice changes and evolves. Over the coming weeks, in collaboration with SPI, Screen Skills Ireland, the skills development unit within Screen Ireland, will provide free online training courses based on the guidelines to support the safe return to production.