Nova Scotia film industry releases new industry guidelines

The new document sets clear standards for responsibility on set, but allegedly introduces no changes that will up production costs.
guillame paumier - flickr creative commons

Film producers and policy makers in Nova Scotia have taken a big step toward improving safety on the set by issuing a new set of health and safety guidelines.

The new guidelines, released yesterday, will set clear industry standards of responsibility while filming, and are an update of a prior document that was created to explain the provincial government’s film production legislation.

The guidelines, however, are not a replacement for the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Linda Wood, a spokesperson for Film Nova Scotia and member of the Film Industry Health and Safety Committee, which created the guidelines, says the document was updated to reflect the many minor changes that have been made to legislation over the years, but that nothing is radically different.

“There’s not a fundamental change in terms of safety protocols that weren’t in place prior to this point and that are now going to be required for filmmakers or producers,” she tells Playback Daily.

She adds that the committee, which is comprised of Department of Labour and Advanced Education members, unions, guilds, producers, suppliers and other industry stakeholders, did its best to ensure that filmmakers won’t suffer under the new guidelines.

“When we looked at the guidelines, we were looking at trying to have a balance between reflecting the standards and a common sense approach to production,” she explains.

“So that was a big part of the work for the committee – looking at everyone at the table, the realities of production for the industry, how the law applies to it, and making sure it’s workable for everyone,” she adds.

Wood insists that the new guidelines keep the province in line with national standards, and says the committee worked with Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, drawing from the Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry, but that at the end of the day “it all goes back to working in the province of Nova Scotia, because every jurisdiction is a little different.”

Photo: Guillame Paumier / Flickr Creative Commons