FilmSkills: Production Safety


Filmmakers often suffer from “cinematic immunity” – the false perception of immunity from injury in the controlled environment of the movie set.  In reality, movie sets are incredibly dangerous. Potentially hazardous shooting locations, electrical dangers, precarious grip and rigging set-ups, weapons and pyrotechnics, and basic human error can – and have – caused serious injury and death.  Unfortunately, in this freelance industry, there is no standardized safety training protocol – until now. The producers of FilmSkills have teamed up with the architects of the California Safety Pass program – a safety course required of all union television and motion picture IATSE workers in California – to make the film industry’s first production safety protocol.


  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1514627957
  • ISBN-13: 978-1514627952
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches


“Safe working habits must be taught with the same dedication as the craftsmanship and artistry of filmmaking. Having had our students take the FilmSkills Safety Training Course, we are confident that our students now have the knowledge to achieve their artistic vision SAFELY.”

Professor William McDonald

Chair, UCLA Department of Film, Television & Digital Media

Many filmmakers feel they are impervious to injury and even death; that somehow, the protective bubble of both the filmmaking process and the academic institution will insulate them from accidents.

Unfortunately, in the real world, we know the laws of physics – gravity, electricity, momentum – apply to everyone; as does the unstoppable force of our legal system. Tragically, dozens of students have been injured or killed shooting student projects in recent years, and in virtually every case, the accidents could have been prevented.

In the interest of protecting both the people on your set from injury and your organization from liability, we created an extensive safety training program that mirrors the training given to working union entertainment-industry professionals in California.

The FilmSkills Production Safety manual covers:
  • Creating the Attitude of Safety
  • Basic On-Set Safety
  • Working On Location
  • Working in Studio Facilities
  • Lighting Equipment Safety
  • Grip and Rigging Safety
  • Electrical Safety
  • Vehicle and Roadway Safety
  • Weapon Safety
  • Lifts, Trucks, and Tools
  • Pyrotechnics and Special Effects
  • Environmental Safety