Filmmaking is here to stay in Michigan. With stunning landscapes and easy access to must-have amenities, it’s no wonder film crews are coming our way. (Now is probably a good time to mention the renewal of our state’s film incentive program too.)
Yet filmmaking has evolved in recent decades, with a growing trend toward remote shoots. These productions offer massive visual appeal—but they also present certain security challenges. This article will summarize the obstacles of securing shoots in offsite locations. We will also discuss strategies to mitigate risks so that you can prevent problems from happening in the first place.
With that, here are some tips to consider when filming in remote outdoor places.
Cast and crew safety
Unlike controlled studio environments, remote shoots tend to take place in unfamiliar, rugged areas. This lack of familiarity can lead to cast and crew safety issues involving harsh terrain, extreme weather, and even wildlife encounters. (This is your reminder to be bear-aware on set in Michigan!) To address these challenges, plan to conduct detailed risk assessments before you film. Evaluate the location, identify potential issues, and implement strong safety measures.
Nothing beats cast and crew safety—but that doesn’t mean your equipment can just fall to the wayside. Production gear is valuable and often fragile, making it susceptible to theft or damage without a strong system in place. So when you film in remote places with limited storage facilities, plan to establish strict protocols for equipment handling and transportation. Detailed inventories, lockable cases, and insurance coverage will offer an extra layer of protection.
Most of Michigan has great cell coverage, but our state still has some pretty remote areas. These spots are a little—well, spottier, if you will. Yet communication between crew members is paramount, and mobile networks and Wifi connections may be limited in offsite locations. To deal with this, plan to rely on alternative communication systems like satellite phones and walkie-talkies. These devices will promote constant contact and safety.
Physical security and cybersecurity go hand in hand—and film crews need to protect their sensitive production data and intellectual property. This is key in offsite locations, which typically rely on digital storage devices and cloud-based file-sharing platforms. Make sure to implement robust security measures like encryption and two-factor authentication to prevent a data breach. And of course, don’t forget to educate your staff on password management and the value of recognizing cyber threats like phishing.
Environmental protection is yet another consideration when filming offsite. Scheduling a shoot in a forested area, park, or wilderness should be done with care. To minimize your impact on the environment, plan to follow local regulations, seek the necessary permits, and leave locations in better shape than you found them. Putting the spotlight on renewable energy sources and biodegradable materials can reduce your environmental footprint even further.
Welcome to Michigan! Our state offers tons of opportunity for beautiful remote shoots, and your production will be in good hands here. Just remember to prioritize security when you film in offsite locations. Beyond protecting your cast and crew, we encourage you to establish strict protocols and preserve the environment during filming. Don’t forget to invest in an expert local security team as well.
Contact Umbrella Security Services Today
Umbrella Security Services works with film crews on a regular basis, and we’d love to connect for your next production here in Michigan. With us by your side, you can offer your team the safe and positive experience they deserve.
Please contact us for more information or to schedule your free consultation.