Safety on a film or video set should be priority one. On a big film or television set, or even on a music video, many times there are huge lights, a forest of stands and arms, and many lines of electricity running about. On a smaller video set, much like the ones that we at FiveSix Productions work on frequently, there are smaller lights, a much thinner forest of stands and arms, and typically, not deadly amounts of electricity, but still, one small mishap could be the difference between a good shoot, and a trip to the emergency room.
Some very simple, but often times overlooked or ignored safety precaution, that if done regularly, will become second nature, is utilizing sand bags on all your stands, irregardless of the size of light or flag attached. Even though a C-Stand seems stable, physics will prove that they’re actually quite easy to knock over; I would hate to take even a 150 to the noodle. Bonus tip: the more sand bags you use, the more jacked and ripped you’ll get; as the bros say, “Curls get the girls”.
Whether you’re a grip or not, proper work gloves can save your hands from burns, cuts, and pinches; I’d rather have healthy digits with which to eat delicious tacos with, eating with hooks is for chumps.
Also, never underestimate the value and power of your voice. Calling out “points” on set, can save you from nailing your director or talent in the grill with that 650 you’re flying in. With your big boy or big girl voice, call out “striking” or “eyes” when you turn on any light; while it seems refreshing to have 1000 watts of beautiful 3200 Kelvin light blasting in your eye balls, it’s not a healthy choice.
Corralling and organizing your stingers, XLRs, B&Cs, and emotions will also help in the prevention of slips, trips, and … nothing else rhymes. Keep it organized, and use that gaff tape, there’s plenty to go around.
Lastly, and most difficult of all, use common sense. It may not seem like you have any, but, it’s in there, deep, deep down. Use your common sense, take an extra moment to “get it right”, and no need to rush, let’s be honest, there’s no real hurry on any set.