Film Set Safety 101 - Official Discussion


#1

Who is responsible for safety? Andrew Spieler (Assistant Director for RJ:The Show) and RocketJump director/co-creator Matthew Arnold sit down to have a real discussion about safety on set. They cover the precautions and safety measures taken for the large-scale stunts in the new action-packed short, Truck Flipper vs Bus Puncher, but also explain how placing the utmost importance on safety can actually better your film.

You should never compromise the safety of your crew for a shot. If you EVER feel unsafe or uncertain on set, speak up! Bring it to the attention of the Assistant Director, Producer, and Director. Ask questions, double check, and keep the lines of communication clear and open.

SAFETY RESOURCES:

Alongside getting to showcase the real hard work that went into the vehicle stunts in the Truck Puncher short, this video covers a topic that is very important to us. Safety on set is not talked about enough, and we hope this video is both fun and informative.

Remember:

“Have fun, and be safe!”

This is the fourth installment of our series following the production of RocketJump: The Show! We’ll address different technical aspects of each production each week as new episodes come out.

If you want to see all those safely executed stunts in action, you can watch the Truck Flipper vs Bus Puncher now!

Ask your questions below!


Will there be any videos on safety?
#4

That’s really great! It’s always good to know how to deal with different sityations and how to think about crew safaty.

Also, «Have fun, be safe»…sounds like and gun commercial…or condom…or…even a bunker… I think you should copyright that slogan :laughing:


#5

Awesome stuff. Also, IATSE Local 600 has a free app called ICG Safety, filled with safety articles and bulletins. As well as lets your report safety issues if you’re dealing with a neglectful crew that refuses to address your concerns.


#6

Hey, my next film is probably going to involve the use of some firearm props. My crew and cast aren’t afraid of guns, but I’m a little concerned someone’s going to see us with guns and get the wrong idea. What’s the best thing to do?


#7

I’d probably call your local police dept. on the non-emergency line and tell them what you’re planning on doing or just telling people in the area what you’re doing or make signs and put them up around the area!


#8

I’m totally agree with @Kevin_Nguyen. I heard from someone’s experience, that he was shooting in a office and someone from opposite building called police…and that day ended with swat team pointing guns on the actors and I’m pretty sure, that if actors would accidently point gun on swat team…he would got shot…so be carefull with that. Sure, it all depend’s on which country and place where you are shooting, but if you’re going to shoot something in public(or near) place, it’s always a good idea to warn people.


#9

This is a really good video. I’m in film school right now and we just had a large discussion about on set safety. One of the things that has turned into a larger debate for my class is the issue of long hours and how that can pose a safety hazard. Some of our class thinks that working more than 12hrs/day is too much while others think thats just how the industry goes and if you can’t handle it then you should pick another career. I was interested on what other people think about this particular safety issue.


#10

Its very important to give your crew enough time to recover after a shoot. Not only will this keep your crew safe by allowing them to be well rested each day when they come to set (which will help prevent dangerous mistakes from happening) it will also help with your on set morale high. When people are well rested they will be happier and more likely to put forth their best effort. So really in my opinion allowing your crew ample time off is in you best interest not just from a safety but also from a quality standpoint


#11

ALWAYS tell police, neighbours, passer’s by, put up signs and just generally let everyone know the weapons you are using are props. Additionally, depending on the laws around you (probably not as pertinent in the States considering the liberal application of guns) but in Australia, any set with firearms, regardless of whether they are real, plastic or blank firing will require a qualified armourer.


#12

It’s a tough one @karabreanne19. I have pulled a number of 12, 14 and even 16 hour days, and it takes a lot out of you. There is certainly a built-in perception of “that’s the industry, deal with it”, but as upcoming filmmakers, I feel it is our duty to challenge the status quo. In Australia, there is not a single other industry that will tolerate anything more than a 12 hour working day, due to strict fatigue laws. Some areas do require the occasional overtime (emergency services, truck drivers), but these are generally not considered the norm and are compensated with major overtime penalty rates.

To my knowledge, union shoots in the US do legislate 12 or possibly 14 hour working days, with overtime after that, and for a lot of filmmakers, this is what makes filmmaking so lucrative. But, there is a huge cost to it; for productions, it costs as much to go over 5 hours, as it does to schedule a whole new day; for the filmmakers, this can put a huge strain on their mental, physical and emotional health, and can stress relationships to breaking point.

There will be days were you will be required to put in the long hours; that is part and parcel of the industry. You may not have the location, crew or equipment for any longer and you just have to smash it out. But doing day after day after day of long hours will put an unacceptable strain on the crew and lives have been lost as a result.

Safety should absolutely be the number 1 priority on any set; there is no scene or shot that is worth ANYONE’s life and I think that should extend to the hours people work. There is a reason fatigue laws exist and it’s to ensure the wellbeing of workers. How would you react if your production required someone to put in a week of 16 hour days, and on their way home for a shoot with a 4 hour turnaround, they crashed their car killing a themselves or their family, how would you feel?

In an entry level position, it can be tough to speak up, and frankly, you will have no sway over scheduling and would probably be fired if you made an issue of it. But, it is my hope, that as the next generation of filmmakers advances and begins to take on those lead roles, they will be able to challenge the status quo and understand that at the end of the day, we’re only making movies; it’s not worth somebodies life.


#13

Thanks for all the tips Cherish! We see these accidents every day & BLS.gov’s new statistics confirm it. 3 out of every 100 people in the entertainment industry are injured at work every year! And as you know, it’s not just low budget movies; a stuntman was paralyzed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows & an extra had to undergo brain surgery after an accident in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. We’re with you- advocating for better protection & laws for entertainment workers.


#14

These tips are quite awesome.


#15

Great lesson. what set of walkies would guys at RJFS recommend?


#16

It is important for overtime to be charged at a much much higher rate than the normal hourly rate during the day, as thus then overtime costs act as a strong incentive for the production to NOT overwork people into overtime! And instead organize their schedule properly.


#17

Budget?

Assuming you’re on a very low budget, so not going to say buy Motorola for instance, then baofeng makes some extremely affordable walkie talkie that are decent:

But research this carefully first, as it depends on your needs and also where you live.