When the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year, New Zealand’s film industry health and safety body ScreenSafe knew it had to act quickly if it wanted to see filming continue.

With this in mind a committee which included representation from right across the industry, alongside WorkSafe, created guidance that would allow for filming to continue – all while minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

The guidance sets out practical solutions to manage the risk of Covid-19 at all levels of production and is currently being implemented on major scale productions like Avatar, which was filmed in Wellington in 2020.


“The process of developing this guidance was inclusive,” said Health and Safety Manager of Avatar Paul Andreassend.

“We needed to make sure that we considered all production sizes when developing this guidance as the New Zealand Screen sector is incredibly diverse.

“We took key learnings from WorkSafe’s experience in construction, looked at all the facets of the industry and compared practices, to ensure we were able to be efficient and continue work safely while mitigating the risks associated with Covid-19.”

“This guidance has been a real success for the film industry,” said WorkSafe Engagament Lead Melanie Dale. “We knew we needed to act fast and provide productions of all scales with a clear guidance document to manage COVID-19 and that is exactly what we have done.”

The guidance which can be found on the Screensafe website(external link) is now being picked up by film makers all over the world to ensure they can keep the cameras rolling in these challenging times.