Film Production Companies & Pyrotechnics: Who can work with Pyrotechnics

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 2, 2013 1:41:00 PM

Only trained and certified workers can plan, rig, and detonate pyrotechnic special effects on a film production. Uncertified SPFX workers could invalidate your film production insurance.

The Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada issues four classes of pyrotechnic special effects certification:

1.            Theatrical User

2.            Assistant

3.            Pyro technician or special effects pyro technician

4.            Authority having jurisdiction (ie. A fire chief or fire protection officer)

For additional information about pyrotechnic special effects certification, contact the Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada.

Who is in charge of pyrotechnics?

The special effects coordinator for a production has final authority on all safety matters related to pyrotechnics used in that production. The special effects coordinator must remain on set at all times during the preparation, placement, testing and firing of any pyrotechnic special effect.

Follow all laws and requirements before using pyrotechnic special effects and get all the required licenses and permits.

Use, handle, store and transport pyrotechnic materials in accordance with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws such as the Canada Explosives Act, the Transportation of Dangerous Good Act, and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

 

Tags: Film Production Insurance, Stunt Insurance, SPFX Insurance, Special Effects Insurance, stunt & SPFX, Pyrotechnics

Firearms on the Film Set and Film Insurance

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 14, 2012 11:00:00 AM

The cost for film Insurance for a production that uses firearms on set  can be minimized by following protocols that make the insurance underwriter comfortable. Insurance underwriters charge more when they are uncomfortable with the perceived risk.

Hire a good  firearms wrangler and ensure they follow these protocols for a safe set and the lowest film insurance cost:

1.            Take charge of all firearms and ammunition and keep an inventory of them

2.            Know all the requirements for handling, transporting, and storing firearms, ammunition and black powder

3.            Comply with all local, provincial, and federal regulations for firearms

4.            Be familiar with the specific firearms being used and their safety requirements. Know how to load, unload, dismantle, clean and reassemble the firearms

5.            Check firearms before and after each use

6.            Clean all firearms daily after use

7.            Load and Unload all firearms (if this is not practical, supervise the handling, loading, and unloading of firearms by designated, trained assistants) as follows:

  • Use the lightest load of blank ammunition necessary for the scene
  • Allow any actor who will be standing near the line of fire to witness the loading of the firearms

8.            Train actors and stunt performers in the safe use of firearms

9.            Take firearms away from actors and stunt performers between takes whenever possible

specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

 

Tags: Film Production Insurance, Film insurance broker, Hazardous stunts, Stunt Insurance, SPFX Insurance, Special Effects Insurance, Film Production Insurance Premiums, Front Row Insurance Brokers, stunt & SPFX, film insurance premium, Specialized film insurance broker

Film Production Companies & Pyrotechnics: Film Insurance Best Practices

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 4, 2012 2:42:00 PM

If you plan to use pyrotechnics during your film production, determine the potential hazards and conduct a risk assessment for each potential hazard to minimize your film insurance costs.

Avoid the following common pyrotechnic mistakes:

1.            Triggering the pyrotechnic effect prematurelyPyrotechnics

2.            Using more pyrotechnic material than necessary

3.            Not having fire extinguishers of a suitable type and capacity available

4.            Assigning duties to inadequately trained or inexperienced pyro technicians or assistants

5.            Entering danger areas before the special effects coordinator has inspected them and the all-clear signal has sounded.

Work safely to achieve realism: When planning stunts and special effects, always look for the safest way to execute the scene. Consider using scale models and computer simulations as replacements for live stunts and pyrotechnics.

Inform the Cast and Crew:

On call sheets, include safety information related to pyrotechnic special effects and make sure to inform your film insurance broker so that they can advise the film insurance underwriter. Specify restricted or no-access areas as well as viewing locations, if they are available.

Conduct a safety talk and dry run before filming a pyrotechnic special effect. If you make changes to scheduled pyrotechnics, hold another talk to explain the changes and any revised safety precautions.

 

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure that you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

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Call Sheets Help Reduce Film Production Insurance Costs

Posted by David Hamilton on Nov 14, 2012 5:44:00 PM

Daily Call Sheets are a useful way to alert cast and crew to potential hazards for that day’s shooting schedule, and to inform them about which safety precautions they might need to take.  Film Insurance underwriters appreciate the risk management component of a call sheet and take this protocol into consideration when assessing the film insurance risk of a film production.

The following should be included on Call Sheets:

  • Scheduled stunts
  • Any special effects that will be used
  • Scheduled use of firearms
  • Potential hazards specific to the location
  • Any required personal protective clothing and equipment and how workers can get it
  • The name, contact number, and location of the first aid attendant
  • The location of the first aid kit or facility
  • The location of the nearest hospital or emergency facility
  • Any other health and safety concerns that the cast and crew need to be aware of

 

Safety guidelines should be attached to call sheets ie. If any special effects are to be used on the set, then a safety guideline should be attached specific to the type of special effects that will used. For example, if you are shooting near a thoroughfare with lots of traffic, it may be useful to add notes about this on the call sheet. What are the weather conditions like? Will the crew require special footwear or clothing for extreme temperature? What about sunscreen or hydration requirements?

Along this line of thought, it is important to include information such as the nearest hospital, along with any other emergency numbers that are specific to your location.

Have you thought about:

Putting up safety posters in common areas around the set location as a reminder to pay attention to certain hazards around the workplace and certain locations ie. Aerial filming etc.

A specialized film insurance broker is best able to present the risks associated with your film production to the film insurance underwriter to ensure you receive the best coverage and premium for your production.

Front Row Insurance Brokers are specialized Film Insurance Brokers. Please call us if you have any questions.

The above information is  based on WorkSafe – Focus on Safety – Safe Work Practices for Film and Television Production in B.C. (2001 edition)

 

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8 Ways To Save Money When Insuring Stunts & SPFX

Posted by David Hamilton on Apr 2, 2012 1:31:00 PM
  1. Hire an experienced coordinator with a lengthy résumé. This is the most important step you can take to reduce your insurance costs.

  2. Close the set to public and guests.

  3. Use stunt actors, instead of your actors.

  4. Provide a diagram showing where the equipment and crew will be located relative to the action. Place equipment and crew a safe distances from the action.

  5. Use long lenses on camera, sandbags, and Lexon shields if possible to protect the filming equipment.

  6. Provide a full description of stunt & SPFX including script pages.

  7. Describe safety measures on set: fire extinguishers, sand, fireman/policeman, first aid, ect

  8. Underwriters charge when they are anxious or uncomfortable when reviewing a stunt or SPFX. Give the Underwriter enough information to make them comfortable and you will minimize the premium charges for your stunts & special effects.

Please contact our office for a quote on your next project!

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Bears and Film Insurance: What to Ask?

Posted by David Hamilton on Dec 8, 2011 10:26:00 AM

animal film insurance

Bears are frequently used in film productions shot in the Pacific Northwest. The risks associated with filming a bear can be transferred to an insurance company once the underwriter understands how the public, cast, crew, equipment and the  bear will be protected. The underwriter will need answers to the following questions to underwrite and cover the risk:

 

 

1.            Current Bear Vet exam certificates. What is the value of the bear to the owner if the bear were to die? Usually the figure is  based on three years revenue that the bear has earned.

2.            How will the bear get from their pen/corral to their position on set in the electrified fenced area? How will the cast and crew be protected during this transit?

3.            Where will the bear be on set when not filming? During this time, how will cast/crew/public be protected?

4.            When bear is on set and filming, what do they do to protect public/cast/crew from bear?

5.            Please confirm cast not in direct contact with the bear. Will the cast always be on one side of the electrified fence and the bear on the other?

6.            Please provide shooting schedule with the bear

7.            Please forward storyboards of bear scenes when available.

8.            Given the time of year, are there any issues resulting from the bear normally hibernating during this time of year?

9.            Details of housing and transit of the bears from the permanent home.

10.          The main corral  structure to house the bear – is this a permanent structure? What will it be constructed of?  How high will the fence be?

11.          Will the bears be housed over night at the corral?

12.          What type of security will be in place?

13.          Will there be 24 hour attendants for the bear?

14.          How will the bears be shipped to the set from out of town? 

15.          How are the protected during shipping?

 

As specialized film insurance brokers we can assist with obtaining this coverage.

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Film Production Insurance: Covering Stunts and Special effects

Posted by David Hamilton on Jan 30, 2010 1:19:00 PM
The Film Production  insurance policy contains an exclusion under the Cast Insurance coverage for a person injured when taking part in a hazardous stunt or any special effect in the declared production, without the prior consent of the insurance company.

Although these types of activities are usually reserved for stunt performers, the producer and the director should be aware of this exclusion. If actors are involved in hazardous stunts or special effects, please advise your broker well in advance so that they can make the appropriate arrangements with the insurance company.

In order to properly evaluate the hazards involving stunts used in filming, please provide answers to the following:

1. Synopsis of scenes being filmed.

2. List stunts by tape, location and date.

3. Protective measures used to protect participants and public, equipment and property.

4. What is the experience of the Stunt Coordinator - please attach a resume.

5. How many people are involved in each stunt scene?

Additional information may be requested. The underwriters may cover the scene based on the strength of the information - the stunt coordinator resume is particularly important; otherwise, the underwriter may charge an additional premium, or apply a higher deductible or impose a sub-limit on the limit of coverage, or, they may use a combination of all three to address the risk.

If you are comfortable with a high deductible and sub limit you can often save the cost of an additional premium being charged.

Be sure to talk to your Entertainment  Insurance broker before you film any stunts or SPFX scenes that were not origionally in the script that your broker provided the insurance company.

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