There is a perception amongst some that in order to complete any task, let alone one as complex as filming, that risk must be removed.
In short, filming anything without risk is the equivalent of trying to bake a cake without flour or cook an omelette without eggs.
The truth about risk is that it is a constant. This means two things. Firstly, it cannot be removed, but more importantly, it is predictable.
Speak to any Producer, and they will tell you that their job is almost completely about managing risk. The risk of delays due to bad weather, the risk of financial overrun, physical risk to cast and crew, reputational risk to the production company – the list is almost endless.
So, if risk cannot be removed, how can it be managed and who can manage it? Well, if the risks are known, then the mitigation can be put in place, hence minimising the risk through strategy, tactics and operations, instead of trying to remove it. The closer to the middle of the spectrum they are, the less likely they are to change… predictable risk.
Where there is unknown risk, then by definition the mitigation for it is also unknown. Where this is the case, there are two ways to deal with it.
Avoid the situation and abandon the plans for the shoot that you want, or consult with a specialist with the necessary experience and judgement to mitigate risk outside of your area of expertise, especially in a dynamic environment where weather, footfall, terrain, height, water or confined spaces are involved, with the prospect of unknown and changing risk over time.
The staff of On Sight Safety Solutions Ltd are all Mountain Rescue Team members, and in the course of our many rescues, we have seen how a simply grass slope, easily accessible by the first on scene, can quickly turn in to a treacherous hazard. This is where judgement and experience dictates putting in safety measures before the risk presents itself.
As a company we exist solely to assess the risks of locations and the plans for filming, create methods statements and deliver those methods on the day either on or off camera, to ensure the safety of cast and crew from the start of rigging days to the post filming de-rig.
If you are planning on filming on location where there is any sort of potential environmental risk, please do get in touch with us for an informal chat about how we can help you get the shots that you want, safely.