The global crisis that is COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions put in place here in the UK and further afield have put strains and instigated change in businesses of all shapes and sizes, not least the video production industry.
With the vast majority of our work conducted on-location and in industries that have been heavily impacted, such as education, travel and hospitality, we've seen unprecedented changes in the way we're able to work.
Like many others we have been staying abreast of these restrictions and other government guidance on a daily basis to ensure we can help meet our clients' needs whilst working safely and mitigating risk, for both our own team and the contributors and clients we work with.
Please note that if there have been recent changes to government advice or guidelines then this content may be out-of-date until we amend it as required.
In short: most shoots able to be conducted safely.
Following government guidance and updates commencing 13th May we are now more freely able to travel and film on-location.
Our in-house approach allows us to manage this more acutely, filming individually or as a distanced crew of 2 where required.
Our equipment allows us to do this safely and from distance. With wireless monitoring, follow focus and other equipment to hand, we can conduct interviews from over 2m away or even from other rooms.
Crew are equipped with hand sanitiser, face masks and gloves for use as and when required and risk assessments - as on a normal basis - are completed ahead of every shoot.
In-line with the government's advice on face masks from 24th July, the use of face masks is now mandatory for crew and off-camera contributors and clients when filming indoors.
Our in-depth procedures and processes with regards to video production can be provided on request.
In short: business as usual.
Fortunately we were already entirely cloud-based, with all project files and footage accessible remotely. This has allowed our editors and animators to continue their work seamlessly from home.
All our editors have now returned to office full-time out of choice and are able to utilise our gigabit-speed internet and access archive footage to assist clients' frequent requests to make use of existing footage and projects.
Otherwise, post-production and animation have been and can continue to operate at full capacity with minimal disruption, and many clients have already taken advantage of this by commissioning new animation projects and utilising existing content.
In short: business as usual.
Since mid-March, like many companies, our attention has shifted to both our internal brand and to-do lists and planning and strategy of our clients to help them survive and grow during and after this period.
We're working with many clients to conduct research, develop concepts and set out timelines and plans for filming and distribution for later in the year.
As such we're more than happy to receive briefs or talk about challenges your business is facing, and remain flexible and understanding on budgets, deliverables and deadlines until lockdown is eased or more is known.
In short: office open for staff in-line with all government guidance and legal obligations.
All our team are able to and have been working from home wherever possible, and since 13th May our office is open for those who need or want to work from our studio - which remains 100% optional.
We've conducted a thorough risk assessment - available on request - to ensure the environment is COVID-secure and we're meeting all our legal obligations, including layout changes, >2m between every desk, limitations on using shared facilities, restrictions on accessing communal areas, and the provision of handwashing facilities.
We're in the highly fortunate position that our office is self-contained, we have the space to have been able to make the required changes and none of our team commute via public transport.
We are still limiting access to the team with all meetings conducted via phone or video call. Our voiceover recording facilities are operational for client projects only.
In short: here to stay, plans to grow.
This period is a challenge for every business, and even with the best-laid plans and most buoyant of financials there'll be problems and difficult decisions to make.
We're incredibly fortunate that we had a successful 2019/2020, including an unusually busy January and February. Even still, with many of our clients closing their doors in March - particularly in the education sector - we've seen projects postponed like many others.
As a result we have furloughed three of our team due to the decrease in shooting requirements and to assist our rebound when lockdown eases and some normality returns.
We still have enough capacity to meet all our client demands, and they'll return as and when required, potentially part-time (when allowed) or full-time for us to double our capacity.
We're financially secure for at least the rest of the year and we're looking forward to putting our clients in the best possible position to grow together thereafter.
As always we're only an email or call away, and we're happy to answer any questions you may have or provide advice on what's possible and safe to do so during the current situation.