An important message from the British Film Designers Guild regarding the film industry strikes
A recent British Film Designers Guild (BFDG) survey shows 83% of art department crew affected by film industry strikes have been out of work for a least 4 months, with savings near depletion and some left without a place to live. These are the talented people made up of production designers, set decorators and art department crew that create the visual environments of stories told on screen. Without them Film and Furniture would not exist.
The UK film industry is for the most part shut down. The £6 billion industry has been disrupted for the past 5 months because of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. There has been a resolution with the WGA but, SAG-AFTRA now need their fair terms met. The employers must act responsibly now for the welfare of us all.
The BFDG supports the action by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA to provide fair and equitable pay and recognition, but the UK film industry has had no support or recognition from the government or media. There has been no help offered to the thousands of film industry workers and their families during this time. No initiatives to create and insulate new UK-based projects.
A recent survey of BFDG members found 83% of those who responded have been out of work for 4 months, 30% are considering leaving the industry, which would have a huge impact on future generations of crew.
BFDG members are showing an impressive amount of financial resilience, either by taking on other work outside of the industry or using their savings and taking advantage of available credit. However some have been forced to consider selling their home or car to make ends meet, leaving them without a current place to live. There has also been a great impact on mental health and wellbeing with some experiencing anxiety and depression.
The BFDG wants to draw attention to the issues facing us and raise a call to action to not let this precious and valuable industry suffer any further. We would like to see more visible pressure here in the UK where we make a stand and show how the strikes are affecting us on our home ground.
The Entertainment Union – BECTU will be demonstrating in Leicester Square, today (Thursday 5th October) at 1pm in an effort to get the public to see and understand our situation.
Blair Barnette BFDG Chairperson said: “The British film industry drives economic growth and creates thousands of job opportunities throughout the UK. The continuation of the strikes will undermine its success on a global level so we are appealing to our government to recognise and support the current plight of those who work within the industry.”