Direk Laurice Guillen says COVID-19 safety protocol ‘a good practice’
No more big scenes that will require big number of people as talents; no more loitering on the set. Everyone is required to wear masks. Meals will be served individually—no more lining up to get food.
These are only a few of the safety guidelines that film and TV director Laurice Guillen said her production unit would be implementing when work finally resumes for local show biz soon.
“Even while we’re still in quarantine, I would already have online meetings with my team for the TV show that we’re currently doing. One of our subjects was how to get ready when we get back to work; what practices should be changed,” she told Inquirer Entertainment.
“We have already put in place some safety measures a week before the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) was implemented,” the director added. “We were already practicing social distancing and were all wearing masks on the set, especially the members of the utility and catering teams. We were already encouraging hand-washing and have put hand sanitizers all over the place.”
In the future, Laurice said they would no longer shoot in public places, or areas that are so large that they have no control over its traffic and cannot disinfect. However, she said they would not allow people to assemble in small places, either, “especially those that have really poor ventilation.”
“Things will definitely change,” she declared, adding that she is currently studying the safety guidelines of some productions in the United States, South Korea and Iceland, and hope to adapt some of their best practices here. She also talked about guidelines being worked out by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Directors’ Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI) with an Inter-Guild Alliance (IGA).
“One idea is to isolate the cast and crew in one protected location. That’s the ideal thing to do, but I don’t think it’s possible for a TV series that takes a long time to make,” said Laurice. “This can probably work for an indie film that takes 20 days to shoot. To those of us who have experienced two months of quarantine, 20 days is nothing.”
She further said: “These changes will not be for the worse. Even if we already have the vaccine, I think this is a good practice—not just for COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease), because there are other viruses out there. This will also promote discipline on every set.”
At home, Laurice has always been proactive. “I was already into disinfecting the house even before the quarantine,” she said. “Before anyone enters, he or she should step on a disinfectant mixture. What I wore on the set never gets into the house without being washed first. I’ve been ready, ever since SARS and Ebola, which luckily never got here.”
Adjusting to quarantine life had been easy for Laurice. “It’s not too different from my lifestyle. I really just stay home when I don’t have work. I can’t believe that it’s almost two months (since the ECQ was implemented) that I have never went beyond the gate of our house,” she shared with Inquirer Entertainment. “It’s just that, now, my days are more structured.”
By this she meant that she follows a daily routine, “because if not, the tendency is you do too much of one thing,” she explained. “I wake up late, read all my messages and reply to my emails. I then have brunch, and then I pray and meditate between 3 and 4 p.m. I then eat merienda while catching up with friends. That’s also when I have my Zoom meetings. After that, there’s this daily thing that Ina (her daughter) and I do with the Mortiz and Cruz families—we do zumba together. It’s a way to socialize and have exercise at the same time. I then have dinner with Ina.”
During the first week of ECQ, Laurice said everyone would wear masks, even at home. “This was because we were still working even while we were already getting reports of positive cases. Ina, in fact, was in one taping with someone who got exposed to a Covid-positive person. We simply stayed in our rooms. We did this for two weeks.”—MARINEL CRUZ INQ
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