Documentary Organization of Canada launches online COVID-19 production guide

Link to Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practices by and for Documentary Filmmakers

The Documentary Organization of Canada has released an online guide: Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practices by and for Documentary Filmmakers.

Created in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and with input from professional documentary makers, the guide aims to help filmmakers navigate new ways of working safely in the context of COVID-19.

Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19 is based on a survey of 327 documentary professionals (directors, producers, crew), in-depth interviews with over 50 individuals (filmmakers, experts and documentary participants) and a rigorous review of health and safety guidelines from jurisdictions across Canada and abroad.

The survey, conducted in July 2020, indicated a strong need for additional, genre-focused guidance with 91% of respondents indicating that they are planning to be in production or post-production on a new project within the next year and 75% of those who are currently working saying their primary concern is the safety of their participants and crew.

Researched and written by documentary filmmaker Chanda Chevannes, the guide is a response to calls from the community for more documentary-specific pandemic guidance to supplement high-level provincial/territorial film and television guidelines. It helps filmmakers work through ethical considerations as well as issues that may arise in post-production.

The guide presents six illuminating case studies from Canadian filmmakers who are currently in production and provides links to a wealth of practical resources for those who are producing during these unusual times.

The guide is available online in English and French.

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