Safety On Shows Using RABS

Safety On Shows Using RABS

We’re seeing several safety best practices across our productions in the U.S and Canada that may be illustrative to other shows planning to use the RABS App & Digital Background Voucher.

Show are removing touch points between background & Assistant Directors

Most productions are creating secure work stations for the ADs and PAs that are responsible for checking in background. ADs and PAs open their RABS Skins®, and from a distance are able to check in, meal, and check out background.

We see, for example, on a Sony Pictures Entertainment series – the PAs maintain a safe physical distance, then space the line of performers during check in, use the Skins® on their laptop, and verbally pace the background through holding (and issue KN95 masks) without any need to touch or come within six feet of background performers.

Tracking COVID test results, certifications & payments

Background performers are receiving a flat payment (that’s pensionable) for their time taking a COVID infection test. Each digital voucher will likely contain a COVID testing payment or the production will create a specific COVID testing voucher to track payment. The payment rules have evolved since the beginning of back to work and continue to change; RABS is flexible to allow shows to evolve their payment methods as rules change.

Almost every HBO and Warner series and feature requires background to take a COVID certification and safety training course before they arrive to work. The productions use RABS to track these results and to collect the certificates of completion.

Separating Background into “Sequester”, “Hold”, and “Testing” Units

Leading the way on Sequester and Hold Units is Netflix. Sequester and Holds are separate groups of background performers that are often paid to live in a hotel for the duration of the production for the purpose of maintaining a safety “bubble”. We’ve seen this technique effectively used on Red Notice, Ozark, Tick Tick… Boom!, True Story, The Chair, Don’t Look Up, and many others.  There are specific payments required for background in a sequester and a hold including that may include payments for – their time in the sequester, their COVID infection tests during the sequester, and in some cases, per diems and advances for groceries and living expenses.

The RABS Digital Voucher easily accommodates these various expenses and simplifies what may otherwise be a confusing amount of payments to track.

Shows may literally be paying for one hundred background to live in a hotel for months. We’ve seen it done more than once. So, background, looking for an odd new job?

Securely Delivering Digital Background Vouchers to remote Accounting offices

Accounting offices have, in many cases, become remote. Production Accountants were one of the few groups that used to work in an office together on a daily basis. Now, many accountants work from home, or in a hotel in the case of a sequester of the crew.

We see this on the many Warner superhero TV series. It’s been an effective safety measure. With RABS – each accountant logs in to the RABS App and can access Digital Background Vouchers, hot cost reports, and can effectively pay performers. The process is secured and streamlined.

If the shows weren’t using RABS, they’d have to wait for paper vouchers to be scanned into a computer. The vouchers would then be emailed to a payroll accountant – who’d have to download them, print them, check them, error check them (with all the difficulty that entails), and try to put together a coherent hot-cost, after which, they’d have to rescan them into the computer to send them to a the payroll company.


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