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GMS Health & Safety Recommended Protocols and Guidelines


Guild of Music Supervisors recommended protocols below are intended to supplement already-established return to work guidelines as published by multiple entertainment industry unions and advocacy groups. Unfortunately, Music Supervisors have been noticeably absent from the protocols released to date. Thusly, our aim is to use these existing guidelines as the foundation of our platform and to highlight areas where Music Supervisors should be afforded consideration.



We are in agreement that the health and safety of the general public, crew and production staff are of the highest priority.  And we feel that the totality of the existing guidelines and recommendations provide a satisfactory roadmap to achieving a safe return to work.  So to that end, we are happy to align with the published Covid-19 safety guidelines in the SAFE WAY FORWARD document from our colleagues at IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, Directors Guild of America and Teamsters as well as other documents from various unions and the industry-wide ‘White Paper.’


Please note that the points below are specific to the film and television industries.  But we strongly advocate for the spirit of these guidelines to be applied to other industries where our members are employed: commercials, video games, the recording industry and the music industry as a whole.


The points below may also apply to some of our frequent collaborators who are similarly underrepresented in existing protocols: Executive Music Producers, Composers, Songwriters, Choreographers and Vocal Coaches (to name a few).  And while we cannot speak on their behalf, we highly recommend their inclusion in any productions’ safety plans where applicable.


As stated above, our goal is to highlight specific environments and situations where Music Supervisors are customarily present but are not considered in the existing guidelines, and to recommend inclusion in any production’s safety protocols.  


The appropriate parties on a production, including Music Supervisor, shall determine if Supervisor is an essential participant in the situations below.  If Supervisor is deemed essential we ask they be afforded the same safety considerations as would any persons included in published guidelines and/or represented by the established unions.

(1) Pre-Production

Music Supervisors should be included in production safety guidelines for the following Pre-Production situations:

  • Any applicable production meetings including crew and HOD meetings, story pitches, notes meetings and animatic and storyboard reviews.

  • Rehearsals and table-reads

  • Location scouts, walk-throughs and on-location rehearsals for music-related scenes (including transportation to and from said locations)

  • Camera tests for music scenes 

  • Plus any additional situation as requested by Director, Producers or studio/network

  • Music Supervisor shall also be point-person for all pre-record sessions.  Supervisor, contractors and studio/network shall generate approved list of attendees.  Sessions shall only take place at recording studios that have met any local re-opening safety guidelines.  Outside guests should be forbidden unless approved by all parties.

  • Similarly, the production should look to the Music Supervisor for direction and guidance on any pre-record playbacks and source cue reviews.

(2) Production

General guidelines for Music Supervisors during Production include the following:

  • Safe transportation to-and-from set.

  • Carefully considered call and wrap times based on music scenes and shoot schedule for the day.  Whenever possible, Supervisor should not be required to wait unnecessarily on set during non-music scenes.  This benefits the health and safety of all crew by keeping the number of persons on set to a minimum.

  • Supervisor should be provided individual PPE for any on-set days.

  • Music Supervisor should have access to production trailers as needed and pre-approved by production.

  • Supervisor should be provided individual ‘ComTac’ headset designated to Supervisor only (not shared).  Headset should be cleaned at end of every shoot day.

  • Whenever possible, Supervisor should be stationed on set near Sound Mixer and Playback Operator and provided own sanitized seating (not shared).

  • Music Supervisor will also be expected to work closely with any on-camera musicians, singers and their respective contractors.  Supervisor will consult with contractors and 2nd AD to ensure AFM/SAG safety regulations are also followed.

  • Supervisor should also have access to cast members as needed for music shoot days or music-related discussions.  If this is not possible due to other safety measures, Supervisor should have a pre-designated point-person on crew who can facilitate communication (such as an AD).

  • Music Supervisor should have access to Director and Producer video village for music scenes.  

  • Supervisor should be granted access as needed to Director, Showrunner(s), Producer(s), ADs, Choreographer, Cinematographers, Script Supervisor, Screenwriters and studio executives.

  • Supervisor should be permitted to attend on-set rehearsals and Director’s rehearsals for music scenes.

  • Strict safety protocols should be followed if production requires Supervisor to travel and be housed on location.  Air travel and housing recommendations would be the same as any other relocated production talent.  

  • While it may go without saying, we want to affirm that Supervisor should be included in all general safety precautions and guidelines for any shoot day, including staggered break times, individual food service and overall social-distancing measures.

(3) Post-Production

General guidelines for Music Supervisors during Post-Production include the following:

  • Supervisor will need frequent in-person access to Music Editors, Post Production Supervisor, Showrunner(s), Executive Producer(s), Editorial team and Director.

  • Whenever possible, Supervisor should have their own designated (not shared) work station at post facility.

  • It should be assumed Music Supervisor will be present at all spotting sessions as well as any score/song cue playbacks, mix reviews and music predubs.

  • Supervisor should also be included in appropriate editorial reviews, screenings and notes meetings.  To be coordinated with Post Production Supervisor and Editorial team.

  • Music Supervisor shall be point-person for scoring sessions and final recordings.  Supervisor, musician contractor and studio/network shall generate approved list of attendees and ensure that sessions only take place at recording studios that have met any local re-opening safety guidelines. Outside guests should be forbidden unless approved by all parties.

  • Supervisor should also be granted access to mix/dub stages and be present at any playbacks and notes discussions.

  • Under the studio or network’s jurisdiction, Music Supervisor may also be present at marketing meetings, soundtrack album meetings, trailer discussions and test screenings.



The above protocols should provide a solid roadmap to successful and safe inclusion of Music Supervisors in any stage of production.  However we do understand that situations may arise which allow for a very limited number of persons to be physically present.  Should the Supervisor fall outside of the permitted head count, we recommend an alternative protocol of a live feed to Supervisor’s home/office and a designated point-person to relay notes and feedback.  


Thank you very much for your time and consideration.


You can find additional COVID related resources on our COVID UPDATES page.


Below are some resources for GMS members and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also continue to share on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. Please connect and share with us there. We will get through this together.

You can find the GMS COVID Health & Safety Guidelines on our COVID GUIDELINES page.


Adam Schiff: Here’s How Congress Can Help Struggling Entertainment Workers

Freelancers must be included in COVID-19 aid

National Employment Law Project: Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

From The Recording Academy:
Urge Congress To Include Creators In Any COVID-19 Relief Package
We're working with Congress to provide help for the creative community. More than 2,000 Academy members have already joined the movement. Tell Washington to include creators in any relief or stimulus package.


What small businesses need to know about L.A.'s new emergency microloans

From Boom To Bust: How Costume Designers Are Coping With “Compounded Scariness” Of Coronavirus Shutdowns

RESOURCES:, a resource brought to you by our partners in the U.S. Music Community to help music professionals access information and applications to receive benefits made available by the CARES Act (Phase III of the Coronavirus Stimulus bill signed into law March 27, 2020). Where to apply for unemployment state by state

Links to each state’s unemployment office website(s)


National Employment Law Project fact sheet on who qualifies for CARES Act aid

Helpful graphic provided by the AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees on navigating COVID-19 UI

ASCAP "Music Unites Us" - Corona Virus Resources For Music Creators

MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund

Television Academy Helpful Resources and Tips

Industry Resources:

Educational Resources for Children:

  • The SAG-AFTRA Foundation's children's literacy program, "Storyline Online"streams videos of actors reading to children.

  • In addition, Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner created #SAVEWITHSTORIES. You can watch your favorite celebrity reading children's books on Instagram and Facebook.

  • Save The Children has helpful hints and suggestions on talking to children about the coronavirus, plus activities, learning opportunities and more resources.

  • The Fred Rogers Center also offers tips on explaining this challenging time to children.

  • Khan Academy can help with remote learning during school closures.

  • Los Angeles County Library is offering temporary digital cards to use for all online resources, including watching television and movies.

Latest News:

Recording Academy: How Can You Help The Music Community During COVID-19?
Host An Online Fundraiser
Post a performance on social, and mention our @MusiCares efforts with a link to our Relief Fund. You can learn how to add Relief Fund donations across your social platforms below.

Donate To MusiCares 
We've contributed an initial donation of $2 million to the fund. But the community needs much more. For those who are able, consider a donation to MusiCares to assist our peers in need.

Share Local Resources Helping The Community In Your Region 
Below, you'll find resources available to those in the music community who live within the states that make up each respective region. Please visit regularly for updates.



The above is merely a sampling of current public resources. This information is not endorsed or sponsored by the Guild of Music Supervisors but provided solely as a resource for our members.

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