Insights and Advice from a COVID-19 Compliance Officer for Pre-production and Production 5
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Getting ready to start a production and will be taking the compliance officer course. I have concerns, as one of the Producers has wanted to ignore protocols, and the lead actor, who is also co-directing and also producing, wants to offer only PPE but is relying on everyone to make their own decisions relating to safety. Its a non-union project and so I’m thinking they want to slip under the radar. As the UPM I’d love some advice.


Hi David!

Whew! This is a tough one. Non-union and union productions should follow the same safety protocols where Covid-19 is concerned, as the virus doesn’t really care whether or not SAG is involved. My question is this: if they went through the trouble to hire a C19CO, then why not just adhere to the safety protocols? Here are my recommendations:

1) talk to the production team and reinforce the need for a team mentality on this in order to have a safe production with everyone on the same page. Remind them of the duties of your role, the necessity of the role, and the need to have adequate tools to do your job. Because of the need with productions to have individuals on set without PPE, then it is very important that everyone who’s not on camera be on the same page rather than “making their own decisions relating to safety.” The C19CO should have both the autonomy and the authority to stop production if there are any potential issues. Professionally, but firmly, reassert your authority in the interest of common good.

2) hate to say it, but maybe this isn’t a production of which you want to be a part. Sure, you lose the income (and believe me, I understand the pinch nowadays), but why be part of a production that doesn’t value either your role or your safety?

I hope this helps – stay safe and good luck!



While working on a production, I find that while there’s a team of health and safety folks on staff, there isn’t a C19CO and there are questionable practices and parameters in place. Who do I contact to let the production know we need a C19CO?

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