The COVID-Safe Set: How Skillman Video Group Reimagined Video Production

Copvid Safety zone gear

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill, but it couldn’t dim the lights on video production.

In fact, it sparked a new era of creativity and innovation, forcing crews to adapt and reinvent their processes to ensure safety without sacrificing quality.

At Skillman Video Group (SVG), Director of Photography Chuck Green spearheaded a meticulous approach to navigating these uncharted waters.

Chuck Green’s Gear Garage: A Symphony of Cleanliness and Organization

In the heart of SVG’s production set lies Chuck’s “Gear Garage,” a dedicated room where every piece of equipment finds its place.

This isn’t just any storage space; it’s a carefully orchestrated symphony of cleanliness and order.

A central table becomes the stage for a meticulously choreographed dance between clean and dirty gear.

The right side, a pristine haven for cameras, sandbags, mics, and more, stands in stark contrast to the left, where used equipment awaits its sanitizing ritual.

Even the humble disinfectant wipes have their designated blue trash bag, an extra layer of precaution to prevent any confusion about what’s clean and what’s not.

It’s a testament to SVG’s commitment to leaving no stone unturned when it comes to safety.

The Mic Drop: Balancing Safety and Sonic Excellence

Attaching a lapel mic to talent presents a unique challenge in the era of social distancing.

But SVG’s got it covered. With a mask, face shield, and gloves, crew members approach the task with the precision of surgeons, ensuring minimal contact while maintaining audio quality.

But the lapel mic isn’t the star of the show.

That honor belongs to the boom mic, perched on a C-stand, capturing crystal-clear audio from a safe distance. It’s a harmonious blend of safety and sonic excellence.

The Director’s Dilemma: Masks On or Off?

When it comes to interviews, director Christina Skillman faces a dilemma: masks on or off?

It’s a question that goes beyond mere safety; it’s about capturing authentic emotions and fostering genuine connections. Christina prefers a mask-off approach, but only with the talent’s permission.

Why the preference? A masked face can create a barrier, hindering the natural flow of conversation and leaving the talent feeling stiff and emotionless.

By revealing her expressions, Christina invites a deeper level of engagement, allowing the talent to relax and deliver more compelling responses.

The Crew Conundrum: Adapting to a New Normal

The pandemic has also reshaped the dynamics of production crews.

Smaller crews have become the norm, and social distancing is paramount. SVG’s approach is flexible, adapting to the unique needs of each production.

Whether it’s a two-person crew or a larger team, the focus remains on safety and efficiency.

It’s a testament to SVG’s ability to navigate the challenges of the times while delivering exceptional results.

The Show Must Go On: Embracing the Future of Video Production

As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, video production is evolving at an unprecedented pace. SVG’s proactive approach, meticulous attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to safety are paving the way for a new era of creativity and collaboration.

It’s a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of storytelling in even the most challenging times.