Behind the scenes of a social distanced film shoot with GVTV


GVL / Britney Watkins

Allison Rafferty

Despite the social distance guidelines and the Stay in Place order issued by the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, members of GVTV have still made it possible to produce new content for shows. 

Lauren Sargent, Vice President of GVTV, said that behind the scenes of a film shoot during COVID-19 is a very professional experience. 

Sargent said that everyone is encouraged to get a COVID-19 test done prior to coming on set. People are not allowed on set unless they have a negative test result, adhere to isolation guidelines such as not going out to eat and not partying, and wear a mask at all times on set. 

“When we break for meals, everyone sits six feet apart while eating with their face masks off,” said Sargent.

GVTV also has a designated COVID-19 Compliance Coordinator. Their job is to make sure everyone is wearing their masks, not touching their face and washing their hands.

Local Laker News producer Jacob Peters said that with fewer people behind the camera than usual, producing a story ends up taking more time than the crew would like it to. 

But on the bright side, I am just happy we have the opportunity to shoot,” said Peters.

Meetings for the club have also been altered so now they are done virtually over Zoom. GVTV also utilizes a discord server where members can have casual conversations, plan film shoots and more. Despite that, Peters said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made finding stories easier.

“Despite the fact that campus is certainly less lively due to COVID-19, there are plenty of interesting stories that are out there because of COVID-19,” Peters said. “Even in a little town like Allendale, it’s easy enough to find a good story.”

Despite challenges and having fewer people allowed to work together, GVTV members have been working hard to produce stories and stay on track.

“During the Stay in Place order, our production crews focused on planning future shoots and developing their scripts so when the order was lifted they were better prepared to go on set and film their content,” said Sargent.

“Obviously if someone isn’t feeling well they are not allowed on set,” Peters said. “I don’t care if you just have the sniffles, I would much rather have to do extra work on a shoot than put any of our cast or crew in danger.”

Sargent noted that the process of creation has changed dramatically, which in turn, has changed how she sees her craft.

“The greatest reward is creating great content despite the restrictions and the challenges they present to us,” Sargent said. “COVID-19 has challenged us all logistically and creatively, but that can be a good thing. Sometimes you need a good challenge to come up with an awesome idea that results in wonderful content.”

Peters said that the plan for GVTV moving forward is to keep producing content. Laker News filmed their first episode of the semester last Friday and Peters hopes to air the episode as soon as possible. After that, GVTV is shooting to keep producing more content.

Sargent said, “Our club is thriving despite the challenges COVID-19 has presented us. We’re all extremely passionate about what we do and we love working through these challenges and coming out the other side with great content to share.”