Artiste News

Emerging into the new Normal for Supporting Cast

As productions progress and develop strategies that enable filming to restart, we too having been putting processes in place that will support projects working under government restrictions and within new industry guidelines.

It is fair to assume that social distancing and other restrictions are going to be the new normal for a long period of time.

So, what does this mean for those working as Supporting Artistes?

The confines of a COVID-19 prevalent world seemingly dictate that large crowds of supporting cast will not be a thing of the near future but will return in time.

Supporting Artistes will of course still be required but perhaps in a scaled down capacity for now.

We at Phoenix will, as ever, be working hard to secure roles for as many of our artistes eager to get back to work as possible and we will be transparent about numbers of artistes required in order for you to make an informed decision on whether you feel it appropriate to confirm your availability.

In line with industry guidelines we will be asking all artistes booked to complete a medical declaration in advance of their first booked day and in the event of multiple days we will be asking for this information to be updated. You will also be asked to agree to work under industry guidelines and specific production guidelines, which are set out to protect you and everyone on set by reducing the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.

The on-set experience will be distinctly different to what you are perhaps familiar with. Some of the new measures you might notice in place include; less people on set, holding areas sufficient in size to adhere to social distancing rules, sufficient space in changing areas, you might be requested to do your own make-up or get yourself in to a costume. Processes will be in place to ensure safe distances are adhered to when dining or receiving refreshments. Temperature checks may happen, you may be supplied with masks and gloves and you will be asked to adhere to government guidelines including hand washing and reporting symptoms.

The above is just a very brief outline of what being on-set will be like during the coming months and robust industry guidelines are in place to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

What then can you do to help us be ready for when filming restarts?

It is extremely important that all registered artistes return to their Phoenix profile and check that your profile information is accurate. It is vitally important that photos and measures (section 10) are up to date as social distancing measures will restrict contact and inaccurate information will result in difficulties.

There may be the opportunity for household groups of artistes to work on set together. This is going to be very useful when content is shot where social distancing measures do not lend themselves to the scene. For us to know who lives with who, please ensure you check your registered address with us (section 1). We will use this information when looking for suitable artistes.

If you are a Phoenix member who have household members not yet registered but interested in work, please direct them to our website and ask them to complete an online profile.

It is still early days and productions are putting practices in place to begin to resume filming, we are ready for when they do, and we will update you as we know more.

Stay safe and well.

Report from on set

Just received some great feedback from a supporting artist who worked for us last week... thought this might give you all a bit of an insight in to how things are working on set at the moment 😀 Obviously it will vary from production to production, but it will give you a good idea 😀


1. On Arrival . . And following the ‘ScreenSkills’ test of the previous day, the testing certificate was confirmed; temperature taken; hand sanitiser used; masks provided and a few pointers as to the set in St.Donats Castle as well as the surroundings.

The Covid19 supervisor, was very much on the ball regarding all elements and asked to adhere to them all whenever/wherever possible, particularly face masks. Asked to report to 3rd AD and to costume/makeup for clothing approvals where everyone was wearing face masks, as indeed we were expected to do so as well.

2. Breakfast ...Everyone was queuing at a social distance with the catering guys wearing masks, gloves and overall coverings.

Breakfast was put into a strong cardboard box, similar to the plastic ones and simulated wooden fork and knife provided in a paper knapkin. You took your food to the canteen where it was table and chair for one only all spread around this very large canteen area at a social distance. Once finished, bins were on hand for disposal together with hand sanitisers.

Lunch . . procedure was on exactly the same basis.

3. Coffee; water; cups; biscuits etc . . There was none of this whatsoever. There was a van in the grounds of the castle selling such things if you wanted to buy the same.

4. Signs everywhere regarding social distancing on set; sanitising; hand washing etc in a very tight environment. Hand sanitisers visibly available to use as frequently as required together with runners who were always asking if one was okay and needed anything. Runners and crew were also always cleaning surfaces; door handles and areas which had been touched.

When not on set, we were given a room in which to sit, again with sanitisers provided. (There were only four SA‘s)

5. Crew . . were permanently masked,especially so because of the tightness of scenes and closeup camera workings. Obviously actors/SA‘s had to do without this precaution during filming and asked to face mask as soon as a break occurred or when leaving the set. C19 supervisor, was on hand all the time to ensure we had our masks on; needed new ones or indeed anything else. (Not always ease to hear what the Director/Producer is requesting in this situation. So concentration is paramount.)

6. Bizarre situation . . as the 1st AD called it. Whilst sure this will vary from locations and studios, yet all in all, with safety of individuals paramount, there really was nothing to be concerned nor fearful about, providing you remembered to be aware and follow the rules for yourself and everyone else.