I am the co-founder of Circles Film. An app to help Film Crew find their next job and allow production staff to manage the nightmare of finding enough crew to manage their daily requirements.
I was in the British Army for 14 years and have been in Film Production for the last 20 years. I currently work as a Supervising Location Manager on High End TV projects. Unfortunately during the Covid-19 lockdowns we have seen the cessation of our industry. Getting back on our feet has been hard, especially for the younger crew members who haven’t necessarily built a large network in the industry.
We built Circles https://www.circles.film/ to create a level playing field, being as inclusive as possible and support the career progress of new entrants. Circles will move into Live Events and Theatre in 2022.
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/circles.film/
The majority of work in the entertainment industries (Film Production, Theatre, Live Events, Cinema and Bars etc) stopped in March 2020 because of COVID. Many of these skilled workers are self-employed and have struggled with no inclusion on the furlough schemes. Unfortunately many haven’t worked since March 2020.
There is now a growing requirement for crew members to have transferable skills. A rigger in the theatre can still be a rigger in the film industry. Skilled workers just need to be pointed in the right direction to find and be found for work.
Social Media groups are being used more and more used to find and advertise work. This provides a chance for individuals seeking work to deal directly with the job owner, which often create better terms and arrangements for both parties. More than ever before networks and Facebook groups are a very popular source of engagement including the likes of London Film Crew Network. Curated content on these social media platforms is proving invaluable for job hunters in filming and agencies will need to provide a better service to continue to compete.
Content marketing across digital channels gains good awareness and traction and is the most trackable method of advertising. However, the biggest need for a micro business, or a sole-trader, is being able to manage, analyse and understand what digital channels work best and drive the most engagement.
There are plenty of digital products out there for the film crew sector but I have yet to find another that works on all counts. We developed Circles to help manage the process - for both job seeker and job owner.
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Whilst we have seen ‘giving back’ initiatives in the film industry for a number of years, thankfully these initiatives are now starting to be taken even more seriously, with both green initiatives and importantly mental health risks being addressed. Around 85% of people working in film and tv industries have suffered from anxiety and mental health issues, which is higher than the national average, and needs to be addressed with extra support given where needed.
Another key industry challenge is attracting new talent and providing a sustainable career. It is time for the studios to start engaging more with junior crew communities, to develop their skills and ready them for their career. Netflix are starting to do this by identifying the shortfalls and putting hard cash into areas that need support and in particular have seen social impact and the consequences of COVID. Let’s hope others follow.
Although the vaccines and lockdowns have started to reduce the risk of Covid-19 I don’t think we are going to get rid of it very soon. We have been taking the virus very seriously in the film industry and have placed stringent protocols in place to allow us back to work. Since March 2020 we have been working with the “new” way forward and I don’t see this changing for the next 1-2 years until the vast majority of the population has been vaccinated. It is vital for many industries to keep up with the news and issues and find solutions to allow work to continue. Covid is around for a while and will be a common stream.