Although Sweden did not impose a lockdown or any other drastic restrictions to fight the pandemic as in other countries around the world, it is among the first European countries, along with Denmark, to put in place specific government guidelines allowing production to be jumpstarted.
The measures have been listed in an online document titled Nordic Film Guide, compiled by Swedish production outfit Hobby Film, based on information collected from government bodies in Sweden and Denmark. Hobby Film is mostly active in commercial production, with clients including H&M, Netflix, McDonalds and Heineken, according to CEO Tom Rickard.
Sweden allows for shoots gathering a maximum of 50 people on set, while Denmark, which has enforced strict restrictions since March 16 to curb the spread of the virus, has “reassumed film production” since April 14, according to the Nordic Film Guide.
In order to uphold social distancing, productions now need to have “leaner crews and planning to ensure departments can work sequentially,” said the Nordic Film Guide, which anticipates a decrease in productivity by about 10%.
For interior shoots, “every person inside at any one time requires four square meters,” and big crowd scenes are out of the question for the moment.
“It is deemed irresponsible to execute crowd scenes where social distancing cannot be upheld to a satisfactory degree, as the risk of contagion is considered to be too high,” said the guide, giving the examples of a nightclub scene or church congregation.
While the Scandinavian website said there “are no official rules regarding kissing, sex scenes and scenes that require one actor to touch another’s face,” casting actors at “increased risk of severe illness” and those above 70 is not recommended.
In addition, casting will be done remotely via video conference or by using self-shot tapes. In terms of filming on location, the org said it is currently permitted to shoot in public places in Sweden, while Denmark is allowing such shoots on a case by case basis.
Discussions are ongoing with Danish authorities to receive a formal confirmation that filming in public space is permitted for every film crew.
As far as catering on set, the rulebook said buffets and coffee stations are not permitted. All meals must be served as single-serving portions and sit-down meals will be split in two seatings of 20 minutes. Masks will also be provided to everyone on set.
Currently, Denmark is still on a partial lockdown with schools, non-critical public workplaces, as well as shops, restaurants and theaters closed.
In Sweden, meanwhile, schools, restaurants and workplaces have remained open. Although they have adopted different strategies to cope with the pandemic, both countries have started seeing the virus recede, according to the Nordic Film Guide.