There are a lot of things that go into making a great film, whether you are an indie studio or a big budget production company. A lot of expense goes into the craft of film making, but if someone get’s injured or worse the price is just too high. When filming safety has to be considered with paramount importance, and is the responsibility of everyone involved in the project, not just the directors and producers. Everyone should be practicing good safety and should speak up if they are uncomfortable with anything they are doing.
Insurance Coverage on Films
One of the differences between small production companies are large ones is liability insurance. Larger film companies and projects usually have this base covered, but if you are a new actor or volunteering for a small indie project, it may not occur to you that you might get hurt or injure someone else, and that the filmmakers may not have insurance to cover it. When working on any film project always inquire about the insurance if it’s not covered in your introductory packet and talent release.
It’s important to understand that you need to be protected and have something in writing. If you are injured during the course of a film, you shouldn’t have to come out pocket or use your own insurance to cover it, it should work much the same way as if you were injured during any other employment.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
If you are asked to perform a stunt, operate equipment or do anything that you feel might be dangerous or that you consider yourself uncomfortable with, you need to speak up about it. Even if you previously agreed to it don’t be afraid to tell the filmmakers that you have changed your mind and you don’t feel confident doing something. They will understand and even if it causes problems they know that it is better to not have you do it than to have it go terribly wrong.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risk
As a filmmaker you are responsible for everything that happens during your production. This is a responsibility you shouldn’t take lightly and you should be doing everything thing you can to ensure the safety of your cast and crew. Don’t take any unnecessary risk just to get a better shot or effect, prioritize the safety of your people above what might be best for the film.
Stunts involving pyrotechnics and vehicles for example are extremely dangerous and you should ensure you have certified professionals handling these things at all times. You should also have people on standby to act in the event something goes wrong. Always make sure you have first aid kits and fire extinguishers readily available on set should the need arise. Also make sure that you have gotten the appropriate permissions and permits for what you are doing. In the event something does go wrong, you don’t want to hesitate out of concern from involving the proper authorities. This an instance where you need to ask permission rather than forgiveness.