What Does the Future of Production Look Like?

We’re living in a time of a lot of uncertainty. Life as we know it is on pause - but what happens when the play button is pushed again? Sure, it’ll be a slow start, as there will still be health concerns, but quarantine isn’t going to last forever. People have a lot to return to in the “real world” - their education, their friends, their jobs. One of the biggest questions surrounding this return, though, is what will it look like?

At Kaylah Key Productions, our world is production. And production tends to be a hands-on industry. Client meetings, casting calls, and even craft services are all very up-close and personal. Germs are easily swapped. While this was never a second thought beforehand, it’s obvious that individuals are now very aware of their personal bubble - or their “six feet.” So what becomes the new normal?

Protocols will have to change to become more health-conscious. Thanks to programs like Zoom, it is easier than ever before to connect digitally with individuals for business needs. Initial client meetings can take place via webcam, with notes and presentations being shared virtually as well. All of the pre-production work can be executed from home. This includes casting calls through webcams and location scouting through virtual tours and agency recommendations. Groceries for craft services can be ordered ahead of time and handled by one individual to discourage the spread of germs. Meals can be individual, pre-boxed lunches ordered from restaurants, rather than a self-serve, buffet style.

Temperatures could be taken upon arrival, with backup crew members on hold in the event someone is ill. This would impact the overall production budget, as crew members on hold would be on hold for a certain percentage of their day rate. However, this could very much be a necessity due to the unknown nature of the virus and new overall health concerns. Additionally, studios and locations can create “clean rooms.” These rooms would act as the first point of contact for individuals coming on set. It would be a space to appropriately sanitize, ensuring the set remained as clean a space as possible.

Cleaning will be taken up a notch. The entire set will be sanitized completely, beforehand and after. Every surface will be wiped clean with Clorox, the floors will be vacuumed, and hand sanitizer will be at everyone’s disposal. Kaylah Key Productions will come to set equipped with CovidKits. These kits would include masks, booties for shoes, wipes, hand sanitizer, and whatever else we deem necessary as protocols evolve. This additional layer of production will require an additional crew member, whose primary duty is to observe the safety of the crew and everyone on set. We are all aware that productions can get chaotic while trying to get our schedules completed. To ensure safety and health remains a top priority, Kaylah Key Productions feels it’s essential to have a safety coordinator on set.

Rather than having a large group of people on set, the day will be limited to essential personnel. This includes the essential crew and talent but may not necessarily include the client. Thanks to modern technology, members of the agency can connect to the shoot via webcam, approving the photos remotely via the comfort of their home or office.

With only essential talent on set, it limits how many shots can be taken in a day. Talent will need to be staggered, allowing styling and hair and makeup time to sanitize their areas and supplies. There also will no longer be large waiting rooms for talent and families, given that only 1 additional family member may accompany talent under the age of 18. This process will potentially require extending the shoot to prioritize safety while maintaining the high-quality the client is accustomed to.

What will the advertisements we’re shooting look like? Will it be a nostalgic call to the ’90s, with themes of family and connection? Or will advertisements capitalize on individuals seizing the day, showcasing people taking advantage of activities they couldn’t do while in quarantine?

While there are a lot of questions in the air, one thing is clear - the planning process for photo and video shoots will be heavier. This puts more emphasis on the production team, as they navigate efficient scheduling while allowing time for delays, safety, and productivity.

If you are planning for a shoot in this post-quarantine world or want to extend the conversation of what production will look like, Kaylah Key Productions would love to talk!