The industry-specific program is not only cutting down on costs; it's also cutting out the middleman. The recent guidelines released by the Producers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers set principles requiring designated compliance officers - typically outsourced workers- to be present on all sets while mandating all personnel to wear production protection equipment (PPE). The certification program is giving control back to the production teams and supplying PPE kits for every member of cast and crew until the filming is completed.
Franco Porporino, executive producer and company founder said in a statement, “I am hearing production companies are getting price gouged. People are selling them [expensive] PPE and consulting fees. Or one colleague said they sent her a compliance officer who was her former PA. I heard from multiple people in the business that they are getting … people who are going on set playing with their phones.”
The two tracks for enrollment are a 20 module course for production crew that covers best practices recommended for all personnel and a 39 module compliance officer course that breaks down the enforcing of protocol expected of the supervisory role. Each course costs $99 and the certification lasts for an entire year after passing a 50 question comprehensive exam.
The experts along side Porporino include: board certified nurse practitioner, Melissa McKay, Hans Schiff of Creative Artists Agency, Darin Frank, entertainment attorney for Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, Ra Kumar of United Talent Agency, Lucilla D’Agostino of Big Fish Entertainment, Peter Rajsingh, Ph.D professor at NYU and CEO of Big City TV, Lori Rothschild Ansaldi.
Beyond the advisory board, the COVID Film Certification has also partnered with a certified private care company to provide consulting services for nurses with on-set experience , customized plans for production crews, as well as on-site security, and rapid testing stations.
Ansaldi said in a statement, “What I love about this company is that it allows all of my staff to be trained in CDC approved COVID-19 protocols and it customizes those protocols based on the field and post structures.”
The COVID Film Certification’s mission of going above and beyond for clients and talent to ensure stress-free, productive environments is conducive to the reopening of Hollywood. “Many producers are facing significant hurdles in light of all the complications and challenges posed by COVID-19. Production companies need to get back to work but must do so in a way that prioritizes health and safety for all personnel,” said Porporino. The company is providing healthy, cost effective options for the film industry’s survival, and it is continuing to update its courses and information as the CDC guidelines change to be a sustainable ally in the effort for film production.