COVID-19 has stopped the production of films and commercials across the entire globe. This has put an industry made of millions of freelance crew members out of work, with no sick leave, PTO, or option to remain financially stable.
The film industry supports 2.1 million jobs in the U.S., with millions more around the globe. In Los Angeles County alone, there are over 120,000 workers in the film industry and 258,000 in the broader entertainment sector.
To help those with little or no work at this time, Reframe the World (an award-winning production company founded on the belief that stories can change the world) has launched KEEPGOING, a virtual gallery selling prints by directors and DPs around the world. For every print sold, 100% of the proceeds go to the Motion Picture & Television Fund COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
“We are so grateful for the support of KEEPGOING and of all the Directors and DPs who have contributed their photos and film stills. MPTF is committed to its mission of helping our entertainment community in their time of need,” said Courteney Bailey, Chief Development Officer for the Motion Picture Television Fund (MPTF).
Self-taught filmmaker Salomon Ligthelm said, “A Key Grip friend of mine recently had a baby. I can’t imagine life for them right now—the sudden stoppage of income, and a radical new shift in expenses including higher healthcare, clothing, and grocery bills.”
Here’s a good recap of MPTF’s “Legacy of Care”:
Cinematographer Anna Franquesa Solano said, “People who don’t work on a film have no idea of how much work there is behind any film production. During a project you through many extreme feelings, as a result, you create very gratifying bonds with the team. Many times they become family.”
Rock Boxes Are Also In Deep
Musicians too are in a difficult bind today, along with their tour managers, publicists, and the rock boxes, a.k.a. clubs where they perform.
Do you love live music? Can you imagine your city minus your favorite club or clubs? It could happen.
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) made up of more than 800 prominent venues including the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Mowhawk in Austin, Texas, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, and the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York was founded last week in light of venues’ ongoing need for financial assistance while their businesses remain closed.
The industry group is asking for help to #SaveOurStages.
“Our passionate and fiercely independent operators are not ones to ask for handouts,” Dayna Frank, NIVA Board President and owner of First Avenue in Minneapolis, said in a statement issued to Rolling Stone. “But because of our unprecedented, tenuous position, for the first time in history, there is a legitimate fear for our collective existence.”
According to NIVA’s website:
- Venues are forecast to lose up to $8.9 billion of revenue if the rest of 2020 were to remain closed to customers
- Arts and culture contributed $877.8 billion, or 4.5 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product
- The economic value added by arts and culture to the U.S. economy is “five times greater than the value from the agricultural sector”
Chances are good you know someone in entertainment or communications who is out of work. You may know several someones. I know I do. My cousin, for instance, is a former tour manager who now records and markets live music from Americana musicians. He’s hasn’t been able to work during the pandemic because he works in the clubs where live music happens.
Check out this awesome track: “Sake Of The Song” by Hayes Carll