Charity report finds financial hardship rife in production industry

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Film crew outdoors A new report from the Film and TV Charity has found that financial vulnerability is rife among the UK film and TV sector with many affected by the production downturn, last year’s US strikes and the cost-of-living crisis. 

The report, called Money Matters: Examining the Financial Circumstances of the Film, TV, and Cinema Industry Workforce, was compiled using responses from 2,000 behind-the-scenes workers during October and November last year. 


The report included the following key findings: 

• Nearly half (45%) of respondents were finding it difficult to manage financially

• Freelancers, film workers, those with a disability or a long-term health condition, and carers with adult dependents finding it particularly difficult

• 42% had less that £1,000 in savings, with over 80% seeing savings decrease and 29% in the perilous position of having low cash savings and high levels of debt

• 40% felt they wouldn’t be able to make ends meet for any more than a month if they lost their income, with more than a third running out of money before the end of the week or month most of the time over the last 12 months

• More than 80% had been affected by the recent production downturn, with more than a quarter having work cancelled due to the US strikes

• 71% were pessimistic or very pessimistic about their financial future


The report follows up on a snapshot survey conducted by the Charity in the spring and summer of 2023 where the organisation saw an 800% rise in applications for its Stop-Gap Grant from workers experiencing urgent financial need. 


Marcus Ryder, CEO at the Film and TV Charity, said: “The Money Matters report is a sobering read and it’s critical that the survey results it highlights form the basis for urgent discussion about the welfare of the film and TV workforce, retention of talent, and the future health of the industry as a whole.


“Currently, behind the scenes workers are asked to navigate an industry prone to boom and bust cycles, to deal with structural shifts and respond and pivot to meet the needs of changing business models. In too many cases, they’re asked to do so without any of the safety nets afforded to other workers, despite being at the heart of a multi-billion pound pillar of the UK economy. At the same time, we ponder why people are leaving the workforce and why we struggle to attract and retain talent from marginalised or under-represented groups. 



Anyone working in a behind the scenes role in film, TV, and cinema can access financial guidance and resources, and check their eligibility for urgent financial support by clicking here.

Image credit: Red Wolf Recovery Program via Creative Commons. 


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