Filming an event during the coronavirus pandemic is challenging. Here are the security measures to take when filming an event during COVID-19.
While COVID-19 may cause weddings and events to rethink some of their original plans, they're sure to still happen.
Many events reduce their size by frequently reducing the popular 250-person wedding guest list to 100 people and serving plate meals instead of an evening buffet. Some places still don't allow open dance floors, others even prohibit indoor events altogether.
My wife and I have built our own wedding video business in the Kansas City area over the past three years. And while most of our weddings were postponed to 2021 in spring 2020, we still attended two weddings last June.
We're happy to say that each wedding took some extra precautions, but we quickly realized that we need to take extra precautions to ensure our own security from COVID-19 and the security of future couples would serve this year.
In our experience so far, both of us and one of the DJs were the only ones wearing masks. There is no real way to adhere to social distance guidelines, and people who handle food and drink do not wear masks or gloves. Weddings and guest attendance are not reduced, and it's basically just a regular business.
At our second venue, guests had to sign a waver and provide their personal information to be contacted in the event of a COVID 19 outbreak. Warning signs were placed at the entrance to the reception.
The thought of getting the corona virus from one of our weddings haunts my dreams. We have a very busy wedding season ahead of us and we have contractual promises to keep our customers. I want to make sure that I have done everything in my power to protect our current customers, our future customers and myself. I am not willing to take more risks than I absolutely have to.
Here are the things we do to protect our customers and ourselves.
Wear a mask
Always wear it. Don't take it off. We bring a KN95 mask and a fabric mask with filter insert. This way we can turn it on all day when our ears become sore because it happens occasionally. In any case, we wear a mask that is strong enough to stay protected, even if the guests don't.
Don't get me wrong, this is a boring day – our fog of glasses, we sweat more than usual and frankly it's uncomfortable. But you get used to it and it's not as bad as you think. I wear glasses to understand how difficult it is to use a masked camera. Especially in June, especially in Missouri, and especially when the humidity is over eighty percent. City of fog! But it's doable and it's worth it. Masks with a malleable nosepiece are incredibly useful in preventing fog.
Another thing to keep in mind when wearing a mask is how much your voice is muffled. Be ready to speak much louder than usual and be patient with people when you need to repeat yourself. They may be a little hoarse at the end of the day, but it's certainly better than getting infected with the virus.
Disinfectant is your best friend
There's nothing better than a good, old-fashioned hand wash, but disinfectants are still the MVP if you can't get soap and water. You touch countless things throughout the day, then your equipment, and then more things. Disinfect your hands every moment you can (and don't forget – the CDC recommends that the hand sanitizer contain at least 60 percent alcohol).
Do it before touching the dress, rings, bouquet and bow tie – whatever it may be – and repeat when you are done. Although I'm working hard to minimize human contact, a handshake or two slip through when I'm trapped at the moment. Disinfect these phalanges!
Don't forget the towels
Take some disinfectant wipes and wipe your equipment as often as possible. Wipe your gear bags, lights, camera, and the outside of your lens (not the glass or it becomes streaky). If you use Lavalier microphones, you must wipe them between the individual applications.
Bring your own food
Frankly, this is a sad one. One of the biggest advantages of a wedding filmmaker is the delicious dinner you can look forward to after pulling your tail off. But unfortunately times are changing.
After seeing our first wedding served without a mask and hearing stories from other wedding providers who signed up for a buffet dinner with COVID-19 after a wedding, we decided to bring our own food.
We brought a small cooler and some quick sandwich ingredients. While our couples are eating, we run to our car, eat something and take some time to breathe without a mask. It's actually nice to take a moment to step back and regroup. No sandwich in the world can be compared to fresh prime rib, but we will make it for now.
Give everything a good spray
When the day is over and we pack everything up and load it into the car, I spray all our bags with a disinfectant spray. Just to make sure I kill as many lingering germs as possible and keep them from coming home with me. When we get out of the car, I also spray the inside of the car down.
Again for security
Finally, when we get home or the next morning, I take the time to clean all of the equipment that was at the event. I speak everything – batteries, SD cards, shotgun microphones, cables, light stands – everything. This is just a sustainable habit of going beyond COVID-19.
I prefer the use of disinfectant wipes, but Roger Cicala of linserentals.com says: “A little soap and water that have been applied and rubbed with a dipped cloth can be used in suitable places – lens barrel, camera rubber, light tripods, etc. – and wiped off after half a minute with a towel and water. “I have not tried this personally, so be careful if this is your method and do not soak anything!
The use of isopropyl alcohol and a normal cloth, tea towel or paper towel also works. Make sure that you do not just keep any liquid outside of your equipment, use a small amount and do not soak anything here either. If you are not sure, do your research first.
Stay safe and smart out there! If something is uncomfortable, please report it. If you haven't been before, you are now essential.
For additional quarantine tips and safety instructions, see the following additional articles:
Cover picture via sand sun.