Documentary Daily Production COVID-19 Protocols

Start of the Day

Daily Wellness Check

  • All students should monitor their own health before leaving for set, checking for any COVID symptoms, such as a fever, chills, shortness of breath, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, nausea, and loss of smell or taste.
  • Using FSU’s Daily Wellness Check app is recommended.


  • Crew should self-drive wherever possible, especially if the crew has not formed a COVID pod for the production weeks.
  • If carpooling with anyone outside of your pod, use face-coverings.
  • If at all possible, avoid using public transit.

Prepping the Location

  • Allow for enough time to prep and secure the location at the beginning of the shoot. Be sure to address any safety concerns that were identified during the tech scout.
  • Equipment may only be handled by members of the department to which it belongs and each department is responsible for sanitizing its equipment during load in.

Morning Meeting

  • The director must confirm that everyone has a compliant mask. A disposable from the safety kit should be provided to anyone that needs one.
  • The director must take the temperature of all crew and doc subjects using the touchless forehead thermometer from the safety kit. If someone’s temperature is above 100.3°F, the individual must be sent home.
  • The director must remind all crew and doc subjects about physical distancing and mask-wearing policies:
    • Six-feet distance between individuals must be maintained wherever possible.
    • Masks must be worn indoors at all times, except for on-camera subjects while the camera is rolling.
    • Masks must be worn outdoors if physical distancing cannot be achieved at all times.
  • The director must communicate any additional COVID safety announcements for the day, as needed.

Shooting Interviews & B-Roll

Since the shooting of interviews and b-roll may involve a doc subject not wearing a mask for an extended period of time, please remember that additional safety precautions must be taken.

Setting Up

  • Avoid indoor settings if at all possible. If shooting indoors is necessary, set up in an area with as much outdoor ventilation as possible.
  • Make sure there is enough space for the crew to work while maintaining physical distancing. Crew must maintain physical distancing at all times, except for where a technical operation makes it impossible. Such moments should be kept to a bare minimum and undertaken with extreme caution.
  • Camera placement should be more than six feet away from any doc subject. Any exceptions to this need to be approved by faculty in advance.
  • The sound mixer should hand a sanitized wireless lav to each doc subject and instruct them how to secure the mic. If necessary, the sound mixer may secure the mic themselves, but the physical proximity to the doc subject should be kept to a minimum duration and an extra level of protection should be considered (such as a face-shield or a plexiglass divider).

Going For Picture

  • Any slating should be at least six feet from any doc subject. If the lens or space does not allow for that, a pan over to the slate should be used instead.
  • Immediately prior to “ACTION”, a callout for “MASKS OFF” should be added. The doc subjects should remove their own masks. If the shot doesn’t permit them to keep the mask on their person, they should put the mask into a ziploc bag with their name on it and place it in its own basket until after the setup. The director is responsible for managing the baskets.
  • Immediately after “CUT”, a callout for “MASKS ON” should be added. The director hands the ziploc bag with mask back to the doc subjects and they put their own masks back on.


  • Since masks need to be taken off for eating, extra precaution must be taken.
  • All meals should be eaten outside with a minimum of six-feet distance between each individual. Stagger the start time for meals if physical distancing is not possible at the location.
  • After lunch, the Director should make sure that high-touch surfaces at the location get a sanitizing wipe down and each department should sanitize heavily used items of equipment.


  • Allow sufficient time (at least 60 minutes) for loading out equipment and cleaning the location. The director should not leave the location until everything has been fully wrapped, cleaned, and restored.
  • The sound mixer should instruct doc subjects on how to remove lavaliere mics. The sound mixer should then sanitize the mics.
  • Each department should clean and sanitize equipment during wrap.
  • Any Doors Down Meetings should be performed outside.