How has life changed post covid for the make-up department.
I have now done 4 jobs post covid. The first job was very strict. We had full PPE gear, including the visor gloves, mask, blue overall and only two people allowed in the van. No food no drink. Checks on set had to be done by one person doing many people and sanitising in between. COVID tests daily.
Now on this job which has been filming for 5 months, we are currently daily temp check and questionnaire to fill out, and three times a week COVID tests. We have had one outbreak – over Christmas, so only one filming day lost.
We wear coloured bands to denote red, green or amber access depending upon how close to actors you get. Obviously make up is in the front line. We are now down to FP2 masks while making the actors up, and ordinary blue masks that are changed every four hours on set. We try to keep 2 metres apart wherever possible and on set we work from iPads for continuity and have seated separate areas.
Cleanliness is key. Netflix does not approve of fogging. So, we rely on good cleaning and our own personal hygiene. We work using palettes and our MYO kits – being co owner of PAM has been Uber useful as it means I have access to all the useful covid products. Pippa's pouch has been really popular as has the Rachel brush pouch. Key to it for us is separate brushes bags etc for each actor, whom we have colour coded the top 4 cast and even the towels and face clothes we use are colour coded to match. Productions have a separate budget line for covid related purchases which has been a huge help to MUA's. BECTU too has done amazing advice and courses. Mostly its common sense.
One useful thing I learnt was to use 70 % IPA to sterilise my chair and place – as you need the extra drying time of the alcohol to make sure the virus has been killed.
Honestly, some of the fun of the job has gone with covid. We are not allowed to mix on set, and the large department of COVID police enforce the rules, but it is for our safety.
It’s also very difficult to hear what everyone is saying because you can’t see their lips move!
The key points are:
- Keep smiling, the COVID police are there to make sure we are safe.
- Common sense.
- Organisation (organise everything beforehand and make sure its clean)
- Barbicide every day anything at all that can be 'Barbicided’.
We have tried to incorporate much of this advice in the PAM on our IGTV and our Tuesday tips finally remember that its busy out there and going to be busier!!! The UK film industry is super busy and there is still a role for trainees, who are highly sought after and in demand.
Remember Tuesday tip on PAM instagram.
Shop the PAM COVID Corner here.
Good luck all,