The New Face of Production
As we face a new tomorrow, it is always important to remember the things we take for granted every day. Something as simple as traveling for an out-of-town shoot is no longer as straight forward as it used to be. This past week I traveled to Jackson, MS and then to Monroe, LA for ABC News (National) to cover the storm damage that tore across the Gulf Region and ultimately up the Eastern Seaboard.
Basic practices such as putting mics on talent have come under scrutiny. For the first time in my professional career, boom mics are not only the tool requested by PRODUCERS, but are mandatory for self-distancing. And beyond that, for news purposes, they want to see them in the shot! Now this will all go away over time, but it just goes to show that 1.) the public is not distracted by seeing a mic, and 2.) they sound so much better than lavs! (I admit I am biased on this one).
PPE was distributed when we arrived, and worn throughout the 5-day shoot. The reporters lav mic was only handled by him, and placed in ZipLock bags when not in use. He mic'd himself and de-mic'd himself.
Only time will tell us what will happen next. People's tolerance for germs and potential infections will change. Film/TV sets, as well as reality shows are all high-density areas, with the potential for contact and transmission in most departments. Will actors/talent allow us to mic them anymore, or will they demand that they mic themselves? Will we go back to the days of multiple boom operators, and reduced cameras? Whatever the future holds, production crews are some the most creative individuals around. We will find ways to navigate this new landscape, and bring the shows, news, sports, and entertainment you love back as quickly as possible.