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COVID Protocols On Non-Union Sets


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I'm curious about what protocols sound mixers are requesting/requiring on non-union sets? A recent call about a corporate gig has surprisingly lax protocols considering the high profile client, so much so that I felt that I had to pass on it. I'm wondering if I'm being overly cautious and need to adapt?

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Seems SAG rules are dictating the protocols these days on non-union.  I did a narrative non union recently and we tested PCR weekly, rapids every few days, masks on at all times inside (optional outside).  Actors were just running around with no masks 100% of the time as they seem to get away with murder with SAG fighting tooth and nail regarding not requiring vaccinations etc.  COVID officer roamed about keeping an eye on things.  We did have a COVID scare on set one day where two did test positive so we switched to testing daily with rapids just to make sure (no one else tested positive for the rest of the shoot).  Turns out one of the actors who was never wearing a mask (shocker) tested positive and so did a crafty person who seemed to be rather lax on their mask as well, especially when chit chatting with talent.  Overall, I felt safe with everything though as we always staged gear etc in pretty open spaces rather than having cramped quarters.

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Here in SF many shows still request masking (indoors), the compliance is anywhere from 80% to close to zero depending on the venue .  There are many variations, and I often see that on the convention/theatrical side of things that the crew (and wait staff) are masked but none of the audience or customers are, indoors or out.  Some venues want to see your vax card, some want a rapid test before starting work, some do nothing at all, including masking.  As an oldster I'm not likely to give up masking when indoors with people I don't know any time soon, even if I'm the only one there wearing a mask.  Winter and new variants are on the way, folks.

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I don’t do narrative, but down here in the south, it’s rare to “mask up”, anymore.  Even when it’s on call sheets, it’s just on there mostly for dog ‘n pony.  The last time I tested and had to mask was about a month ago for a real estate show, but they are based in CA and have been crazy about Covid protocols since the get-go(testing is actually stricter, now).  Their editors actually screen the footage for the sole purpose of catching crew that may not be masked.  
 

The vast majority of people that I work with and are friends with  are vax’d and boosted, but I still see people losing work, because they refuse to get vax’d or sign waivers.  I even know a guy that not only refuses to get vax’d, but has on numerous occasions refused to even get tested so that he could work.

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2 hours ago, RunAndGun said:

Their editors actually screen the footage for the sole purpose of catching crew that may not be masked.

This seems more punitive than preventive.  If they actually wanted to stop COVID on the set, they'd have someone on set making sure people are wearing masks properly rather than weeks later trying to see who gets detention.

2 hours ago, RunAndGun said:

The vast majority of people that I work with and are friends with  are vax’d and boosted, but I still see people losing work, because they refuse to get vax’d or sign waivers.  I even know a guy that not only refuses to get vax’d, but has on numerous occasions refused to even get tested so that he could work.

Hadn't encountered this until I shot in Texas and encountered two crew members like this.  Both were proud that they had never taken a COVID test nor been vaccinated.  They also believed that it was some sort of government conspiracy but I didn't ask for further clarification given you can't reason with crazy people.  I was amused that both were worried about the COVID vaccine "damaging their bodies" while both were chain smokers.

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4 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

I'm at the other end of the scale from your no-vax, no-mask friend.   If I think that a producer is not taking care of Covid business then I pass on their gig.  Their choice, and mine.

Me as well, though I'm concerned that might become unsustainable long term.

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5 hours ago, codyman said:

This seems more punitive than preventive.  If they actually wanted to stop COVID on the set, they'd have someone on set making sure people are wearing masks properly rather than weeks later trying to see who gets detention.

Hadn't encountered this until I shot in Texas and encountered two crew members like this.  Both were proud that they had never taken a COVID test nor been vaccinated.  They also believed that it was some sort of government conspiracy but I didn't ask for further clarification given you can't reason with crazy people.  I was amused that both were worried about the COVID vaccine "damaging their bodies" while both were chain smokers.

 

Texas!!! 

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14 hours ago, TVPostSound said:

 

Texas!!! 

It's uh, a bit different than Los Angeles.  That being said, these two were the outliers on the crew and the rest were great.  I sure missed California those two weeks though.  Was about 134% humidity and had two tornado warnings 🙃

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The masks (as commonly defined), work for shit. The jabs work for shit, if not of negative efficacy. And the adverse events outweigh bennies for all but the absolutely most vulnerable.,and even that less and less likely. Mark it.

Do NOT jab the kiddos.

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10 hours ago, Rich Reilly said:

The masks (as commonly defined), work for shit. The jabs work for shit, if not of negative efficacy. And the adverse events outweigh bennies for all but the absolutely most vulnerable.,and even that less and less likely. Mark it.

Do NOT jab the kiddos.

Not around here!   We tend to go with real science?

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I have a pretty small circle of people I work for and with. But when asked to crew outside that careful circle, I ask about how they're handling COVID-19, and if they say "masking" I ask what sorts of masks? It's kind of a Van Halen brown M&Ms thing. If they're hip to the efficacy of different masks (see CDC image below), we're probably going to be good. We're asked if we're vaccinated, and sometimes I'm asked to show my card. Pre-testing only sometimes. Talent/subjects are less often masked, at least when we're rolling.  

 

The stuff I'm producing now revolves around some people with compromised immune systems. So we're KN95 or better masked, vaxxed, and just careful. Pretest when request by the facility/agency/people we're filming (just rapid, not PCR at this point). Outside can be different, but we're paying attention. 

 

I bring extra KN95 masks to every job. For me and to share. I get them here. Reasonable prices, available in slimming black, fast delivery, and apparently not bogus KN95 masks. https://bonafidemasks.com/powecom-kn95/

 

Seems like the main issues are covered, so I'm trying to be brief, not vague.

 

mm7106e1_MaskingEffectiveness_IMAGE_04Feb22_1200x675_1-medium.jpeg

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On most of my shoots all the crew has to be vaccinated and boosted.  However, masks went away on everything but medical and state jobs earlier this year I am based in Arkansas, but work all over the South.  We were lucky and our state never shut down business during the pandemic, so we had a bunch of work come to us from New York and LA since it was not allowed at that point and time.  With that said I still typically wear a mask when micing-up talent, just because we are in very close proximity and as a curtesy to the talent.  Yes, I have had covid, and no, I did not get it from or on a shoot.  Plus the rule is, if you don't feel well, find someone to cover you, or let production know ahead of time.  Test or get tested if you don't feel well.

 

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