Tag Archive for: ScreenSafe

View from the Top banner

This week sees the marking of two significant days on the annual calendar: World Intellectual Property Day and World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Two things close to the heart of DEGANZ.

Copyright is an expression of Intellectual Property. Copyright. It’s something that directors do not have under the New Zealand Copyright Act. In the Act, the copyright in cinematographic film and audiovisual content is vested in “the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of the recording or film are undertaken.” This is interpreted as the producer. At the Guild, we have been pursuing copyright for directors for more than 20 years. In 2007, the Screen Directors Guild of NZ came close but ultimately lost out when Treasury determined that copyright for directors sat outside the terms of reference for the Copyright Act Review.

More recently in 2018, the Government again launched a review of the Copyright Act. We made considerable effort at this time to lobby for changes to the Act to recognise directors as authors and thereby gain copyright. In 2021, the Government decided that changes to the Act were going to be too hard and so dropped the review. We are still waiting for the review to come around again. All this said, we still celebrate and acknowledge the importance of intellectual property in the creative sector as it relates to visual artists, writers and composers, particularly in the face of threats on IP posed by digital content.

In our industry, we have been aware for decades of the high levels of stress and the impacts on physical, mental and psychological wellbeing that affects health at work and outside of it. Very little was done about this, however, until we were hit by the COVID global pandemic. In the first lockdown, DEGANZ and the other guilds and associations worked together to provide access to mental health help for screen workers. This came to an end in 2022, but the issue for us did not go away. Casting Director Miranda Rivers has launched a personal crusade to address wellbeing in the screen sector. ScreenSafe has taken up the baton on this as well and is working with Miranda to firstly conduct a survey to take the temperature on wellness amongst screen workers,  which will be conducted in the coming weeks. This will be a first step as part of a long process to improve and address health at work, amongst other personal safety issues we all face. DEGANZ board member and director Caroline Bell-Booth is leading DEGANZ’s efforts around this and will be a point of contact going  forward for both members and those working to address the issues.

A final comment in regard to the big announcement today about the retirement of COO Mladen Ivancic from the New Zealand Film Commission.

Mladen has been a rock at the NZFC in all the years I have had dealings with the organisation, both as a producer and as head of the Guild. In times when the organisation has been without a CEO, Mladen has kept the ship steady. He is universally liked, has been unfailingly polite and kind, done his job well, and will be sorely missed by all of us who knew and worked with him. We wish him well in his new endeavours.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Friday 1 July 2022

This is a reminder to all of the New Zealand Screen Sector that the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Protocols are still in place to make sure you keep each other safe on set.

We understand that it is tough keeping productions going under the current climate but we want to remind everyone that your health and safety is important. COVID is impacting on our sets around the country so please if you are unwell – please don’t come to work. Even if you are testing negative and you have symptoms we advise you to please stay at home.

Please continue to register your production on the ScreenSafe website registration form.

Here are the links to all of the information you need to follow the protocols:

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Toolkit

ScreenSafe Department Roles

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Production Registration Form

The key updates are:

No Requirement to Use QR Codes or to Contact Trace

Businesses no longer have to display a QR Code poster, although some businesses may still choose to use them. Productions are still encouraged to have contact tracing of some sort in place to prevent a wider production outbreak, but it is no longer a Government requirement.

No Requirement to Use My Vaccine Pass

There is no longer a requirement to use My Vaccine Pass. The Non-Vaccination Passport sections of the Protocols have now been removed and all productions will work under the same regulations.

If productions choose to use vaccination passports, they must undertake a robust health and safety risk assessment, along with any other relevant legal assessment, to ensure they are not unlawfully discriminating against workers within the workplace. A production must undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment to ascertain if there are any roles within production that require vaccination. A risk assessment might identify that some work can only be undertaken by a vaccinated employee for work health and safety purposes – for example, where the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 at work is higher than it is in the community. Productions should follow WorkSafe’s advice and guidance in respect of how to conduct a health and safety risk assessment, and may also wish to seek independent legal advice.

Updated Testing & Isolation Requirements

Updated as per current Government guidelines. The self-isolation period is now only 7 days. This applies to Household Contacts, but not Close Contacts. Close Contacts should monitor for symptoms for 10 days.

Long COVID & COVID-19 in the Workplace

Updates on managing an outbreak in the production, including information about Long COVID and its potential impact on a workforce.

Immigration, International and Domestic Travel

New Zealand has reopened its borders to the outside world. These sections of the protocols have been almost completely rewritten, but we urge you to also seek out the latest Government information. Things are constantly changing in regards to immigration and international travel requirements.

Mask Wearing is Still Crucial

With many productions choosing not to use vaccination passports, the use of face masks is more important than ever. Please wear a mask to protect your colleagues, yourself and your family. Wearing a face mask will assist with the productions continuation when there are undetected positive case within a production.

If you do test positive or are a household contact you can receive financial support here.

While some productions will choose not to use QR Codes and Vaccination Passports, please note that our key tools will still remain: mask wearing, physical distancing, hygiene and increased ventilation. And as always – DO NOT come to work if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group
Email: info@screensafe.co.nz

Screen Sector Release – 8 March 2022

ScreenSafe is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people in the New Zealand screen sector.

ScreenSafe has zero tolerance for child abuse. All allegations and child safety concerns are treated seriously and consistently with our guideline, policies and procedures.

ScreenSafe is committed to providing guidance on child safe environments where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard. Particular attention is paid to the cultural safety of Māori children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability and those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex. Our complaints process is child-focused and responsive to the concerns of children and young people.

Every person involved in the New Zealand screen sector has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role they play both individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people in the screen sector is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

What are these guidelines and who is covered by them?

These guidelines set minimum recommended standards for the screen sector to create and maintain child safe environments, free from abuse, exploitation and hazards. These guidelines:

  • affirm our commitment to the safety and well-being of children and young people in the screen sector;
  • inform all production companies, producers, managers, directors, cast and crew of their obligations to act ethically towards children and young people, and their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people; and
  • give guidance on the processes and procedures that aim to ensure children and young people’s safety and well-being across all areas of screen sector work.

These guidelines are for all people who conduct work in the screen sector in a paid or unpaid capacity including, but not limited to: production companies, producers, managers, directors, cast, crew, students on placement, volunteers, interns, trainees, contractors, consultants and visitors on set.

When referring to protection from abuse and neglect, a child is defined anyone under 18 years of age. For the purposes of workplace health & safety legislation and regulations, a child is defined as anyone under 16 years of age.

These guidelines support the requirements of Appendix 1 of the SPADA & New Zealand Actors’ Equity Individual Performance Agreement 2014.

These guidelines are informed by the following legislation and standards:

  • The Children’s Act 2014
  • Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
  • The Education Act 1989

See the links here to the full documents of the Child Safety Guidelines, Code of Conduct and Safety Report:

ScreenSafe Child Safety Guidelines

ScreenSafe Child Safety Code of Conduct

ScreenSafe Child Safety Report Document


ScreenSafe would like to thank Safeguard the Children for the support in creating these ScreenSafe Child Safety Guidelines.

Thank you to NZ on Air and NZ Film Commission for funding this important review.

View from the Top banner

I do hope everyone had a restful and restorative Christmas and New Year’s break, because here we go again.

Like 2021, a false sense of security across the summer has been ended this year, quicker than last, with COVID bashing down the doors once more.Thankfully, production has been rolling in Auckland since the move to Orange and a number of shows are in production or have completed. We are all wiser about how to operate in a COVID environment, but the new strain means new adjustments for all.

The Government gave up on the elimination strategy last year and we are now faced with having to live with COVID in our personal and work lives.

At the Guild, we have conducted our risk assessment for the office and our events, which were severely impacted in 2021. A number of our workshops require close proximity between actors, whether it be Rehearsal & Performance, Directing In the Intimate Zone, or Rehearsal Dynamics. Others we are able to conduct in an online environment—not ideal but possible—like the Directors Masterclass, Director’s Toolkit, Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, and the Table Reads that we do with NZWG.

We have reviewed all of these and our other one-off events and will be rolling out our Omicron-adjusted workshop and event programme from February. Keep an eye out for a new series of workshops that will look in detail at our template film agreements for directors (under development) and editors (already available), so that you can better understand and negotiate your contracts.

In the meantime, we all need to prepare for home isolation with the Omicron variant of COVID. If you haven’t already done this, you’ll find the Government’s information page on how to prepare your household for COVID here and the updated guidelines for life at Red here.

For those contemplating production, ScreenSafe continues to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and advice for productions here. Continue to check regularly as this will update with Omicron and Rapid Antigen Testing.

We could well see for NZ productions the introduction of strict Zones on set with Omicron. If you want to understand what shape this could take, see the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters document on COVID protocols on set, including how their Zone system works.

As always, the guilds are always contactable and ready to assist in these trying times. If you are having an issue, need some advice or assistance, or require some help, as members you can reach out to me or the ED of the organisation that represents you. So don’t hesitate.

Although we continue to be challenged by the pandemic we can still count our blessings that Aotearoa New Zealand hasn’t yet been as severely impacted as many other countries. It’s still summer. And with the acceptance that COVID is here to stay, we have more freedoms than in past systems used to control the spread.

Stay safe, stay well, and enjoy yourself wherever and whenever you can—it’s good for your wellbeing.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Red traffic light against clouds in the sky

Friday 3 December 2021

Hi and welcome to the Traffic Light system!

The following areas are currently in the RED level: Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki districts, Gisborne district, Wairoa district, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu districts

And these regions are in ORANGE: The rest of the North Island (Waikato, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington), as will the entire South Island.

Note: The Auckland land and air boundaries will remain in place, so until 15 December 2021 people will only be able to travel out of Auckland for permitted reasons. From 15 December 2021, restrictions at the Auckland boundaries ease and personal travel will be permitted for any reason for travellers who have a Vaccine Pass or have a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of travel.

The Protocols are currently out for legal and peer review. We were hoping to publish the revised protocols today, but we are still waiting for legal sign-off. Hopefully we will be able to publish in the next few days.

The new Protocols are very similar to the draft guidance provided on 17th November. But for now, the main things to keep in mind are:

  • Make a CLEAR decision whether you are doing a vaccination passport job or not.
  • Discuss your requirements with your safety office prior to commencing work and make clear guidelines to share with your crew.
  • If you need a film permit from a local council or film offices, please get in touch with them. Like everyone else, they are working hard to create clear guidelines for the new system.

Remember to get your My Vaccine Pass if you are double vaccinated or you have an official vaccination exemption. And productions should download the NZ Pass Verifier if you choose to use a vaccination passport on your production.

Finally – be nice to each other. It’s a strange new world for everyone, whether you are vaccinated or not. And it will take a while for everyone to adjust.

Kia kaha!

The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group
Email: info@screensafe.co.nz

Download this update in PDF