The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) has just released a landmark online guide for filmmakers working during the pandemic: Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practices by and for Documentary Filmmakers.
The guide was created in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). Its goal is to help filmmakers navigate new ways of working safely in the context of COVID-19.
“DOC initiated this study to fill a gap for documentary filmmakers and empower them to make informed decisions about their productions based on official guidelines and emerging best practices sourced from within the community,” explains Michelle van Beusekom, executive director of DOC, in a statement. “Documentary is a small-scale, artisanal form of production and those working in Canada’s documentary sector are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19.”
The guide is based on a survey of 327 documentary professionals (directors, producers, crew), more than 50 in-depth interviews (filmmakers, experts and documentary participants) and health and safety guidelines from jurisdictions across Canada and abroad. The survey was conducted in July 2020.
Among its many findings, the research indicated a strong need for additional, genre-focused guidance, with 91% of respondents indicating that they are planning to be in production or post-production on a new project within the next year.
When asked how the industry might be supported, 38.46% asked for a production-specific health & safety plan (for producers), while just over 35% indicated more understanding when it comes to how to conduct a risk assessment (for producers).
About 75% of those who are currently working saying their primary concern is the safety of their participants and crew – with almost 38% saying they will only return to work when the health and safety risks feel lower. Just over 21%, meanwhile, indicated that they are waiting until they can obtain insurance without the COVID exclusions.
For a full review of the Guide, click here.