APR’s COVID-19 Production Recommendations
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact brands across the globe, marketers have been forced to alter plans, cancel, or postpone live-action production and events. Here are some ways to mitigate risk, minimize cost impact, and manage production chaos in the ensuing months:
Determine your priorities in the order in which you can address each issue. Take, for example, shoot locations. The availability to shoot in certain areas of the world changes every day. If you plan to shoot, define all travel logistics, and set clear interaction protocols for crews, agency, client, etc. Everyone involved should understand precisely how they are supposed to interact with other personnel in a safe manner.
The current situation is extremely fluid – so stay flexible. Be prepared for civil authorities to alter requirements and/or restrictions, and work with production teams to develop alternate plans, or – if necessary – shut down the shoot entirely.
Consider streaming video assistance from the set location to the marketer and/or agency involved in production. This will also allow any key personnel (Directors, agency, etc.) to communicate from safe, remote locations. Furthermore, virtual events may provide proper working conditions to continue operating safely.
Make visible changes to existing copy to properly address social distancing, crowd scenes, and excessive touching of actors, models, and equipment.
Capture additional scenes to extend the lifespan of the work for later use.
Review production insurance during the bidding process to define coverages and determine risks prior to awarding the project.
Update talent contracts to include language that gives you the flexibility to pivot should changes to the project be required.
CONTENT CREATION – ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Consider repurposing existing assets to refresh or create new content. Be prepared to address logistics and the potential of additional costs due to renewal rights associated with images, talent, audio, etc.
Explore licensing previously unpublished or personal content from directors, photographers, and other content creators.
Create graphics-only spots and print ads that can be produced and sent to market quickly. Consider audio executions to enhance your brand messaging, character, or campaign signature.
Consider animation and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to produce spots in lieu of live-action pieces.
Increase your use of social influencers.
Engage your consumers and collect user-generated content (UGC) to create a fresh advertising campaign.
VIDEO/PHOTOGRAPHY PRODUCTIONS – CANCELLED OR POSTPONED
Ensure that the cancellation or postponement costs are reviewed in detail with the production company for committed or non-refundable expenses.
Honor your agreements to pay negotiated fees to agencies and vendors in a timely manner. Given the current environment, small businesses are extremely at risk of closures due to limited cash flow.
Review insurance policies to see which production costs resulting from COVID-19 will be covered. If you have an agency or client wrap-up policy and canceled an awarded production due to COVID-19, we suggest you file a claim and remain patient – as of March 26, 2020, there is already an overwhelming back-up of claims being considered/processed. Due to current conditions, it is highly unlikely insurers will cover claims for new productions due to COVID-19.
Review and negotiate talent contracts for a fair and equitable outcome. We are finding some flexibility in talent commitments during this time.
Review insurance coverage to determine if it includes a cancellation policy.
Review agreements with agencies, production partners and third parties for cancellation terms.
Negotiate any and all cancellation fees.
Check with federal, state and local government for potential support.
Please feel free to reach out to APR and tap into our Subject Matter Experts at any point. Our experts around the globe are ready to support in any way we can.