Protocols: Caravans

The following is an excerpt from the “Team Hogan” safety manual:

Vehicle Safety:

Perhaps the most important thing we should as a group focus on. Transportation under tight deadlines while maintaining “story” is another situation unique to our genre.


“Story” never stops. So preparation is key to success. Within the AD team, the 2nd 2nd AD or the Key Set production assistant is the “Crew Chief” to the mobile unit.


It is the Crew Chiefs responsibility to work with the First AD to develop a transport plan. This transport plan includes the following:

  • Assigning drivers to vehicle designations & destinations.
  • Assigning crew to vehicles (on paper).
  • Making sure maps are prepared for the drivers.
  • Reviewing and seeking final approval of the transport plan with the 1st AD.
  • Reviewing with the drivers their assignments of vehicles, crew, destinations and the route taken as well as safety protocols for driving to and from the destination.
  • Assembling the caravan in proper and safe order.
  • Receiving the final “ready-ready” from each individual vehicle and “flying” the unit.
  • Only the crew chief has the authority to amend the planned route (in the event of construction, emergency action, excessive traffic).


It is the drivers’ responsibility to work with the crew chief and completely understand his or her role in the transport plan.

  • The driver should know which vehicle they are assigned to and that vehicles’ radio designation.
  • The driver should inspect that vehicle for interior and exterior damage. If there is any it should be reported to the crew chief immediately.
  • The driver should visually inspect the headlights, turn signals, hazard lights, brake signals & doors on their vehicle.
  • The driver should make sure they have enough gas.
  • The interior of the 15 pass should be clean and free of debris including but not limited to empty water bottles, snack bags, old call sheets etc. etc.
  • The driver is responsible for a cooler containing appropriate crafty for the length of the trip. The driver is not responsible for handing out crafty.
  • When the driver receives his map and is part of the meeting with the crew chief (s)he needs to pay attention and know where they are going. If you don’t know how to get to where you are going, you as a driver should not get behind the wheel.
  • Until it is crystal clear to you as a driver that your vehicle is in excellent working order, it is clean, safe and you know who you are taking and how you are getting to your final destination you have no business getting behind the wheel. This is your duty to safety as a driver.
  • Once your vehicle is ready to accept crew, as a driver you should make sure your vehicle is marked with the appropriate designation. You should welcome your passengers.
  • Under your vehicle designation should be a list of the crew you expect to see, you should have a copy of that manifest. In the event of additional passengers, the crew chief should be contacted before the passenger boards the vehicle.
  • Once the AC’s have packed their gear and the rear door is closed, and you have welcomed your final passenger double check your manifest suggest seat belt usage, close your side doors and man your drivers seat.
  • Lock your doors, start your vehicle. Adjust/Double check your mirrors.
  • Remember, headlights on, radios off, climate appropriate.
  • Let your crew chief know your vehicle (use your designation) is “ready-ready”
  • Expect your crew chief to double-check your vehicle.
  • Wait for your crew chief to “fly the unit”.
  • Only the crew chief has the authority to amend the planned route (in the event of construction, emergency action, excessive traffic).


The caravan will obey all applicable local traffic laws. They will travel at or under the speed limit.

Questions, concerns, & comments should be directed to the crew chief. The crew chief will call vehicles by designations. Drivers will be expected to respond.

Please remember, radio communication is inherently unsafe during driving. This is only superseded by its use as a tool to communicate safety concerns to and from the crew chief.


I know, to the gentle untrained reader a lot of this may seem excessive. But this protocol is extremely effective for several reasons.  It encourages active relationships between crew and transportation department. It encourages speed, and efficacy, as crew you know you are being timed, and counted. It instills a sense of organization as well as a sense of accountability for all involved.


But aside from the general effectiveness of this protocol; let’ talk about how this relates to safety and discuss a worst-case scenario.


Suppose during transport a motor vehicle accident occurs? Suppose an entire van (or two, or three) is full of injured crew and an EAP is activated. The crew chief knows immediately how many people are in our vehicles. The individual drivers (if uninjured) are also able to provide a number reckoning. This information is important to EMS & Production.


Shooting transport:

In some cases we are required to shoot the transportation of cast members to certain events. The basic safety protocols apply with stress to a few key points.


Operators must remain in their seat belts. In most vehicles the AC can secure the camera using a cinesaddle in a way that can obtain a static shot. The mixing bag can be placed in the trunk of the car.


The camera cannot be moved around during transport. The risk of distraction and or unintended physical interaction with the driver of the vehicle is too great.


The drivers of the picture vehicles are subject to all of the protocols for 15 pass drivers. They are also part of the crew chiefs responsibility.


While the director works with the first AD to get shots of picture vehicles; the picture drivers are still under the crew chiefs charge. Safety protocols still apply.


A final note about transportation of crew and shooting the transportation of crew:

Team Hogan offers advanced caravan training that includes topics not covered in this manual. As a member of Team Hogan you are encouraged to accept this training. You can read more about the training here.


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