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  • Writer's pictureMaddie Cohen

14 Tips to Keep Your Film Production Safe

With the renewal of Michigan’s film incentive program, our state has some exciting productions in the works. This means that many new crews from out of state will soon be headed our way too.

Of course, we want to make sure that your Michigan film production is secure and rewarding. Here are 14 tips to keep your TV or movie set safe during filming:

1. Conduct a thorough risk assessment

Plan to identify the risks and potential hazards for each scene. From there, you’ll want to implement control measures that reduce those risks. For example, say one scene involves a fire. Plan to keep an extinguisher (or several) nearby and a trained safety consultant on set.

2. Get the right permits and licenses

This may seem like a given, but different states and cities have different licensing requirements. Confirm that you have all of the relevant licenses and permits for every location you plan to work in. This will keep things smooth-running during filming.

3. Provide adequate safety training

Some sets are controlled environments, while others are out in the open. Regardless of your situation, please make certain that all cast and crew members are trained on safety protocols. This will cover you financially, keep everyone safe, and preserve your reputation for future projects.

4. Develop an emergency response plan

Always have a plan in case of an emergency like a fire or injury. You’ll want crew members who are trained in first aid and other emergency procedures to be prepared to take action here. A simple but critical tip: Make sure everyone knows where the nearest exit is.

5. Hold regular safety meetings

On a weekly basis, plan to hold safety meetings. You may choose to do this with every location change as well. Encourage the discussion of any new concerns, hazards, or risks that arise. Encourage all cast and crew members to speak up if they have questions or recommendations.

6. Use personal protective equipment (PPE)

Every set has dozens or more people working a range of jobs. You’ll want to confirm that all cast and crew members have the appropriate PPE for their role. From helmets to N-95 masks for those who prefer to wear them, try to keep everything accessible for the duration of your production.

7. Maintain your equipment

Filming an elevator scene? Ask your safety crew to confirm the elevator is in working order. Maneuvering heavy gear? Inspect it regularly, and work as a team if you need to lift it. Keeping your equipment functioning properly is a top priority on any TV or movie set.

8. Hire qualified professionals

Don’t let your cast members do their own stunts! Plan to commission trained professionals for action shots, and don’t hesitate to use special effects for more hazardous scenes. We repeat: Stunt doubles are well worth the investment and should play a key role in your production’s safety plan.

9. Keep an eye on the weather

Don’t let a little rain get you down—but do step away if you’re filming outdoors during a storm or other weather event. While delays can definitely be setbacks, lightning, tornados, and flood conditions should be taken seriously while filming here in Michigan.

10. Steer clear of hazardous materials

Take special precautions when handling hazardous materials like explosives or flammables. These items can make your production more exciting, but they should be handled with care. You’ll want to make sure that only highly-trained people have access to them.

11. Prevent tripping hazards

This is where proper lighting comes in. Your team should keep all filming areas well-lit to prevent accidents. To reduce cast and crew members’ risk of tripping, you’ll also need to clear all walkways and filming areas. That means no clutter or debris!

12. Act quickly in the event of an incident

As we mentioned, having a designated safety officer on set is critical. This person should also be responsible for keeping first aid kits available and fire extinguishers on hand—and for calling emergency services if needed. Time is of the essence in an emergency situation.

13. Monitor fatigue and hydration

Cast and crew members should have access to water at all times. In addition, your entire team should take plenty of breaks and have the opportunity to rest when necessary. Personnel should look out for one another and address signs of fatigue or dehydration promptly. People’s health and safety matter!

14. Hire a local security team

Working with a licensed, well-trained group of security guards will give your production the added layer of protection it deserves. From access control to crowd dispersal, these experts will protect your cast and crew from pretty much any threat you can imagine.

The verdict is in, and by following these tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable production. Umbrella Security Services would love to be a part of it.

Contact Umbrella Security Services Today

Do you have questions about maintaining a safe production here in Michigan?

Interested in learning more about the types of security services we offer TV and movie crews?

Please contact us to schedule your free consult with Umbrella.

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