Getting Back to Work in the Art Department: Part 2

Art Department Survey - All Written Answers

7/2020


We posted a survey on ArtCube Nation, which has a diverse membership of freelance union, non-union, seasoned and rising talent in the Art Department in over 120 cities around the world. We used a lot of quotes in COVID and the Art Department Part 1, but we think all concerns and answers are worth a read.


Add your concerns in the comments.

City

NYC

Job Title

On-set dresser / Off-set dresser / Set Decorator / Buyer / Prop Stylist


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I'm concerned about the Art Dept workload being quadrupled with now having to sanitize and store every set piece and prop before and after use, with no extra support.

Given the consistent lack of clear information about the spread of COVID, I'm concerned the protocol will be rushed and inaccurately deemed safe, prioritizing profits over people.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Citing science and medical professionals, and assuring that we will have additional support (other paid professionals) to maintain safety. Film crews were already strapped and overworked before this pandemic.


What else?

I'm also concerned about the excess of waste (i.e. disposable everything, extra packaging) and unreliable, constantly changing information available about the spread of COVID. As a person who spent 8 months away from home on set last year, I'm not optimistic about a possible mandatory closed set, where the crew will be required to live, not commuting home, as an only option.


City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Scenic / Carpenter


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I don't have any other than the usual. This is stupid. This is a fake virus.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

That this is ridiculous. The whole thing is a massive hoax.


What else?

Testing, mandatory vaccinations are tyrannically criminal. Bill Gates would like to chip us, poison us, sterilize us, and/or kill us.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Los Angeles

Job Title

Scenic


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Sharing tools, people not keeping masks on, and being careless about distancing. Endless talking from people and spending a lot of the day with those particular people possibly spreading the virus.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Being respectful of your coworker's desire to keep distance and not assuming that everything is cool because you've been talking to them and/or feel relaxed around them. It's uncomfortable to keep reminding someone that you don't feel as comfortable as they do.


What else?

Individuals should be encouraged to use their own tools as much as possible and coworkers use etiquette to abide by that.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Set Decorator / ADC


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

How things will be cleaned. How people will react under the stress(will people have meltdowns on set or yell). How deeply will crew numbers be reduced?

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Understand that there are more financial demands and that budgets will need to adjust.

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Glendale, CA

Job Title

Experiential Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Bathrooms when on location - Often, we don't have access to a clean bathroom let alone a decent hand wash station. My main concern is having access to warm water and soap.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

How to take extra precautions for those who are at risk and/or live with someone who is. I would be happy to take on a little more risk as a relatively young healthy person. Perhaps departments could have a list of tasks with the risk factor next to them so teams can make decisions collaboratively in order for everyone to feel safe.


City

Brooklyn, NY

Job Title

Art Director


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Hours! 12+ hour days are not safe or sustainable (never were IMO). I’ve often been dismayed that production has been willing to squeeze the entire crew to do hours of OT for multiple days, rather than book an additional day of non-OT work. We need to figure out a way to work in shifts as departments, and we need to recognize that it’s going to cost more on the production end — we as crew should not be footing this bill in either wages or with our immune systems.

Also, not really sure how the SOP of “buy and return” sourcing is going to function, would love to hear more ideas/thoughts.


City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Prop Stylist / Prop Assistant

What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I work in non-union branded media for clients such as Apartment Therapy, Hearst, Conde Nast, and Vaynermedia. I hope the number of crew for our already small shoots is kept to the smallest number possible, but at the same time, I am concerned that this creates an opportunity for doubling up responsibilities that would normally be for 2-3 people under one person's position/rate. I hope there are bigger transpo budgets for every member of the crew to take a car to and from the set in order to avoid mass transport.

Expectations will need to be adjusted on a stylist's ability to source lots of returnable options from multiple brick-and-mortar stores and massive waves of expedited deliveries. I used to park a van in Flatiron and run around to 8 different stores to return all the props from a 3-day shoot in a single returns day- I am not sure what a returns day will look like now. I am concerned that props assistants and PAs will be put in more high-risk situations to keep a shoot under budget.

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

I am not sure how to articulate what more I am looking for exactly from the big associations. I want to feel reassured that they are flexible and willing to change the way shoots are written, budgeted, structured in order to keep the crew making them safe. The old way of doing things won't be back in full for a long time.


What else?

*My full answer to "Who should be in charge of distributing and disinfecting set items?" is both "Each department disinfects their gear" and "A dedicated team hired by production". On one hand, I only trust myself disinfecting my own tools and gear to know it is thorough. On the other hand, I don't know how well I can trust other members on set to have the same diligence. COVID protocols are seen as political conjecture, not life saving health methods, to a wild amount of people who live and work among us. Safety can be endangered by any one person who is putting their political stance above science and facts.


City

New York

Job Title

Production Manager


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I'm mostly concerned about HMU and Wardrobe. As long as there is solid testing on site, and plenty of space we are ok.

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

IATSE needs to address regional needs. LA is not NY is not GA

What else?

We can get back soon, but there will be a new normal until there is a vaccine, and grumbling about how we couldn’t possibly do it that way is deeply unhelpful.

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Agent


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Any prolonged period of work in an enclosed space with folks who haven't been confirmed negative on that day.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Stand united to demand that anyone producing anything needs to suck it up and cough up the money it will take to make things safe for crew.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes


City

Long Island City

Job Title

Production Design SA / Creative Producer / Artist


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Crew over time leading to less safety protocol when the cost is a huge thing most people are monitoring.

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

ALL should waive fees and be transparent if they took bailout funds. It's a struggle to us all but just allowing a possibility to lower dues or entry fees would strengthen our crews in full!


What else?

Mandatory checks with all breaks built-in with cost absorbed to Client, not freelancers, I've turned down 3 lower-paying than usual freelance non-union (I do not have the $$ to join a union and have an FT regular job with weekends for production freelancing) due to lack of concern because we do not fully have the same rights and advocates union workers do.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Shared bathrooms, crafty, feminine hygiene (it’s unavoidable for women and we need a clean bathroom).


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Brooklyn, NY

Job Title

Union Props/Set Dressing or Non-Union Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

1) PAID sick leave if infected on set

2) PAID pre-work quarantine period

3) Work from home option for Designers, decorators and shoppers

4) Set Dec Shop Safety standards - often poorly circulated air and generally unsafe conditions, often there is no hand washing option that is convenient, etc

Set Dec shop is always overlooked. We work closely together by necessity (handing down boxes to each other, team lifting, etc) and almost always in unventilated areas. I’ve seen no concrete mention of shop safety aside from disinfecting things before they go to set but that hardly helps the shop workers...

5) TRANSIT. The only mention so far is that it should be “avoided” which is ridiculous in this city. Safety rides should be expanded to include production staff that does not have cars so they can use Uber or Lyft (or whatever company car) as paid by production. Alternately, rental cars provided or transpo.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

IA needs to set and enforce set dec shop safety standards.

All unions need to revise sick leave policies (if they have any at all) and ensure that if we do get sick, we aren’t removed from the production and replaced as often happens. If they don’t, people will work sick.


What else?

Seeing a lot of non-union work posts without any mention of COVID precautions... yikes. Also, I’m sure as heck not signing any waivers.

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Production Designer/ Talent Coordinator


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

It's a fight to keep everyone's hands off our teams' items already. Maybe I should have "Hot Set" signs replaced with "Potentially Contagious Set".


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Clearer guidelines, and you know, hope.


What else?

I work more in Live Shows (Tony Awards, Kennedy Center Honors) and I would like for the industry who relies on non-union folks to address us, not just Unions. Thank you, Art Cube!


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

New York

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I’m concerned with the already high expectations put on Art Departments in terms of options and last-minute changes. It’s hard to imagine producers and directors coming in with a different attitude about selects, etc. and in normal circumstances, we interact with dozens of vendors [every] shoot and that involves more exposure than I’d be comfortable with. I think pre-production timelines need to be stretched to accommodate this.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

PPE enforcement. Making sure rates match the risk people are taking. Addressing the lack of safe childcare right now- maybe with some stipend negotiations or petitioning for access to essential worker childcare centers.

Another creative solution could be smaller commercial production companies doing short term contracts with the crew - guaranteeing using the same people for 3-4 months of jobs so it’s like a pod? That’s something that worries my currently non-union self - how many different people I could be working within a multi-month span.


What else?

In an ideal world, we’d be seeing a reimagining of how we work that heads towards normal hours and regular working conditions (like 8-10 hours days and more concise budgets/expectations).

I know the childcare thing isn’t everyone’s problem but it’s a huge issue since many daycares aren’t reopening and Summer camp capacities are reduced. Right now that’s one of my biggest hurdles to being able to work again.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

New York

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Other departments need to adhere to a strict policy of not touching props and set dressing. If something needs to be moved, the request must be made through the appropriate chain of command.

Stages should invest in improved air ventilation systems, and adopt strict disinfecting protocols.

The same goes for locations.

Strict hygiene protocols need to be established for hero food props.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

NY Mayor's Office should require more specificities relating to working conditions prior to issuing permits.

How to have a safe lunch break.


What else?

Crew members should NOT BE REQUIRED to indemnify the production in the event of viral exposure while on the job. Workman's Comp guidelines need to be redefined in the event of viral infection from work.

Production and AD departments need to completely overhaul their approach to scheduling with all of the new safety protocols in mind. I can see a lot of the old ways of rushing to get shit done to be very hazardous.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

NYC

Job Title

Art Department Coordinator


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I'm mainly in the Art office, so my concerns are ensuring we have enough space for everyone to be able to have their desks and printers, along with safe meeting spaces, safe kitchen/crafty areas, lunch protocols, safe transportation to and from work, more reasonable hours to allow time for properly addressing screening and safety protocols, and accurately screening people every day. And not punishing people for being out sick!!


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Honestly, a lot of our safety also has to do with pushing to reinforce/overhaul the labor movement. It is imperative the big associations back 8 hour days/40 hour weeks again to allow everyone to live a more balanced life and have time for their health and sanity.

As we have seen, health is a public issue. My health impacts your health, and our health impacts our communities' health, as the world has witnessed on a large scale with this pandemic. Long days and expected overtime as the norm leads to an unhealthy work-life balance and sleep deprivation, among other things, which compromises our health and immune system. Work hours and employer timeline expectations have been rising in every industry over the last decade or so and the strain puts a toll on everyone's immune systems, stress levels, and overall quality of life.

On my last job, we worked 10+ hour days, which after commuting, making dinner, and maybe trying to squeeze in time for my "life", I would only get about 5 hours of sleep per night, and then sleep all weekend. We also worked over 30 tandem days in 9 months (not originally disclosed when we started the job) which ran our crew down, put much undue pressure on everyone, created many scheduling issues and situations for the crew to be injured, and no one was compensated for all the additional work created. We basically gave the studio a free month's worth of work!


The time and effort squeezed out of us to create a cheesy Network show was not worth it, and I'm not sure I can say that many things are worth the cost to our time or health. Things cannot continue down this path. The unions must back us on pursuing more humane and healthy lifestyles.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Set Dresser


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Where are the props coming from? Has the rental house been following sanitizing protocols? Is there a rental house? How will things frequently touched by the actors be sanitized for clean up/load out?


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Explain that different types of surfaces need different types of disinfectant, and maybe provide a list of standards. Reinforce the idea that everyone needs to be aware of what they touch while on set - this includes props during shooting.

What else?

I work at the SAG-AFTRA office in my day job in the Commercials and Corporate/Educational and Non-Broadcast department and freelance in the Art Department on other shoots separately. I’ve seen several shoots try to start up in states near NY or in upstate that have casting calls for people only based in NYC (that is still not fully open yet), traveling the casted actors with the crew sometimes hired locally.

The productions follow the place of shooting’s COVID-19 guidelines without testing upon arrival. A lot of these jobs are non-union pharma spots, and we have no idea how much this is happening. There seems to be a lot of lack of accountability and loophole-finding which is sad. Sorry if this is old news!


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Los Angeles / New York

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

The lack of understanding by other departments of just how much the Art Department does especially on non-union sets. We have to move quickly and closely to other people. We are demanded to do things at the drop of a hat. I also really worry for onset dressers and onset props and how many items and people they will need to interact with.

Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes


City

New York

Job Title

Art Department Coordinator


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

I'd like to know that a 'certified' covid officer is available at all times and is a person who 'understands' production, but NOT necessarily from production.


What else?

I feel that a 'certified' covid officer needs to be AS IMPORTANT and RESPONSIBLE on set as the First AD and a Producer. (ie: properly paid position of authority ~ high up on the Call Sheet as AD and Producer.)


Have you been tested for COVID?

No


City

NYC

Job Title

Production Designer, Art Director, Graphic Designer

What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Art Department so often ends up acting as the cleaning crew, picking up leftover gels and tape, throwing away water bottles left on set. This shouldn’t be the case, especially now. Seems like there should be a specific role for someone to essentially act as the AD for Covid protocol enforcement (mask wearing, disinfecting, telling people to space out, etc.).


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

IATSE and the like need to push for extended support (unemployment support, for example) for film workers in NYC. Production is trickling back in, but a lot of us aren’t going to work for a hot minute, especially given all of the ad budget cuts that’ll last through fall, and the canceled events that for a lot of us were our easy summer money.


What else?

Concerned about lower rates on non-union. People getting desperate for work accepting $400/day to art direct a commercial, when they wouldn’t have accepted less than $650/$650+ in normal times. Even worse for PAs, who might go back to measly $150/day rate if they’re desperate. Unsure what the solution is here, just because the labor supply is so much bigger than the demand.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Art Director


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Cleaning/disinfecting or placing protection barriers falling on Art Department; not having enough prep time; still facing the same last minute demands and expectations that we can make anything happen (based on a productions ideas of what resources are really needed to make that happen); longer working hours due to having to follow precautions/dealing with less availability of vendors/other unexpected covid related newness; dealing with locations/props (I.e. shooting in a location, it’s almost expected that Art Department can make any resource in the building available to them as a last minute dressing fix - that doesn’t seem possible in COVID world but will that expectation still be on us? Going out shopping!! Also doing returns!!


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Some guidelines and outside force to ENFORCE those new expectations - we can’t trust producers and production companies to have our health and best interest in mind as priority (they never have, this isn’t new). Also if there was some way to work on the union vs non-union divide... the collective action of the union can be so powerful and helpful when properly laser-focused. Not wanting to alienate the non-union folks to have to fend for themselves completely in this really vulnerable time facing a new challenge that affects us all.


What else?

The 12 hour standard for workday is awful - even in the union world, yes you get compensated better monetarily but the 12 hr thing is dehumanizing. We are in a moment right now that NEEDS so much humanity (dealing with COVID, fighting racism, etc). 12 hr days do not leave time for us film workers to be human, to prioritize humanity. Productions keep the standard of 12 hrs, trying to make you feel your lucky to be there because it’s a big network or has famous talent. Their profit is HUGE - the working hours are made to their benefit so they can keep cranking out content at superhuman speeds. Would love to see the power of this moment where we’ve all been on pause turn into a push to kill the 12 hour day. A global pandemic has huge physical and mental health implications - dealing with those while going back to work consistent 12 hour days does not seem sustainable.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Jersey City

Job Title

Set Decorator


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I’ve seen nothing that addresses what a day is like for the set decorators and asst set decs. I’ve seen nothing but production office and On Set protocols, but what about those of us that [spend] most of our day driving all over the city, going to big stores, small stores, prop houses, handing our vans over to parking attendants to park them for us in the city, etc. I feel like once again they’re forgetting about us like they usually do and it’s a little terrifying.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

That they will back us NOT signing any bullshit that exempts production from liability if we get sick. I also want to see them making more jobs remote and not making it a “suggestion.” We could do so much shopping remotely, but the more old-school art dept people won’t like that, so it needs to go above their heads.

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Syracuse

Job Title

Set dresser/buyer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I am worried about crews being cut in half because of social distancing.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Set Decorator

What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"


Everyone should be given an instant COVID test upon entering the set.

What else?

If you get sick on set are you covered by Workman's Comp?


Have you been tested for COVID?

No


City

New York

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I worry about having to spend too much time near others.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

They should put (and enforce) strict rules in place to make sure no one is working on a set where they have concerns for their own safety.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

Job Title

Scenic


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Shared tools, carrying things together, eating lunch, craft services, doing anything that requires more than one person.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

That they will take the needs of the crew over the needs of the production.


What else?

They should provide some sort of testing.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

Las Vegas, New York

Job Title

Anything Art Department


What else?

If we can be trusted to build a time period specific set safely and quickly, manage spastic budgets, source and transport ridiculous props, can we be trusted enough to wear a mask and wash our hands? I want to go back to work.

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Los Angeles

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I have already heard about some small commercial shoots where crew members removed masks within the first hours of shooting and went back to a pre-COVID mentality. That is terrifying.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

They need to decide that every aspect of our health will be prioritized over money. Whether that means the cost of proper safety precautions and ramifications for ANY crew (ATL or BTL) that do not abide or agreeing that the motion picture/theater money-making businesses will continue to pause until it is truly safe to return.


What else?

I wish people would stop pretending the virus has gone away.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

Burbank

Job Title

Set Decorator


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Concerns about how we can stay apart and in these,"zones" The job is hard enough. Having to be tested every day before coming to set feels invasive.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Complying with the guidelines set out by the "Safe way forward" booklet.


What else?

I do not plan to seek out new projects until September

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

NEW YORK

Job Title

Production Design Non-Union / 52 applicant

What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I'm concerned about,

Who will be accountable for safety on set? The old mantra is it’s everyone’s job, but if crew doesn’t have the resources or materials aren’t being provided where can we bring those concerns? Will OSHA have the bandwidth to handle complaints before they result in more infections? Doesn’t look promising as of now.

I’m concerned about the decision of “what is the appropriate PPE” those us who work in scenic and carp shops are familiar with OSHA standards. My understanding is that if the workplace hazard is an airborne infectious disease, then the appropriate PPE is one that protects the wearer from breathing in that particle. Cloth masks minimize spread, they don’t protect you from aerosols, just droplets. Will producers be able to source the appropriate PPE?

I’m concerned about work in PPE. It’s one thing to wear a ventilator in a spray booth or a sanding room, It’s a whole other to set dress in one. I just had to move my apartment in a mask. You have to take more breaks if you’re wearing something like an N95. Your lungs have to work harder. We can’t have production cracking the whip the way they’re used to. We need to move slower.

Who will have to take on cleaning the set, and with what resources? It's typically Set Dressings job to maintain the set, but sanitizing regularly it is a whole other can of worms, and a lot more work. We're always battling for our share of the budget, this is not an acceptable place to cut corners.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

From a labor perspective, I’m first concerned about my safety on the job site, as well as keeping my family safe from what I might bring home.

Secondly, I’m concerned about how much work there will be for say the next year or so. I’m not a cardholder, I’m not regularly on shows. What are our trade organizations’ plans to make sure we’re okay during this work lull? Is there a push for a Set Dec department that just cleans overnight? Why can be done to keep the army of set dressers, art assistants, GandE, PA nation, and etc. employed enough to make ends meet until were at some stage of the new normal where we can resume set work?

I feel that IATSE, at least 52, will pull enough weight to keep the workers safer. I’m very concerned about non-union work. It was the wild west of OSHA hazards and cut corners before COVID. I think workers would love to know what governing body they can go to for help with violations on set before the shoot is over.


What else?

I’m also concerned about airflow and potentially air handling systems. I’d love to see studios’ air handling systems rated for capacity. The CDC is putting out hyper general guidelines but there’s a big difference from 1 hour in a restaurant with an open door and a shoot day in a stage, or photo studio. In paint booths and sanding rooms, we might have a venting system that pulls particulates and vapor out of the air. I’d think there is at least a prototype for a similar system that vents while filtering the incoming air.

I’d also like to know specifically what governing body is issuing guidance when it’s being issued to workers. Basically cite your sources in your safety guidelines. We’re living in a very strange time and we’ve all seen how our government, with all its resources, can still fail its citizens.

** With regards to who should disinfect set items (multiple choice above), I think gear, as in my kit, or say my husband’s camera gear, should be sanitized by its own department or owner with an additional kit fee for the extra expendables. Potentially additional prep time paid. A standing set and stage should be sanitized by a dedicated team. Maybe it’s a separate set dressing unit that comes in at night, maybe it’s a separate cleaning company, maybe it falls under locations. Just not the crew who’s been working all day already.**

Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

San Francisco

Job Title

Propmaster


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Combinations of the above options: sharing the burdens of distribution and disinfecting (better to disinfect twice than not at all); building of fabric masks to give out and make crew responsible for cleaning; etc.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

NY

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

That ultimately costs will overuse safety.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Get feedback from the ground up and respond to circumstances unique to a production (have a contingency for that).


What else?

Expect the process to take longer. Each phase of production is going to have to take precautions.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Tech. Director / Carpenter /Rigger


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Space to work, there is never enough of it.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

A very clear plan.


What else?

I MISS WORK.😞


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

New York City

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I worry that mask-wearing will not be properly enforced.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

More supervision/set visits to check on safety of members


What else?

I don't think returning to work is safe for anyone at this time. I think we are all just making excuses because our society isn't set up to handle a long pause, but many people who return to work will die.

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Leadman/Designer/Carpenter


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I read the 52 white paper and was concerned that recommendations for departments like makeup or props are basically: don't spend too much time doing the part of your job that requires you to be exposed to actors who aren't wearing PPE. That's not a real solution to the problem.

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

I think we should leverage our union political muscle to make sure that forces outside our industry aren't making us unsafe. If it looks like it's not actually safe to go back to work, we should be pushing for more legislation that allows workers to stay at home: rent freezes, economic stimulus, etc..


What else?

I think Americans, across the board, are delusional about their preparedness for reopening. Cuomo has always been a snake, so I don't trust him. Obviously we can't trust Trump's federal government. In addition to that, many liberals and conservatives in this country basically believe that all problems can be solved through the market. Many implicitly believe that if the market wants us to work, the market must be right, and the market will come up with solutions to keep us safe as we go. I think it's going to be a disaster and we need to start pushing against that ideology now by unionizing the ununionized and building a political response to the crisis.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes


City

Los Angeles

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Crowded indoor Art office environments in places without fresh air. How will construction mills be safe? Also very crowded environments.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

The realities about testing. I don’t think daily sustained testing is feasible because there aren’t enough tests.


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes

City

NYC

Job Title

Production Design / Props


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

I'm concerned about what problems will arise if we have other people disinfecting the set. On the other hand, I don't want the Art Department to have to do that on their own because things are already so crazy on set as it is.

I'm also very concerned that productions will have to cut down on crew, so each position will have a much stronger workload.

These issues may be present in union productions, but I haven't been lucky enough to get into the union yet. The non-union productions that usually hire me may not exist anymore, or if they do exist I'm very concerned about the workload. I usually do props. We have a lot of contact with actors and I think the experience of our department stands to change quite a bit in post-COVID jobs.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

They need to make sure we are safe, but they also need to protect our jobs. I'm very worried that decent non-union producers who want to keep us safe won’t be able to afford to make films anymore. I'm afraid the only non-union jobs will be with the kind of producers who don't take our health and safety seriously, and I'm afraid the industry will take a step back after all of this. I don't want to go back to doing the kind of jobs I had to do when I first started out, and I'm afraid that the only protection will be for union jobs. There are a lot of talented people who can't get into 52. What will become of us?

What else?

I guess the general gist of my responses boils down to what will happen to non-union workers. Are there any protections for us? Will there be jobs for us? Surviving while working non-union jobs is very, very hard, and I'm so nervous about how much harder it may become when things start back up.


City

Las Vegas

Job Title

Set Dresser

What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

If someone is sick, maybe they should get some sort of sick pay so they don't feel financially pressured to come to work anyway.

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

If you're sick, stay home. Wash your hands.

Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

Decatur, GA

Job Title

On Set Dresser


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

The spread of places the prep crew has to go to (set dec, props, art pa's, etc.). They have to go to get lunch, so they're likely going to places that probably hire people that cant better measures to take care of themselves and prevent COVID. We cant track the outside world and how much they're taking care of. Then you add in the asymptomatic folks that don’t know, and the folks who think it's a hoax. You are likely to get a combo and a temperature check is not 100% foolproof.

What else?

What about folks that get sick? Are they getting paid to stay home? If not, they’ll be compelled to hide it if it's no big thing. Some folks with COVID have had fewer symptoms than others.

City

New York City

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

My concern is assuming that art would be brought into locations first for prep, such as an apartment, that COVID cleaning would fall on the Art Department. Also since a lot of art’s work is done prior to anyone else being on set, the health and safety of Art would not be addressed by Production because they aren’t always around like other departments.

What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?


It is the production’s responsibility to make sure the entire crew and cast are safe and not forcing anyone to work in an unsafe environment.

City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Set Dec Buyer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

A lot of what we do requires us to be close to one another, whether moving large pieces of furniture and hanging artwork to dealing directly with actors for props as well as handling the food they are meant to consume.

I’m concerned about buffet-style lunches contained in indoor environments as well as how large production crews tend to be in order to efficiently operate.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?


Will all of us actually be going back to work when productions are allowed to continue, or will productions actually need to operate at 50% capacity, rendering many people unemployed?

City

Providence

Job Title

Lead person


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Contact with the outside world. Are my crew safe? Pickups from vendors. Overlap with shooting crew, are we exposing people to the outside world.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Working in groups/bubbles.


What else?

Cleaning responsibilities.

City

Los Angeles

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

The general feeling of already having too much work with too little time. I’m worried productions will still try to shoehorn the same amount of work into the same or shorter amount of time.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Strict penalties, bans, and fines for anyone not following safety guidelines.


What else?

Similar bans, penalties, and loss of membership for those that support or passively allow white supremacy and racism to continue to exist in our industry.


Have you been tested for COVID?

No

City

New York, NY


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

How will props, set dressing, etc. be addressed? Props specifically are repeatedly handled by the talent and passed off the Props Dept. after and between usage. Will additional time be allowed on set for departments to take these additional precautions or will we go back to struggling to meet all demands in an unrealistic timeframe?

This also goes for prop houses. If a client is calling in an order and already on the way, will they understand that the prop house needs to take specific precautions in order to sanitize items? This will affect rush orders in a drastic way.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Many of the guidelines coming out are entirely unrealistic. For instance: having only 1-2 people per pass van, adhering to skeleton crews as frequently as possible (how will this function when there will be less crew and more COVID guidelines to address?), having talent do their own makeup (a true nightmare). I'm baffled to see unions have been involved to some degree in creating these new guidelines while many of the guidelines themselves are unachievable.


What else?

Will crew members no longer be able to claim unemployment if they decline a job offer due to fears of safety on set?


Have you been tested for COVID?

No


City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Set Dresser


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

How will those who are shoppers (or other people who have to go to multiple locations in a day) be kept safe?


Have you been tested for COVID?

Yes



City

New York

Job Title

Production Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Enough prep time. Enough labor.


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

They will fight so That the crew won’t be overworked even more with added burdens —because our jobs were tough enough with the previous norm.


What else?

That shoot days will be 10 hours. That crew gets hazard pay until there is a vaccine available. That there be no COVID age discrimination


City

Brooklyn

Job Title

Prop/Set Designer


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Having to touch so many things like props, decor, etc, and then not being constantly cleaned. Also being around lots of people for 8+ hours


What would you like to see the associations, like NYPA and AICP to address to our community as a whole?

Coordinating between departments/unions/companies to find a unified plan that protects all workers


City

New York

Job Title

Set Dresser


What concerns do you have for Art Department on a "Safe Set"

Being in confined spaces with so many crew members. Also working long hours, with little sleep could make people more susceptible to getting sick.


What else?

Having to take public transit again is something that concerns me


Read more...

Getting back to work in the Art Department: Part 1 // Four Main Concerns

Getting back to work in the Art Department: Part 3 // Addendum to white papers





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