COVID-19 Policies

MAC Fall ’21 COVID-19 Media Production Policies

Health and safety are always of paramount importance in media production. However, the evolving state of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates specific adjustments of departmental policies for Media Arts & Culture courses with media production components. 

In coordination with the College’s Covid Operations Group, the Department has produced a series of specific FA21 COVID-19 policies that supersede many of the regular protocols of the Student Production Handbook. Students are still accountable for all other general department policies (e.g. regarding budget caps, hazardous shooting conditions, release forms, length, etc.) covered in the handbook.

Your professor will go over these policies with you at the start of the semester, and you are required to sign and return a Safety Contract (issued by your faculty member) acknowledging your understanding of and agreement to adhere to departmental policies before you are permitted to proceed with the class. 

In addition to departmental policies, students are required to stay informed of and adhere to all College/campus and local/regional health and safety protocols regarding COVID-19.

Course-specific information will also be provided by your professor, tailored to the nature of your class context. 

When in doubt ask your professor, or Manager of Digital Production Diana Keeler before proceeding. Ignorance of policies and protocols is not an excuse for noncompliance.

 

Equipment: 

The MAC Equipment Center in Weingart is expected to open this semester. College policies (masking at all times while indoors, sanitizing hands regularly, etc.) apply to all engagements with the Equipment Center and its staff. 

Policies for accessing the Equipment Center, along with sanitization protocols for your assigned equipment, vary by course and will be provided to you by your professor and Manager of Digital Production Diana Keeler. 

You are restricted to the departmental equipment assigned to your class. Use of any other equipment is not permitted without professor approval. This is not only a health and safety protocol, but also a matter of equity amongst your course cohort. Demos and technical support in your class will be designed around the assigned equipment and software packages. 

 

External Drives, Software, and Computers: 

The MAC Computer Lab is also expected to open this semester. In addition to College policies around masking at all times while indoors and sanitizing hands regularly, there will be specific policies and procedures for sanitizing computer stations before and after use. These protocols will be clearly posted in the lab and will be demonstrated by your course professor. It is essential for the collective wellbeing of our community that you adhere to these policies. 

As always, the computer lab’s use is restricted to students enrolled in specific MAC classes. This will be strictly enforced. Anyone not enrolled in an authorized class should instead utilize the computer labs located in the Academic Commons. 

Students are responsible for providing their own external hard drive and for backing up their projects (talk with your professor on particular drive specifications and protocols). 

 

Crew:

Your project’s crew must be composed solely of your fellow Oxy students. No non-Oxy crewmembers are permitted. Any additional course-specific crewing restrictions indicated by your professor must be adhered to. 

Your professor will provide prompts, protocols, and recommendations for safe and sustainable production practices tailored to your class context. 

All crew must comply with evolving College and city COVID protocols, including wearing masks at all times when indoors.  

 

Documentary Participants: 

We strongly encourage students making documentary works to prioritize subject matters focusing on the Occidental community and individuals participating in the College’s vaccine verification/testing protocols. In specific course contexts, students may be permitted to film with community partners and individuals in the greater Los Angeles area. 

All filming must comply with evolving College and city COVID policies around masking and social distancing, including masking indoors at all times, even when your participants are on-camera. If you wish to have unmasked participants, your filming must occur outdoors. Your professor will provide more course-specific information if relevant. 

All non-Oxy visitors to campus are also required to pass a health check to be on campus and submit a screening form to enter campus buildings.

 

Actors: 

Actors cast in course productions must be members of the Occidental community participating in the College’s vaccine verification/testing protocols. 

The only exception to this is at the MAC 491 Senior Comprehensives level. Though seniors are still urged to prioritize Oxy community members as actors, MAC 491 seniors are permitted to cast select roles with off-campus actors able to verify full vaccination status. MAC 491 professors will outline casting breakdown protocols and vaccine verification processes, and any casting notice must be approved by your professor before posting. 

In compliance with College and city COVID protocols, actors must wear masks at all times when indoors, even when performing on-camera. If you wish to have unmasked performers, your scene must be set outdoors. 

Even when outside, directors must work with professors to develop camera setups and coverage that mitigates any physical proximity of actors. If your scene requires any close contact between performers, this constitutes a hazardous shooting condition. A formal proposal would need to be submitted and approved via the hazardous shooting conditions proposal process outlined in the Student Production Handbook (see Making Sure Your Project is Safe) before any filming occurs. 

All non-Oxy visitors to campus are also required to pass a health check to be on campus and submit a screening form to enter campus buildings.

 

Locations: 

The sets and field-based locations of your media productions are extensions of the Occidental classroom. As such they are subject to evolving College and city COVID policies. 

Students are encouraged to film at on-campus locations. Some class contexts may be restricted to campus locations. 

All other standard protocols regarding on- and off-campus location reservations and permits detailed in the Student Production Handbook still apply (see Locations). 

Individuals on your set or at your location must be limited to crew, participants, and performers, and are subject to the protocols detailed in the Crew, Documentary Participants, and Actors sections of these policies.