While many agencies and marketers think of themselves as “always on,” commercial producers are saying not so fast.
The Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) has reached its limit when it comes to agencies and clients blurring the lines between working remotely during the pandemic.
Simply put, post-production is not a 24/7 on-call service, the group says.
It’s releasing a set of what it calls “common sense” guidelines for working remotely, including scheduling and time-management recommendations that take into account lunch breaks and child care, the vagaries of internet speeds, and how quickly one should expect responses to after-hours communications.
The guidelines also address the role of the post producer who serves as the gatekeeper for communications between artists, editors and assistants and is responsible for keeping all appropriate personnel informed and the project coordinated.
While the guidelines acknowledge emails are welcomed “around the clock,” replies should not be expected until business opens the following day. In all instances, texts should be reserved for needs that require immediate action.
The trade organization recommends AICP members, specifically post production companies, reference those guidelines in the notes section of all upcoming bids.
Although the recommendations are more specific to the nature of post-production work, where artists spend hour upon hour sitting in suites or bays, “this is not just a post issue,” states Cosmo Street’s Yvette Cobarrubias, who spearheaded the effort. “It’s a production issue, an agency issue and a client issue, too.”
“We all need time to stop and eat a sandwich, help our kids, or just not look at a screen,” she says. “The language is there for companies to include on their bids, and also to spark conversations with clients about the importance of boundaries when working remotely.”
The Remote Working Guidelines will be a “living document,” revised and amended as circumstances and conditions change. “They'll evolve as we learn new things about working remotely, set different boundaries and realize we all have similar needs,” says Cobarrubias.