Producing Through the Pandemic: How BX is Staying Safe in 2020

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Video production is inherently an in-person process. There’s just no way around it. Sure we can edit from the safety of our homes, conduct auditions online, but when it comes to shoot day a full team needs to come together in the same space. And unless we’re doing a commercial for masks, our actors and actresses aren’t going to be donning any personal protective equipment.

But it’s not just shoot day we’re thinking about. Your brand image is affected by all this, too. What sort of message do you want and need to convey about how your organization is taking COVID-19 seriously? How are people going to consume this video and what will say about the times we’re in? Suddenly, this goes deeper than a tall bottle of hand sanitizer.

So … how do we this?

Getting the Basics Right

The bottom line for a shoot day is simple: we do what experts and health professionals recommend we do to stay safe and reduce the risk of spreading germs.

That means we test everyone before allowing them on set. Hand sanitizer is plentiful. We wear masks at all times and social distance 6 feet or more — the only exception is for our actors/actresses when that camera light turns red. We also limit the number of people that need to be on set.

And when we aren’t shooting we are a remote business, conducting client discussions, editing, scripting and more from our homes. In fact, BX has gone full-remote, opting to only work out of our homes, rather than taking even small risks with limited office time.

In other words, we’re tackling the basics to the best of our ability. But a thoughtful approach to this pandemic is woven in from concept to completion.

Safety Starts at Concepting

Concept cloud floating in a pink backdropBefore we ever even consider location scouting, we’re wondering how the pandemic is affecting your business and some of the larger ramifications we should be aware of. Are consumers more interested in your product/service during the pandemic or less? Will people relate to traditional public or office settings they might be seeing in the video? Some of this will affect the video and some won’t. But the more aware we are of the context the better.

When we dream up concepts, COVID-19 is a meaningful constraint. For instance, instead of a restaurant full of people, could the same idea be accomplished with someone in their kitchen or a small gathering of people outside? If the video will launch still this year, what sort of messaging will resonate most with people still in their homes and taking safety precautions?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. And to be sure, the best, most creative concept wins. But we believe strongly that we don’t have to compromise the creative in order to keep people safe. Plus, leaning in to the current global reality only helps us be more on point with messaging.

Getting Creative with Collaboration

During a project, one of our favorite things to do is get in a room with the client and talk, dream, and creatively brainstorm. There’s just something special when that happens – when ideas can fly around the room and reverberate, collide, and change each other. We still want that to happen, but without the virus flying around, too.

Zoom meetings are key, but they don’t have to be our only crutch. Maybe we schedule a conference room with only key players and Zoom other people in as needed. Maybe we take it outside. There are good ways around this, but if not, we’ve already seen success with Zoom-only relationships.

Collaboration is still a necessary, life-giving part of the process. And remaining in close contact with the client is as important as ever. With some added intentionality, the process will feel as fluid and dynamic as it was pre-COVID.

Embracing Change

At BX, we’re constantly pivoting, changing, re-thinking everything. We haven’t dealt with a pandemic before, but change, even at a broad scale, is no stranger to us. We’ve moved across the country, changed up office locations, expanded and contracted our team, and said no to big projects we don’t believe in because we’re trying to build a better world.

What will happen next? We don’t know, but we do know that together with our clients, we’re going to get creative in order to move the world forward…and safely.

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