Remote Capabilities From The Miniac Films Team.


Everyone at Miniac Films is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of our staff, crew, vendors and clients. For now, traditional production is on pause, and we encourage everyone to follow the Center of Disease Control guidelines and to social distance. Still, there are a few ways to continue producing content that promises to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Miniac Films supports agencies and brands with ideation and production. We assemble bespoke teams from broadcast to web, documentary and original content. Our directors are ready to solve problems and devise creative solutions for each project.

At Miniac, we believe in this time it is critical that a director navigates projects from start to finish. Miniac’s directors are creative consultants and are most effective when supporting a project from production through post. Miniac Films director and co-founder, John Christopher Pina, is helping a client think through the best way to approach finishing a film that has a combination of recently shot footage, stock and VFX.


Miniac Films director, Peter Jordan, has incredible experience with “out of the box” directing. He assembles a small and simple camera, lens and lighting rig which is sent to the talent. He helps the talent set up remote access and he captures extremely human, honest moments. He’s currently working with IBM in this capacity.


Miniac’s Susan was tailor made for remote projects. As a creative director and director duo that write and create all of their own content, Susan is able to ideate, direct and produce all under one roof. This nimble team is efficient and effective, and saves their clients a lot of time and money.


Miniac consistently uses top of the line film equipment. Our remote technology allows four cameras to record simultaneously and stream up to sixteen monitors online. Currently, crews in South Korea are available to work and most vendors are open. Miniac Films has worked in South Korea on various projects and, with the help of our remote technology, is capable of building production teams in South Korea right now.

The health and safety of our staff, crew, vendors and clients is of the utmost importance to everyone here at Miniac Film. Our team has come up with our own set of production guidelines that coincide with the Center of Disease Control’s recommendations. We encourage everyone to read them to ensure all productions are safe for the whole crew. Check them out here. (I plan on linking the blog post I sent earlier with the guidelines) 


Miniac Films is open for business and we hope that we can help you safely and confidently execute your next project.


From everyone at team Miniac, we wish you good health and happiness. Stay safe! 

The Miniac Team on location in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 2019.

GUIDANCE FOR PRODUCTION RELATING TO COVID-19 In these uncertain times, there is nothing more important to the Miniac team than the safety and health of our staff, crew, vendors and clients. In accordance with the Center for Disease Control and through throughout discussion with several people representing our various departments, the following ideas have been compiled to help us all prepare and plan. These ideas are only advisory and informational. They are not legally or contractually obligatory. These ideas are not perfect for every production scenario, but we are all doing our best to help contain this virus. Everyone will need to collaborate and contribute in order for us all to return to production safely and confidently, and we encourage everyone to carry a sense of personal responsibility in the workplace and to speak up if they have concerns or ideas.   The entire Miniac team is closely monitoring the situation, and as new developments and findings arise our guidance and recommendations will be updated to match Center for Disease Control standards, and our own evolving company standards.   Please review the entire document. Many of these practices are already commonplace, but were included to emphasize their importance.   This should be viewed as a link, as this is a work in progress: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h5y3- ePzOoIHu7HBlZTN3UXKyF3U5NszYmVZOcRkHZU/edit?usp=sharing   Ideas and feedback are welcome. Please send to info@miniacfilms.com. Thank you and let’s stay safe!

GENERAL COMMON SENSE PRACTICES ·   Limit specific areas of worksite to essential personnel ·   Require frequent and thorough hand washing by all personnel, without exception ·   If soap and water are not available, use / provide alcohol-based hand cleanser containing at least 60% alcohol ·   Require anyone who is sick to stay home ·   Self-monitor for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and report to your department head if you are sick or experiencing symptoms ·   Department head should then report this information to production department ·   One department at a time may “step in, step out” of a set up, before the next department ·   Observe respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes ·   Use disposable tissues and discard after each use ·   Maintain social distancing of no less than 6 feet whenever possible ·   Masks should be worn while on set, but are required when social distancing is not possible ·   Encourage people to bring their own mask - some people would prefer what they choose specifically (however, they will of course be made available) ·   Utilize appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including but not limited to gloves, goggles, face shields, masks that cover the nose and mouth, finger cots (good for finger-only touch-points such as copier, microwave). Use of finger cots reduces plastic, compared to gloves ·   Make sure that PPE is consistently and properly worn, regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced as necessary ·   Require PPE to be properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination of self, others, and the work environment ·   Use your elbow or knuckle as opposed to fingers when possible ·   Limit the number of people who handle certain items ·   Do not use other people’s phones or personal work tools ·   Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment ·   Assign one individual to be responsible for constant wipedowns of surfaces (never mix chemicals) ·   Make 6 foot distance markings on the floor in environments where people need to line up ·   Take time to communicate and plan every part of a project in order to reduce unexpected situations and increase efficiency ·   Consider who may effectively be able to work from home. Consider prep, shoot, wrap ·   Pens should be provided and individuals should be told to keep them ·   Contactless payment should be utilized (as opposed to petty cash) when possible ·   Put down an item that someone then needs to pick up, rather than ‘handing off’ when possible

PRODUCTION OFFICE / MOTORHOME ·  Maintain good ventilation. Keep windows and doors open when possible, but open at least periodically to cycle the air ·   Limit people entering the office to essential personnel ·   Deliveries should be transacted outside the entrance whenever possible ·   Pathways should be one-way when possible (clockwise) in order to avoid people having to pass each other going opposite directions in a narrow hallway ·   Plan how to serve food, coffee, etc. responsibly ·   Use disposable, ecologically-friendly flatware, plates, and cups ·   Assign one person to turn lights on and off, manage thermostats ·   Make tissues and disinfectant wipes ubiquitous ·   Reduce decorative items that people may touch ·   Utilize individual printers and scanners whenever possible ·   Move your own car rather than have someone else move it ·   Get a secure shredding bin (users put items in, but cannot take out) ·   Use your cell phone as opposed to a landline ·   Use sensor-activated toilets, faucets, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and hand sanitizer dispensers when possible ·   Disinfect remote controls

PAPERWORK ·   Timecards may transition to electronic execution, but in the short term, have as much pre-filled as possible ·   Petty cash, petty cash envelopes, mail, contracts, POs, agreements, pick-up and return paperwork will require careful handling

CASTING ·   Consider remote casting sessions and callbacks with live broadcast capabilities ·   Remote casting sessions will mean not being able to see a group interact with each other ·   Schedule auditions and callbacks further apart to accommodate social distancing ·   Digitally distribute scripts as opposed to handing out sheets of paper ·   Have actors execute confidentiality agreements when necessary ·   Actors must arrive to casting at the assigned time, not earlier (models and dancers are used to “open calls” but they must arrive at the assigned time) ·   Encourage actors to wait in their cars, not in the waiting area of the casting facility ·   Have an actor check in from outside using their cell phone ·   Consider utilizing app technology that checks an actor in, and sends the actor a text when it’s their time (like some restaurants) ·   One dedicated Casting Assistant should sign all performers in and out ·   During in-person group auditions, actors can wear clear face shields and gloves, or have a partition placed in between them ·   Handling of props may have to be simulated using an actor’s cell phone or other personal item ·   Identify wardrobe specs in the breakdowns to increase the likelihood the actor brings something that can be worn on the shoot

HANDLING OF EQUIPMENT ·   Use gloves and change regularly ·   Members of each department should disinfect gear during breaks in activity ·   Minimize the number of people having to touch the same items. This may require additional gear ·   Strive for consistency regarding which pieces of equipment are handled by whom

SHOOTING SCHEDULE / STAFFING ·   Anticipate things taking longer to accomplish than we’re used to ·   Carefully consider number of shoot days required ·   Consider staggered call times, department by department ·   Build in time for one department to “step in, step out” at a time ·   Consider how much the path of the sun dictates when and how much time we have to shoot a specific area or room at a location ·   Consider whether a prep or pre-light day will be required ·   Some locations may only allow limited truck parking resulting in the need to cross-load and drop off gear ·   ‘Making the day’ will require efficiency and enough personnel. This will be challenging with caps on the number of people at a gathering ·   Strive to keep the same individuals on an entire job (as opposed to individuals swapping in and out), thereby minimizing the number of individuals overall

DIRECTOR SCOUTING ·   Consider virtual director scouting via a streaming app ·   Self-drive ·   Consider utilizing walkie-talkies ·   Share each other’s location via smart phones ·   Remove shoes before entering a location when practical ·   Give consideration to size and space when deciding among location options ·   Carefully consider the number of locations that get director scouted in-person

TECH SCOUT ·   Schedule the tech scout as early as possible ·   Digitally distribute tech scout packets ·   Self-drive when possible ·   If in a peoplemover, everyone should be in masks, gloves, etc. Consider renting multiple vehicles to allow distance between seats ·   While at location, have as much conversation outside as possible ·   Try to maximize space and air flow when designating spaces for a shoot (video village, lunch, equipment staging, placement of monitors, etc.). Consider whether you will have to relocate any of these areas at some point during the day, in order to accommodate different camera positions

PREPRO MEETING ·   Schedule the prepro meeting as early as possible ·   Finalize as many creative decisions as possible no later than the prepro meeting so there will be fewer last minute changes on shoot days

LOCATION DEPARTMENT ·   Some locations may require pre and post cleaning ·   Choose disinfectants carefully in order to avoid damage ·   Permit applications should go in as early as possible ·   Consider permitting backup locations in the event that a location pulls out or otherwise becomes unavailable ·   Neighbors or neighborhoods may have a diminished appetite for a film crew ·   Acquiring signatures will be difficult logistically ·   Fewer people will be eager to provide signature for filming activity on their street ·   Location contracts should be executed as early as possible ·   Rely more on locations repped by agents (less cold scouting) ·   Anticipate providing alternative lodging to house occupants for the duration of the shoot (may be best for them to not enter at wrap in between the days that crew is in the home) ·   Anticipate possibility of having to board animals ·   Provide plenty of space for lunch ·   Bring sensor-activated soap dispensers, hand dryers, etc. to locations when available ·   Provide washing station when there is no access to running water ·   Consider the logistical challenges of a location before sharing with a Director or Agency / Client ·   Have one individual put up and take down all location signs ·   Locations should in general be ‘closed sets’. No non-essential visitors.

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT ·   Limit number of people in a passenger van at one time ·   Consider a higher-capacity bus for shuttling, to allow for social distance inside ·   Allow time for people who prefer to walk from crew parking to set rather than be shuttled ·   Add signage to van exterior identifying maximum capacity and reminding people to wear masks ·   Keep windows down to promote ventilation ·   Additional shuttle trips will be necessary ·   Try to commit to one driver per vehicle ·   Stakebeds may be required to transport cross-loaded gear from crew parking to the location

ART DEPARTMENT ·   Minimize touching items native to a location ·   Consider asking owner of location to reduce personal items before we take occupancy ·   Fewer pickups will be possible per day, per truck ·   Make decisions on the tech scout, get approvals from Agency / Client as early as possible ·   Consider potential value of prep and strike days. This may be combined with location cleaning requirements

ELECTRIC, GRIP DEPARTMENTS ·   More gear may be required ·   Grip gear should only be handled by the grip department (apple boxes and stands often support other departments) ·   Art departments should communicate support needs in advance

HAIR AND MAKE-UP ·   PPE must be worn for duration of person-to-person contact ·   Space make-up stations apart from each other, or provide a partition between workstations ·   Use only one brush, applicator, etc. per actor. No double-dipping ·   Mix foundation, powders, lipstick, etc. on a disposable palette for each individual ·   Clean hairbrushes and combs and reusable make-up brushes with appropriate disinfecting solutions ·   Kits will need to include multiples for most make-up ·   Actor may be able to wear a mask while having their eyes or hair done ·   Face shield may be worn by Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist ·   Only remove the actor’s mask when essential ·   Once made up, actor may consider face shield (as opposed to mask) in order to not disturb completed make-up ·   Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist may place and remove face shield for the actor (if the actor prefers) ·   Consider having the actor show up having done their own make-up

CAMERA DEPARTMENT ·   Camera pick-up from camera house may have to be scheduled ·   PA doing pick-up must handle cases with gloves ·   Only camera personnel should handle camera gear including carts, cases, tape, etc.

SOUND DEPARTMENT ·   Disinfect Comteks before and after each use ·   Label Comteks with the name of the user ·   Disinfect Lav mics and transmitters before and after each use ·   Replace Lav mounting components that can not be thoroughly cleaned ·   PPE must be worn for duration of person-to-person contact ·   Consider utilizing boom-only audio (as opposed to rigging Lav mics) ·   Some multitalent scripts under the boom-only scenario may require a second Boom Operator

CATERING ·   Consider staggering lunch to decrease number of people getting food and seating simultaneously ·   Food will be served to people (as opposed to self-serve) ·   Flatware should be handed out one by one ·   Some scenarios will benefit from individually boxed meals ·   Provide plenty of tables and seating to spread out safely ·   Hand washing station should be present ·   Some may prefer to bring their own food ·   Some may prefer to eat in their car

CRAFT SERVICES ·   Only buy individual, prepackaged portions ·   Everyone must wash their hands before entering the craft services area ·   Table should be set up so that people can take individual portions and only touch what they are taking - you touch it, you own it ·   Craft services should have capability to refill an individual’s reusable water bottle brought to set without contact between refill source and bottle ·   Reduce and streamline variety of beverages ·   No bowls or canisters of snacks to reach into

MEDIC ·   Medic should patrol the set and proactively consult with personnel ·   Medic can help identify surfaces that need to be wiped down

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR ·   Provide a separate monitor

WALKIE TALKIES ·   Walkies should be signed out the day before for quick distribution on the shoot day ·   Walkies should be individually bagged and handed to the user in its bag ·   Do not share walkie talkies ·   Replacement batteries must be disinfected in between uses, bagged, and handed to     crew as needed

VIDEO VILLAGE ·   Clients may prefer plastic chairs over director chairs or sofas (easier to wipe down) ·   Clients will understand things done for purposes of caution and safety

HOSTING CLIENTS ·   Only buy individual orders and portions ·   Clients will understand use of disposable items ·   People move their own cars

WARDROBE DEPARTMENT ·   In-depth planning of wardrobe should be done ahead of shopping and pulling from rental houses ·   Only the wardrobe department should touch clothing, etc. until it's decided what the actor will actually try on ·   Fitting photos should be taken by one person, not multiple people touching the same phone, tablet, etc. ·   Use gloves when looking through garments in rental houses and retail stores ·   Anticipate delays at rental houses and retail stores ·   Review current retail return and exchange policies ·   Book talent as early as possible, and get sizes as early as possible ·   Costumes and outfits should be bagged up individually, by performer ·   Seek permission from Clients to allow actors to keep purchased wardrobe ·   Consider having actors arrive in their own wardrobe ·   Disinfect jewelry and glasses with disinfectant that will not cause damage

ACTORS ·   Consider a temporary clear barrier between actors while establishing marks and positions, and remove at the last moment ·   Consider alternate shot set-ups, camera angles, lenses, etc. ·   Actors may benefit from extra tender loving care. Remember, they have to give an on-screen performance in the midst of all this

EXTRAS ·   Carefully consider number of Extras required ·   Be sure to have enough space and tables and chairs for Extras holding area to be spread out ·   Provide one pen for each Extra to execute paperwork and make sure they know to keep it and not share

MINORS ·   Think about how to organize schooling if required ·   Remember that many states require work permits ·   Children will require extra attention to ensure they follow safety protocols ·   Be sure to have PPE that fits the minors ·   No make-up unless absolutely necessary

UNIONS AND GUILDS ·   A union or guild representative may reach out to discuss something about one of your projects. Much of this is new, and no one can think of every issue that may come up ·   Unions have a responsibility to look out for the safety of their members


Stay safe and please send feedback or ideas to info@miniacfilms.com Thank you!

Miniac Films director Benjamin Kutsko and team travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to shoot new adidas film.


Adidas has made it their mission to clean up our oceans. The German sportswear company has a long history of environmental outreach. They sell numerous sustainable products, like their FUTURECRAFT LOOP sneaker, and they have partnered with various brands, like Stella McCarthy, to create completely sustainable limited edition lines of sportswear apparel.


Adidas also partners with Parley, a New York based non-profit that raises awareness and leads campaigns to clean up our oceans. The German sportswear company and the New York non-profit have partnered multiple times before. Their collaborations range from community outreach to producing awareness films like the Miniac Films and Matthias Hoene film, Dive, featuring professional cliff diver, Anna Bader.


To produce their promotional film, adidas partnered with the Los Angeles and New York based production company, Miniac Films. Miniac Films is a hybrid production company and creative shop that specializes in creating dramatic narratives with high production value. Miniac Films director, Benjamin Kutsko, directed the promotional film.


Kutsko is known in the commercial world for creating visual and exciting narratives by integrating astounding visual effects within his cinematic frames. Kutsko previously worked with the German sportswear company on their 2019 film, ALPHAEDGE 4D.


Kutsko and the Miniac team shot the film in Sao Paulo, Brazil with the help of the local production company, Domo Productions.


PRIMEBLUE will launch in summer 2020. PRIMEBLUE is just one of many campaigns adidas has launched to promote sustainability throughout our world. Stay tuned for the final film, but check out some behind the scenes photos from the Sao Paulo shoot below.