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  • Back to Work in San Diego: COVID Protocols on Set

Back to Work in San Diego: COVID Protocols on Set

  • 27 Jan 2021
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Zoom


  • Included with your membership

Safety has always been important on set. We position C-stands and sandbags carefully. We tape down cords. We have safety meetings.

Now, COVID-19 protocols are also a critical part of our pre-production planning and on-set activities. Whether you work on industrials, film, television, commercials or digital media, COVID safety is now a critical part of media production. 

You can watch the meeting on our YouTube channel.

Our panel discussed what location shooting, live events, and remote productions look like now and what we can expect in the near future.

The panel included Brandy Shimabukuro, the City of San Diego’s Filming Program Manager and Film Liaison. Our panelists also included Thierry Denis, a producer and commercial director from Helium Films; and Rick Drake and Lisa Drake from San Diego Productions, all who have been working on location shoots recently. 

Here are some of the topics we discussed: 

  • What are the required and recommended COVID protocols for production sets and live production? 
  • What is a COVID Compliance Officer and when do you need one?
  • What does COVID safety add in terms of budget and time on set? How might you need to change the number of personnel or shoot schedule? 
  • How do COVID requirements change pre-production?  
  • How is the impact of COVID protocols different on smaller crews (5-10 people) vs. larger crews (25+)? like you may find on a film? 
  • Does your company need to have a COVID Prevention Program? (If you are a CA company and have employees, the answer is yes.)

Meeting Materials

Click here to see the presentation slides

Go to our COVID-19 Updates page for the links presented.

News You Can Use


Brandy Shimabukuro is the City of San Diego’s Filming Program Manager and Film Liaison. In this role, she serves as the primary point of contact for filming within the City of San Diego, and within the greater San Diego region. Brandy facilitates permits and locations and does outreach and acts as a liaison between productions and other jurisdictions (e.g. cities, State, Port, County, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Forest Service, National Parks Service, school districts, etc.)

Regionally, Brandy represents the City in the development of county-wide initiatives to enhance the region’s status as a film-friendly destination. She also oversees the promotional campaign to promote San Diego to the film industry, including advertising in trade and industry publications as well as participation at key industry functions and conferences. Originally from Kāneʻohe, O’ahu, Brandy relocated to San Diego in 2008.

Thierry Denis is an award-winning Filmmaker, Producer and Commercial Director. Born and raised in Paris, France, Thierry moved to the US to follow a girl who later became his wife. He fell in love with California and now resides in sunny San Diego, where he’s been running Helium Films USA, a full service video production company, for the past 8 years. When he is not producing commercials or chatting with his clients, you can find Thierry making sand castles with his two kids at the park down the street.  

Rick Drake is the owner and founder of San Diego Productions and he started his career providing location and RV services for the demanding German fashion crews. Having been in the industry for over 20 years, producing for thousands of clients, Rick has developed an expert eye for finding amazing locations.

Lisa Drake is involved with all aspects of behind the scenes management at San Diego Productions as Chief Financial Office and Production Coordinator. She is an expert boat driver and loves spending time on the water and with animals having had a previous career training dogs and marine mammals.

San Diego Productions is a full service photo and motion production coordination company specializing in the fashion, automotive, advertising and sports industry with a significant list of global clients. They also offer rentals including production RV’s, props and on-set necessities. 


Robert Craghead is the Founder and Executive Creative Director of Ten Stories, an award-winning video agency based in San Diego, CA. Born in Alexandria, VA, Robert started his career as a Director of Photography before falling in love with editing and motion graphics. He created Ten Stories first as a one-person company and over the years added wonderful people to help with the growing business.

Today, Ten Stories partners with many local clients in San Diego as well as others around the country — creating award-winning design, films, animation and interactive media that have garnered many awards but more importantly helped their clients realize their marketing goals.

When not behind a computer, Robert can usually be found wreaking havoc with his two boys or laughing out loud with his wife.


SDMP members who have been working on set recently will also share their experiences.


SD Media Pros is an educational non-profit organization and follows all laws and guidelines required for 501c3 organizations.

SDMP meetings are for the professional exchange of educational information only.

Meeting topics and discussions may include technical or creative news, services that apply to the industry, training, national industry conferences, webinars and events, and Southern California film and media events. 

Absolutely no political or religious discussions are permitted.

SDMP may discuss fact-based educational information on laws such as AB5 as they pertain to the industry. 

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