IMPHAL: The Manipur State Film Development Society (MSFDS) has finalized the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which was submitted on October 13, 2020 was approved by Secretariat Health Department vide letter dated on October 20, 2020.
In its notes signed by Director of Health Services, Manipur Dr. K. Rajo Singh stated failure to strictly adhere to the published protocol during shooting as well as post-production will attract punishment under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act 2005.
The final version SOP for shooting films in the State during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to facilitate resumption of film and TV programme shooting and media production activities in the State which are an important part of the economy that have come to a standstill as a result of COVID, SOP has been formulated for production activities for the State of Manipur as under.
Mandatory Information for Shooting; All producers of films and media producers must inform through online application for shooting or production activities to MSFDS through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org details listed in FORM-1 and FORM-2. MSFDS will pass on the application to relevant authorities like the concerned DCs, police stations and local bodies for information and follow up action if and when necessary, Regular thermal scanning and frequent sanitization is must for all during film shooting activities. Every crew and cast member must undergo temperature measurement with a contactless thermometer before entering a film set. Body temperature limits must be in accordance with the specific health regulations set by the Government. Anyone with a high temperature must not be allowed to enter the set, once the personnel have been screened and cleared for work, they must be provided with a wristband indicating that they are safe to proceed to the set.
If any member of the film-shooting unit is found exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, it shall be the responsibility of the Unit Head to intimate to the nearest health Centre. Suitable provisions must be provided for isolation until transportation of the symptomatic person or persons, Masks and face covers are mandatory at all times except in front of the camera during takes, frequent hand washing and sanitization protocols must to be followed at regular intervals, All effective film shooting area/floor must be sanitized daily before the shoot and after.
Where there is no access to running water and soap for hand washing, washing stations’ with soap must be provided. All Cast/Crew upon entering the film production premises must wash hands with soap and water, and wear fresh mask during their stay in the film set or post-production studios/labs, social distancing (of 6 feet) must be ensured while sitting or standing at shooting locations, even during shooting of scenes, sequences, set-ups at various camera locations and at sound recording studios and editing studios/rooms. Steps must be taken to ensure minimum physical contact during shooting and post-production.
Artists must be encouraged and supported to carry out their customs and props at their residence and visit the premises with minimal support staff, Crew-members handling or working with common or shared equipment need to wear disposable gloves as well as practice frequent hand hygiene even with gloves-on, Transparent face shield, over and above the mandatory mask, must be worn by those who come in close contact with artist and crew where social distancing may not be possible, like food servers, make-up artists etc.
Sharing of costumes, hair wigs, make-up items, equipment, etc. must be kept at a minimum and disinfection carried out after every use. Make-up area/stations must be minimum 6 feet apart. The production companies must make sure adequate provisions of gloves, boots, mask, and face shields during productions. If any member of the production unit is found Covid positive, the Unit Head must inform the concerned district administration or health authorities who will follow the guidelines issued in such cases by the State Government. Shooting will not be allowed in containment zones and the Unit Head must ensure that no member of the team or crew belong to any such zones.
A maximum crew size for indoor shoots must be 15 and 20 for outdoor shoots. Production units must ensure minimum crew as far as possible to maintain social distancing during shooting and post-production. During Indoor shooting and post-production activities suitable measures for
Cross- ventilation of sets/rooms must be ensured. All Cast and Crew above the age of 60 and those at higher risk such as pregnant women, persons with underlying medical conditions are to be avoided as far as possible.
For Outdoor shooting, necessary coordination with the local authorities must be ensured to minimize and manage the spectators and even stay- over facilities for the crew will need to be planned adhering to physical distancing guidelines. Visitors and audience shall not be allowed on film/production sets/post production labs. Respiratory etiquette like covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing to be adhered. Aarogya Setu app must be installed on compatible devices and to be kept active throughout shooting and post-production periods.
Efforts must be made to minimize the use of props and regular sanitization of these props carried out. Lunch/dinner must be staggered to ensure social distancing. Eliminate self service. Seating during food must adhere to the 6-feet rule. Serve lunch boxes when possible. Allow the Cast and Crew to bring their own food whenever possible. While carrying out pick-ups of cast/crew and equipment, limit the number of persons traveling on a vehicle to ensure social distancing. Travelling persons must wear masks at all times and carry their personal sanitizers for regular usage. Drivers must sanitize (with soap/detergent water) the vehicle (seats, handles etc.) inside and out every time people exit the vehicles. Windows of vehicles must be rolled down when possible to allow ventilation.
Unit Head must ensure safe disposal of used/soiled face masks, PPE and other disposable items as prescribed by the State Health authorities. Practice of regular cleaning/sanitization schedule for sets, washrooms and make-up room/area/enclosures must be followed during film shooting and post-production facilities. For post-production activities at editing and sound studios, continuous sanitization of facilities and all frequently-touched equipment must be carried out at regular intervals with suitable sanitizer like sodium hypo chloride, alcohol base, or simply with soap/detergent water. All post production studios must designate a person to open the gates and doors for all those entering premises.
Production companies will need to follow travel-related guidelines and SOPs issued by the MHA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Railways and the State Government. They will also need to designate a supervisor who will need to keep records of travel and medical history of the crew and monitor implementation of all the norms. Police/Health department to tie up with district administration officials to ensure mechanism for monitoring these guidelines put in place and in case of any violation, the administration must enforce relevant sections of Disaster Management Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act, of the State and the Indian Penal Code (1PC) it added.