June 24, 2023

How to film a commercial during Covid

Rupert Mason

Well the short answer is, by being very, very careful. There we go, end of post.

I wanted to write this short checklist to help other production companies and agencies in general, who are working with people during a time when we need to very carefully consider the lives and wellbeing of those in our care and those we make contact with. It’s also a time where we need to strictly follow protocols (protocols that seems to change more than the weather).

Here are the key points to consider. If we’ve missed anything then please feel free to add your comments below. We’ll be updating this list with useful links:


Unfortunately crew need to travel separately, which can be a little more costly if you need parking permits in central London. Just to clarify that means by car not by train or bus. If you need to get Ubers/ taxis then it’s advised to order an XL and make sure that passengers can sit over a metre away from each other.

PPE equipment

Budget for PPE equipment, masks and hand sanitisers should be available everywhere.

Meal time

Catering is a logistical challenge at the moment, so you’ll need to consider how your staff will eat with the least contact; that means, no sharing salads, pizzas and dips sadly. It might be best to give the crew and talent their own petty cash to go out any buy lunch.


You’ll likely need Health and Safety officers to accompany you on the recce. They’re usually around £500 per day, so it can get costly. They’ll then supply you with a written report. This is mainly to make sure that the filming conditions and standards are met to be safe for Covid.

See also  Understanding the power of storytelling to promote your start-up

Temperature check

Usually it’s standard practice to have someone with first aid training, on set. During Covid it is a requirement to have a medic on standby and to take your temperatures before beginning.

Health declaration forms

Sorry to say, but you’ll need a stack of forms and liability documents for everyone to sign before commencing. Staff need to declare that they’ve not been in contact with anyone and that they accept the risks that may come with filming.

Ming the gap

Social distance whenever possible. We had to hire a Winnebago to have somewhere for the crew, makeup, runners etc, to wait whilst filming and stay distanced.


Unfortunately no insurance companies will insure you for Covid or provide financial protection agains disruptions caused by Covid. In this situation is best to have a legal agreement drafted between all partners involved to devise a financial plan B in case you shoot day is postponed.

Covid cleaning

Wherever you’re filming, it’s important to get the space cleaned right after your shoot. You can enquire about this as some location companies may include this.

Stay safe and happy filming!

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