Student Handbook

FV Production Guidelines for outside California

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The guidelines below were updated on October 23, 2020.

The following guidelines are Best Practices for projects by CalArts students residing in countries other than the U.S and states other than California. ​For projects in California, please refer to ​FV COVID-19 Film Production Guidelines​. Students choosing to participate or conduct a project using guidelines outside those specified in ​CalArts Returns​ must acknowledge the following:

  • All students must comply with their country, federal, state, county, and city health guidelines. At a minimum, the Best Practices in this document must be followed even if you reside in an area more lenient in terms of health guidelines then this document. Students in locations with stricter health guidelines than these Best Practices are expected to comply with those health guidelines as well. In some jurisdictions, the health guidelines may not permit any activity at all. When in doubt, check with your School or program. As COVID is a continually evolving situation, this document may be amended at any time and students are expected to refer back to it regularly.
  • COVID-19
    • You understand that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is a worldwide risk to human health. COVID-19 is highly contagious and has a mortality rate many times greater than the flu. COVID-19 can spread easily and exponentially.
    • You understand that in 2020-21, no CalArts assignment, for classes or independent work, can require you to engage in activities with other participants. The ​CalArts Returns​ guidelines stipulate that work may only involve one (1) student. Students choosing to participate in a project with other participants out of the state of California or outside the Country are doing so voluntarily.
    • You understand that even if you comply with these best practices, you may nonetheless be exposed to risks that may result in illness, personal injury, or any other consequences resulting from COVID-19.

Best Practices For All Student Projects

  1. All Film/Video students must fill out a new ​Project Application​ during their project development stage if they are using Cage equipment or their own equipment. This does not apply to solo productions that follow the ​FV COVID-19 Film Production Guidelines​ in California.
  2. All students must create a COVID Safety Plan for their project by utilizing the information in this document, unless you are a solo project. Production Services will assist students with creating their COVID Safety Plan.
  3. Physical distancing of six feet, or two arm lengths, must always be maintained during a project. Always avoid any unnecessary physical contact.
  4. Appropriate and adequate Personal Protective Equipment (see below) must be provided to any participant who works on your project, even if there are only two people. Disposable masks should be replaced each day and reusable masks should be cleaned each day.
  5. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and suggest solutions to enhance the safety and productivity of the project.
  6. If more than one person is working on a project, you must designate a participant who is responsible for implementing the project’s COVID Safety Plan. This is usually the project creator.
  7. In the interest of the health of yourself and your participants, you must limit the duration of workdays and consecutive workdays. Workdays should not exceed 8-hours, with a minimum of 12-hour turnaround from the end of one workday to the start of the next, No more than 5 consecutive work days allowed.
  8. All projects should build in scheduled breaks every 2-3 hours for wipe down of equipment and high touch surface items. Also, if interior, to exit outside and remove masks for air. This is the job of the COVID Safety Plan participant to organize these breaks.
  9. All participants must regularly wash their hands. ​Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when visibly soiled, before eating, and after using the restroom. Unless hands are visibly soiled, the CDC prefers an alcohol-based hand rub (with 60 to 95% alcohol) over soap and water in most clinical situations due to evidence of better compliance compared to soap and water.
  10. All participants must reside in the same county (or local equivalent to county) and may only shoot within that county (or local equivalent). Participants may be asked to produce verification of their residence via appropriate documentation (e.g., driver’s license, utility bill, etc.).
  11. If you have a participant on your project who test positive for COVID-19, you must contact Justin Hogan at ​Production Services​ immediately.

Prohibited during COVID-19

  • No projects with Minors (people under the age of 18).
  • Only non-union projects allowed.
  • No projects to have more than 3 people in a location/space at any given time. This applies to all interior and exterior locations/spaces no matter what the size.

Scouting a Location / Space

  • Students should pursue alternatives to traditional, in-person location/space scouting, such as the use of photographs and digital scouting.
  • If an in-person tech scout is necessary, limit participants to no more than 2 people and set up appointments in advance if possible.
  • Prioritize locations/spaces that allow complete control of the site, including access, ventilation, ability to shut down for cleaning, and maintaining high standards of hygiene. (Please see page 3).
  • Remember that locations/space libraries exist on Country, State, County, and City permit sites and on many local city government sites. An internet search is a good place to start.

Finding Participants

  • Work with people you trust or who are recommended by people you trust.
  • All participants must reside and shoot within the same city.
  • Communicate (zoom, phone call) with participants about safety protocols before you start.

COVID Health Check

Daily health checks are important to reduce the possibility of infection and to enable contract tracing if necessary. If you have more than one person on your project, you must begin each day of the project with participants filling in a self-check on the ​LiveSafe App​ and show the green check to the COVID Safety Plan participant each day of the project. If the app is not available in your country, you must conduct a written or verbal daily health check with each participant. Information collected must be kept confidential and only used to determine whether participants should be permitted to participate in a project or for contact tracing purposes (in coordination with your local public health officials).

Questions for the daily health check. Do you have…

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills or repeated shaking
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • a temperature at or over 100.4f in the last days
  • Are you living with or caring for an individual who is suspected or confirmed to have contracted COVID-19?
  • Have you traveled outside your state in the last 14 days?
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 21 days?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you should send home or quarantine that participant and follow the COVID infection guidelines in your area.

Information & Communication

It’s the student’s responsibility to be aware of local COVID guidelines prior to starting and should be included in your COVID Safety Plan. Apply a clear system for the communication and dissemination of COVID-19 related information, including:

  • Remote pre-shoot meeting for participants and daily safety meetings. All meetings should be virtual or if on location/space, 6 feet of physical distance must be maintained.
  • Meetings to communicate any change in protocols/guidance following above procedures.
  • Stagger participants call and wrap times to limit the number of individuals arriving to and departing from work simultaneously.
  • Training on hand hygiene practices.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

MASKS – Medical masks, cloth masks and face shields reduce the transfer of saliva and respiratory droplets to people close to the wearer. It is the student’s responsibility to provide masks during projects if there are two or more people working together. There should not be a common central pool of shared face shields or face coverings. Reusable masks should be cleaned after every use.

GLOVES – Gloves should be worn as infection prevention PPE when touching potentially contaminated commonly shared equipment is unavoidable and equipment cannot feasibly be disinfected (e.g., lighting/ electrical cables etc.) Non-medical (work) gloves should be worn as usual when appropriate.

HAND HYGIENE – Hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention. Given the potential concern about transmission of COVID-19 via contact, enhanced hand hygiene measures are critical.

Disinfection & Maintenance

Practice heightened cleaning and disinfection. The COVID Safety Plan participant is responsible for this. Those performing cleaning should adhere to the following recommendations.

  • Appropriate disinfecting methods and supplies should be available at all locations/spaces.
  • High-touch surfaces should be wiped down periodically with disinfectant. ​Examples of high-touch surfaces are tables, doorknobs, countertops, phones, faucets, paint brushes etc.
  • Once finished using equipment, be sure to wash hands under water for 20 seconds with soap.
  • Dampen (lightly wet) provided cloth with designated 70% / 30% Isopropyl Alcohol and water solution or use 70% isopropyl wipes.
  • Gently wipe down all items, cases, accessories and used surfaces. Please take the time to do this thoroughly. Use designated lens cleaner or screen cleaner for those surfaces.
  • Allow the surface(s) to dry naturally.
  • Once finished, remove elastic gloves and immediately wash your hands.
  • Hand off equipment outdoors while maintaining 6 feet of distance and wearing a facemask.

Develop a Close Contact Procedure

  • If you must work physically close to others (working with an actor, two actors working together, two participants unavoidably working close) please put in your COVID Safety Plan how you will accomplish this.
  • Try to work with the same group of people as much as possible, to help limit contact with others.
  • Disinfect any items which come into contact with one person before allocating them to another person or consider assigning specific tools to specific individuals.


  • It is recommended for the 2020-2021 school year, that personal vehicles only be used to travel to and from locations/spaces for projects. Mass transit/public transportation should be avoided at all costs. If possible, individuals should travel alone.
  • All drivers and passengers should wear face coverings.
  • High-touch surfaces in vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
  • If public transportation is used, travel should be arranged to avoid peak travel times, if practical. Masks must be worn.

Props, et Dressing, Costumes, Accessories, Wigs and Other Specialty Items

  • Props should be cleaned and disinfected before and after use.
  • Hands should be cleaned before and after handling props, set dressing and other items.
  • Equipment, such as radios/walkie-talkies, should be issued to a participant and used exclusively by that participant for the duration of the project.
  • Equipment that must be shared, must be wiped down with disinfectant between uses and hand hygiene should be performed after handling.
  • Personal kits for each participant are encouraged. No sharing of tools, headphones, microphones, tape, cell phones, gloves, food, paint brushes, paints, beverages, or any other personal PPE.
  • All clothing items must be laundered after each day of work.

Projects on Location

Projects on location/space can pose greater risks compared with projects at home. Those responsible for selecting a location/space should take the following considerations into account.

  • Reimagine your project so you can work as close to home as possible.
  • Consider locations that enable physical distancing (outdoors and well ventilated).
  • Provide adequate outdoor space or open sided tent space for physical distancing and meals.

Outdoor Locations / Spaces

  • Prioritize secure locations/spaces where access can be limited to the project itself, and participants can be isolated from the general public, when possible.
  • The location/space should provide sufficient space for project activities while adhering to physical distancing recommendations.
  • Prioritize locations with access to hand-washing facilities.

Indoor Locations / Spaces

  • Projects should avoid locations/spaces that have recently been occupied or used by people who may have been infected with COVID-19 for a period of 48 hours.
  • Projects should select buildings that can be easily and effectively cleaned and that provide sufficient space for project activities, while adhering to physical distancing.
  • Locations with hand-washing facilities available should be prioritized.
  • Allow adequate ventilation of indoor locations/spaces.

COVID Safety Plan

Use the information below to create a COVID Safety Plan for all projects except solo work.

  1. For projects in an interior location/space, including your place of residence, you must know the measurements of the space and 6 feet of social distance in all directions. This will dictate how many people you can have in the location/space. You may need to mark the floor.
  2. Please know how you will keep air circulating in interior spaces ie. fans, open windows, etc.
  3. Please identify the person on your project who will oversee COVID Safety Plan. This person will be responsible for documenting the following.
    • Reviewing daily LIVESAFE self-health check and approvals or implementing the daily verbal health checks
    • Schedule for wiping down high touch areas through-out the day
    • Schedule to go outside and remove face masks
    • Schedule for cleaning props, costumes and specialty items.
  4. Please know your PPE and how it will be implemented.
  5. Please know your close contact working procedure for participants, if necessary.
  6. Please know how you will be communicating COVID-19 information to participants.
  7. Please know your participants transportation information
  8. For installations, please explain how you will schedule audience viewing.
  9. Please know your food & beverage plan – participants should not eat within 6 feet of one another and there must not be any shared meals, beverages, or eating utensils.
Previous FV COVID-19 Off-Campus Film Production Guidelines
Next COVID Safety Plan Example
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