Q&A with Andrej Caruso at Bas Production talking about filming in Slovenia

Local and international productions are starting up again in Slovenia under health and safety guidelines

By Chris Evans 3 Jun 2020

Q&A with Andrej Caruso at Bas Production talking about filming in Slovenia
Filming of the commercial in Slovenia

Andrej Caruso, senior producer and partner at leading production service providers Bas Production, talks to KFTV about how they filmed a commercial remotely with RSA Los Angeles and the latest situation with filming in Slovenia 

Can you start by telling me about the current situation with filming in Slovenia?

Local market shoots are happening already, both in studios and on locations. It is also already possible for foreign producers to come and shoot in Slovenia. From 1 June up to 200 people are allowed to gather together. And we can get filming permits.

As things are constantly improving, we are expecting less restrictions very soon.

Our country is monitoring the Covid-19 situation in other countries and is opening for travel from individual countries depending on their current Covid -19 situation and progress.

We are happy to say that filming is starting up again in Croatia too, which has a similar Covid-19 situation to Slovenia. We shoot in both countries and are monitoring the situation in Croatia closely. 

How will filming be different? What guidelines are there?

In truth there are not that many required changes for shoots. Currently we do need to adhere to certain governmental guidelines like practicing social distancing and avoiding overcrowding in small areas.

For now, we do suggest self-tape casting and only at the callback stage call people in, but this is not mandatory. The cast can be on camera without masks. But it has been suggested to reduce crew as much as possible. We recommend having nurses on every set, measuring arriving crew temperatures where possible, although this is not required.

We have introduced mobile wash basins and disinfection stations at multiple points on sets, with notes on COVID-19 prevention measures hanging in visible places.

Catering is currently conducted differently than normal. Instead of self service from the catering truck, we suggest meals be chosen by crew from a menu a day ahead and each crew member receives it pre-packed.

We provide masks and gloves for anyone who wishes to use them, empty trash regularly, and disinfect common areas (toilets, craft station etc) often.

Can you tell me about your recent commercials shoot with RSA Los Angeles and how that went?

The project was a commercial shoot for a very well established American national association. We did one day of rehearsal and one day of shooting. We built three sets in a fair hangar as we needed more distance between sets for post-production than our studios allow. The shoot was very technical with a lot of precise measuring, positioning and angling the sets correctly. We used a Supertechno dolly with a Sony Venice camera.

Who collaborated on the project?

We had team members from Slovenia, Germany, Czech Republic and Croatia. There were some challenges we had to overcome due to COVID-19 travel protocols in different countries. It took some extra travel time, but we successfully managed it.

How did filming happen in practice? Did you have to follow guidelines?

I have to admit the shoot went very smoothly. We had one system crash due to external internet connection problems, but this was resolved.  One of the most important things was we made sure the rules of the online shoot were given in advance. We used a QTAKE Cloud system in combination with Zoom, which requires certain discipline.

We followed all the guidelines which were provided from a National health institute, for example wearing masks, social distancing, disinfection stations, catering adjustments etc. Some of these have by now already become milder, but we still carefully monitor changes in health and safety guidelines in order to react fast.  

Maintaining these agreed rules as guidelines in combination with trust on both sides, meant the shoot went smoothly.

Was it all done remotely or was some of it done in studios/on location with people contributing from different places?

The shoot was fully remote, with director, producer, agency and client being in different cities and/or even countries. All the prep was done using iPad with Zoom, which turned out to be a key tool. You end up carrying the director around on the tablet, which sounds funny, but it actually works. 

Was it straightforward?

The shoot was as straight forward as a shoot with motion control can be, having a prelight/test day was a smart move.

As mentioned, we faced a sudden drop of internet line after a couple of hours of the shoot and Vimeo has a limit of 12 hours stream, so we had to resend the connection. 

Have you worked on any projects on location in Slovenia yet?

Not since the Covid-19 outbreak, but we are discussing new projects on several locations. We are prepared for both classic location shoots with foreign crew arriving here, or remote location shoots. We have done tests to check how remote location shoots would work and are confident we can facilitate such a situation.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We have a couple of large projects lined up, and also some feature film co-productions and local features in various stages of pre-production.


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