Tips to keep filming corporate video under Corona virus in Hong Kong!
Corona / Covid-19 virus epidemic situation will bring major damage to the film industry. There are a lot of freelancers that have no backup plan when shooting is not allowed anymore. We are trying to give our tips and finding to safe filming corporate video in Hong Kong. We have been offering video services since 2003 in China and want to share our knowledge and modified offer during this complicated time.
Before applying these tips to your team or clients, pleases make sure your locals regulations allows you to keep working and going outside. Don’t be a hero to pictures empty streets if you are asked to stay in confinement.
What is Covid-19 / Corona virus?
Originally discovered in Wuhan, China, in late November 2019, Covid-19 is a new virus from Corona virus family. It appears that proximity live animals from different species have created a mutating virus able to contaminated humans. It’s actually quite close to what happened in 2003 with SARS.
It spread now all over the world with many particularities;
▷ Many infected persons do not have apparent symptoms. That makes its detection harder. Many healthy carriers are spreading it without even knowing it. The classic answer to wear a mask or isolate yourself if you are sick is no longer valid. You may appear and feel completely healthy.
▷ The incubation period is quite long with about 2 weeks, so any change in health crisis management will take also 2 weeks to make any difference.
▷ The death rate is quite high compare to other virus with something around 2%. But the main issue is that patient need extreme medical equipment during their recovery period. These equipment are in finite numbers and impact the way medical team will treat other emergencies.
▷ It spread with physical contact, mainly, but suggestion that airdrop can also be carrying it airborne are gaining more attention. Getting the last information is vital to keep the right guideline.
▷ The virus can survive for about 2 days on specific surfaces. It will be killed with basic soap solution.
▷ There is no treatment or vaccine available and will not be for the coming months.
This is the sum of all these behaviors that make it very difficult to trace and avoid. There is no reason to panic but it’s absolutely necessary to follow current guidelines to slow the spreading.
What is the living and working situation in Hong Kong ?
Hong Kong is a 7 million persons city on a tiny piece of land. This makes it ideal for virus like Corona or simple flu to spread. Mass transportation are so convenient that many Hongkongers do not own a car, for example. Everyone is using buses and subway, so close contact is not avoidable on your way to work.
But the good thing is that people already have health protection knowledge and the basic protective gear are widely available. You can see, way before this epidemic situation, people wearing mask or with hand sanitizer attached to their bags.
All basics services are up and working, shops for food and basic needs are all open and full of products. Even face masks or cleaning product are available everywhere.
As for today, there is no mandatory request to stay at home, but more a strong advice to work from home if possible. All mass gathering event are cancelled. Social event are to be canceled as well. The subway is not as full as usual. Hong Kong remembers SARS outbreak in 2003 and some good habits with distancing and constant cleaning are a first step to slow the Corona spreading. The hospitals and health system are one of the best worldwide. Please check if your country allows you to go outside for shooting as HK does. Many tips about common flu protection are still valid for preventing Corona virus to spread.
The border with China is almost closed and a 15 days quarantine mandatory period is needed if coming from China or any countries with high contamination rate. But despite the proximity of China, HK have an approach more based on prevention and protection more than repression. Even quarantine is done at home with the help of tracing app and remote phone call from the police to check on your confinement. You will have to turn on your camera when they are randomly calling you.
There is even a real time map to display where and when each quarantine or suspected positive case is located. You can click on each case to get history and the bottom slider helps you select different data.
Which team to hire for your video production in Hong Kong under Corona virus?
As a video and photography production company based in Hong Kong; our job is to come and meet real people to interview or film b-roll. It obviously impossible do do it from our office. We have to come over, bringing equipment and crew members to your facility. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we kept shooting but adapt the way we work.
The major change is to scale down our crew to one man band or 2 person crew maximum. Less people mean less chance to get cross contamination and more space between each others. We have experience with one man bad running two camera getting sound or one videographer recording sound and rolling a prompter prior to this Corona outbreak.
The idea is to book high skilled worker able to take many position instead of a large crew. These team member are rare but still available are the job request is quite low during the Corona epidemic.
Resting days are mandatory between shooting days. We will not accept offer without 48 hours break in-between shooting days. This will allow any potential residual contaminated surface to be clean by the time it will be going out again. We will, of course, disinfect all our camera, light and sound gear, but this extra rest time is another safeguard.
Another tip is the make avoid contamination by touching surface that may have been contaminated as the floor or bags handles. It’s important to get the same team member holding the same camera bag, or tripod. Even if it could take more time to move from location, helping us with our bags is not a good idea.
We will bring dedicated preview monitor for you to check the frame and footage, it will help keep safe distance between each member of this project. If live feed is not needed, we are using chatting app to send screenshots and let you remotely control the camera framing.
All the filming equipment will be packed in advance by the same person that will be using it on set. All come on bags and will be unpacked only at the filming location.
We will not rent or sub-rent any of our equipment during this period. If something is missing, we will try to offer similar functionality with the gear we actually own already. With so much years experience doing video corporate in Hong Kong; we are confident to get anything you may need already.
All powder or make up product will be for single use only. We strongly suggest that any interviewee prepare his/her own kit.
All piece of equipment in contact with your team members as microphone, pen, screen will be disinfected on set. We will not hide lavalier microphone to avoid too much close contact. If the room is quiet enough, we may even record audio with unique boom microphone.
Of course, all team members will be wearing mask and gloves. We will also have replacement ready. More details about face mask are at the end of this page.
We did by the past plenty of corporate medical video including laboratories which help us on the current situation.
When outside during transportation, we are wearing goggle to also get the eyes protected. The virus can only enter you body by mouth, nose or eyes.
If the shooting will last more than half day, we will bring our own food prepared from home, to avoid going out for lunch break.
All footage will available online when we reach our office to avoid sharing cards on set. We have high speed remote server that can handle very large capacity ready for you.
Even if it may look rude, we will try to keep interaction as limited as possible. We will be in touch via visio conference for all the filming details prior to the shooting day.
What do you need to do if you need video shooting to keep connecting with the world?
All these dispositions are essential for a basic and safe shooting under Corona virus epidemic. On your side, it will imply more preparation and, usually, allows less work done during the same amount of time on set.
The worst situation will be to have to rush something and put our team, and so yours, in potential danger.
We will request a clear empty space to put our gear and team during setup time and dismantle. In order to respect social distancing, the bigger the room, the better it will be.
To ensure a prepared packing in advance; we will need you to book us a bit earlier than usual and confirm all your needs 48 hours prior to the shooting day at last.
Working with a mask is more tiring; so more time should be planned for every move/reset/dismantle. We should not be put in a position where time management put us at risk.
Your washroom should be accessible at any moment even if we will have our own sanitizer product.
Please allows way more time for setup and between interviews in order to reset.
Mask or no mask to protect from Corona virus?
This is a special chapter about the exact layer of safety a simple mask will bring to you… or not.
In Hong Kong, it would be foolish to come to an office tower without a face mask. There is now in most of the buildings, a temperature check point and wearing such mask is mandatory. 99.9% of people are constantly wearing a mask in Hong Kong right now.
But is it a local Asian belief or it offer a real protection?
WHO publish new guidelines and now recommend to wear a mask in public for everyone. We are proud to be advocating this from the beginning.
For Medical staff only?
There is a common acceptance from medical personal that a mask is for people handling confirmed sick persons only. The face mask hospital staff is wearing in front of epidemic situation is different that the one you can find at each corner in Hong Kong. It request specific training to get real efficiency. It’s hard to breath trough, and extra gear is necessary to complete the protection as glasses, for example. These masks are the only one that protect you from getting infected via direct droplet. Many of us do not have access to such respirator mask or training. In many countries in Europe, simple face mask are not even available without medical clearance.
The face masks you can buy are to avoid yourself to contaminate others when sick and coughing. The old advise is to wear them when you are sick and it will be useless and foolish to wear them if you are not.
Unfortunately, with Covid-19 virus; this advice is not valid anymore! Anyone can still sneeze even in apparent perfect health from a strong smell or allergy. As the virus do not show any symptom and most of people do not take they temperature every 2 hours; there is no way to know if you are infected or not. At this time, wearing a mask in a safe move to avoid spreading possible contaminated droplet. There are many cases where infected person did not have symptom during the entire contamination period.
Here is a picture for a corporate brochure inside a drug factory we shoot years ago. All workers are wearing mask and glass. Are these so useless?
Corona virus is not in the air?
The second mistake is too accept that the virus is not airborne and so; do not fly too far from the infected person. It deducts that social distancing and washing hands is enough. This is a very bold statement are we are at the very beginning of understanding how the virus is actually spreading.
A recent study using surveillance camera footage shows people sitting in a bus with closed windows. There are no interaction between each other during the entire trip. This is before the official start of epidemic and no particular precautions were in place at this time.
Bottom line; some passengers as far as 4.5 meters away from the only infected person ended contaminated at the end of 4 hours the trip. The virus was able to cross such distance. All persons wearing a simple mask in this bus were not infected. 13 extra infections were to report from a single positive carrier.
Another example is a modification done on exhaust pipe from an apartment toilet in Hong Kong where a fan was actually pushing air from another apartment toilet. Again, the virus flew the distance to infect an apartment 10 floors apartment.
This case may be extreme, but the virus death rate is too high for us to take a chance there. The last example shows also how important it is to get clean hygiene when using toilet and keep the lid close when flushing. This tips is actually valid at any time.
Face masks creates more touching than no mask?
The third wrong statement is to claim that people wearing face masks are actually touching more their face than without it as it’s quite uncomfortable. It’s true that putting something on your face for hours is not easy and it can be itchy. But if you wear a mask on a daily basis; you will get use to it quickly and will slowly stop adjusting it or touching it. The earliest you start wearing it, the easiest it will become a natural gesture.
Few persons have automatically behavior to touch their face when thinking or listening; this is also for them a great reminder to not do such.
Masks have zero protective effect?
Last funny idea is that a simple face mask gives no protection at all. This is, again, misleading. It’s true that they do not protect you 100% from infection. The best available one called N95, correctly place on you face, should filter 95% of the particles.
Studies shows that a simple handmade mask with a cotton from a tee shirt can get you 60% filtration. Even if it can protect you on only 10% of the possible contamination situation; It’s still better than nothing.
Like an airbag or an ABS system; it’s not gonna avoid you to get a car crash and you should not drive faster because you have one. But it may do a difference between being dead or alive in few situation. We will take this opportunity.
During this photo shooting, our photographer is wearing the same outfit than the staff. We know how to work in tough condition and did is already as you can see below!
And to finish; a face mask is one time use and should be carefully handle by cleaning your hands as soon as you remove or re-adjust it. It’s like a game but it may saves you or the one in front of you.
I have understood the need for countries where face mask are not available to communicate that they should be reserved for medical staff, but we can still do some DIY to lower our risks. A 100% population coughing under a mask will slow the spreading compare to a 0%.
Here is a simple comparison between Corona virus size and why simple face mask have limited effect if the virus is airborne. It’s so tiny that it can cross almost any fabrics material. Fortunately, it seems most of contamination are coming from droplets that are much bigger than 0.1 micro-meter.
Contact us if you need to hire a film crew in Hong Kong despite the epidemic situation.
If you feel we are the right team for your next video corporate in Hong Kong; please follow this link to connect with us and try to describe as much as possible your coming project. We will be happy to guide you on the best tips for getting a bit more cautious about this specific virus situation.
And hope to see you soon!
Page posted by the end of March 2020 with current knowledge of the Corona virus behavior in Hong Kong.
It’s a personal tips that we put in place with the factual medical understanding of spreading behavior.
It’s not a mainstream guideline for all video production worldwide. Fell free to contact us if you feel we are doing something wrong.