Film and TV Production Restart Scheme
As we are more than aware, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a grinding halt to the TV and film sectors, causing shoots to be cancelled and releases postponed. These circumstances have had a knock-on effect across all involved in a production; from crew to cast, so the future of production has become increasingly uncertain. Yet now restrictions are beginning to ease to allow productions to resume some kind of normality, support for these companies to get back on their feet is more important than ever.
This week, the UK’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced that the government will be providing £500 million to support domestic film and TV production companies. In the UK, film and TV production provides more than 180,000 jobs and contributes £12 billion to the economy so is not an industry to be overlooked. The UK government has been working alongside the BFI and Pact in order to understand the needs of this sector, making sure that the pay-outs will be going into the areas that need it most. This Film and TV Production Restart Scheme plans to cover insurance losses and to allow companies to overcome previous disruptions caused by the virus, including losses for cast and crew illness, and filming delays or disruptions. This fund will help to support companies to recoup their high initial production costs. The aims of this fund are to help companies make steps towards achieving a new normal, and to encourage stalled productions to get their cameras rolling again.
With this influx of funding, and support for the UK TV and film industries, the government is hoping that our sector will be able to return to its place as an extremely successful global industry. The pay-out not only helps production companies, but will provide support for freelancers who have inevitably lost out on work during these uncertain times. This intervention will help to kick-start production and will protect tens of thousands of jobs, from actors and directors to camera operators and runners.
Whilst the figures presented seem high, compensation is subject to state approval and companies will have to submit extensive justification of their needs. Each company will be eligible to claim a value of 20% of their production budget up to £5 million, which, whilst a helpful gesture, will still leave productions with high losses. Only time will tell how successful this new initiative will be with respect to kick-starting our economy.
For more information about the support available to you see below: