Once upon a time in Hollywood on the first day of a production, gaffers, key grips, boom operators, and lighting techs would show up for work—ready to make magic.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everything suddenly changed, leaving the industry wondering how to protect production crews so they can come back to work.
The solution: like hospitals requiring a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of elective surgery, testing can create a safe production set for cast and crew.
BraveMaker Films, an independent film production non-profit, is starting to bring their cast and crew back to work after months in quarantine.
BraveMaker has an urgent need to ensure that cast and crew have a safe production set, so they can bring their business back to life.
MedCreds Creates a Verifiably Safe Work Environment for BraveMaker
On July 6, 2020, MedCreds (which offers private and trusted verifiable-credentialing solutions) announced it has partnered with BraveMaker to assist them in creating a verifiably safe work environment.
Right now, film production crews are still developing best practices for providing safe production sets, and the film-industry unions (DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters) recently came out with safety guidelines on set.
MedCreds, working with Bravemaker, learned about the challenges involved to coordinate group COVID-19 testing with production schedules.
Challenges with COVID-19 Testing
On Wednesday, July 1, 2020, BraveMaker had 21 people from the Bay Area visit Dr. Ben Littlejohn a physician, via a Telemedicine Zoom call to be referred for a COVID-19 test.
We discovered that since everyone was from a different place, each city and county have different rules regarding who can get tested. Many of the COVID-19 testing facilities did not have appointments available for 3 days or more. In some cases, lab results took 4 days after the test was completed.
MedCreds and BraveMaker learned valuable lessons for getting a film production crew back to work safely.
- Cities, counties, and states have different eligibility requirements for COVID-19 testing
- Insurance plans differ in which testing facility they contract with
- Each testing facility has availability of appointments that vary depending on ever changing supply and demand
A Plan for Production Sets
Due to the current challenges and limited availability of testing in some locations, we can offer the following insights:
3 Weeks Before Production Start Date - Cast and crew are directed to schedule an appointment with their own doctor or a MedCreds Network doctor to get a referral for a COVID-19 test
2 Weeks Before Production Start Date - Cast and crew have either a zoom or in-office visit with their doctor to have a health screening. Each person is referred to a COVID-19 test at a lab convenient to their location
1-4 Days Before Production Start Date - Each person visits a testing site to have a test administered using an approved COVID-19 test
1 Day Before Production Start Date - All cast and crew have received their medical professional issued COVID-19 test result credential from MedCreds
Production Start Date - Prior to arriving on set, or upon arrival, cast and crew scan a QR code and consent to sharing their COVID-19 test result status, via MedCreds verifiable credential proof, with the production company. The company will then have a cryptographically verifiable record of COVID-19 test results issued by authorized medical providers for each of their cast and crew.
This process provides assurance that everyone has been screened and educated about health and safety policies, and a COVID-19 test result has been issued by an authorized medical professional.
By following this procedure, production companies can be assured they have made extensive efforts to create a safe environment for their cast and crew, and such companies have cryptographically verifiable records documenting the process.
Given the current situation, with this process, Film Production Companies can be sure that everyone arriving on set has had a recent COVID-19 test.
In the future, testing will be more widely available, and businesses will be able to re-open with confidence.
Ben Littlejohn, MD, a board-certified, California based, family-medicine physician, who works with MedCreds as a medical advisor, believes this is the most private technology to enable businesses and the economy to begin opening up again.
“I am excited patients to whom I have issued MedCreds verifiable credentials can prove to any other party, with certainty, I issued these test results,” says Dr. Littejohn. “Until now, this level of verification for medical test results has not been possible. I am proud to help Bravemaker studios get back to work and restart the independent film industry.”
Headquartered in Pacifica, CA, MedCreds enables anyone that has a COVID-19 virus or antibody test result to hold a digital verifiable credential that can instantly and privately prove to any person or company the results of their COVID-19 test, using only their mobile phone or personal computer.