During the COVID-19 lockdown, thousands of people and companies have adjusted their usual business practices to support the NHS and emergency services. In a time when it seems like there’s more bad news than good, we wanted to share with you some of the positive things the film and TV industry have been doing to support its creative workers, health organisations and the wider public during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The props department of numerous productions, including His Dark Materials, have joined hobbyists and professional seamstresses volunteering to produce scrubs for NHS workers. The BBC reported that around 6,500 scrubs have made their way to the NHS, or are currently being constructed by costume makers, who have worked on the likes of Poldark, Downton Abbey and Sex Education.
Donating Medical Equipment
Hospital dramas Holby City and Casualty have donated working ventilators from their sets to the NHS Nightingale hospital in London. Across the pond, US shows Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 have also donated their medical stock used on set, including over 300 masks, surgical gowns and gloves to their emergency services.
It was also announced yesterday that the Harry Potter studio tour busses, have been revamped to transport NHS workers for free, taking them between three NHS sites.
Advice from the Experts
Casting Director Faye Timby has been offering free, virtual meetings with We Audition, to discuss casting, the industry and offer any advice for actors. The platform We Audition have also been holding online Q&A sessions, giving advice and guidance for creatives in the current climate. Check them out on Twitter: @WeAudition
Some Good News
Spreading Some Good News is something many of us are in need of at the moment. Actor turned Director John Krasinski debuted his new YouTube channel focusing on just that. Originally a one-off, the news bulletin-style show now airs weekly featuring guests from the worlds of film and TV, sport and real-life health heroes working on the front line around the world. In a bid to spread positivity, Krasinski regularly asks his Twitter followers to send him their good news to share each week. Check out the first episode of SGN below:
Bringing the Theatre Home
It all started with National Theatre Live, at 7 pm on a Thursday, and since the success of the free YouTube streaming of One Man, Two Guvnors, more productions are now following suit. We love that theatre productions are sharing their previous work online, meaning those who would usually attend live shows can now stream them from the comfort of their home, without paying a fee. Visit the YouTube channel here to watch this week’s Treasure Island.
Creative Opportunities for all
Over the past few weeks, some of the UK’s biggest broadcasters and industry organisations have introduced scriptwriting competitions to engage with their audiences and create new opportunities. These opportunities are accessible to all. Click on the links below to learn more about these creative opportunities:
Many organisations and public figures have been taking to social media to raise money for our NHS, in aid of purchasing more vital health equipment for patients, uniforms for staff and necessities. This week, organisation Help Our NHS have announced their own NHS Fest raffle, where musicians, brands and (our favourite) the cast and crew of Peaky Blinders, have donated experiences and prizes.
After experiencing an overwhelming amount of traffic this week, the NHS Fest Raffle is due to re-pen today at 6 pm, running until Sunday 19th April. You can enter with a donation of £5 with all proceeds going directly to the NHS. Enter via their website: NHSFest.co.uk.
The BFI, and the Film and TV Charity pledged to support the creative sector in the UK by introducing the Film & TV Emergency Relief Fund. The fund is available to financially support, freelancers currently out of work. Streaming giant Netflix donated £1million to the fund in a bid to support those in need of aid due to the pandemic, along with donations from the BBC, WarnerMedia and several industry giants.
Don’t forget to check out last week’s blog: Resources for Freelancers and Supporting Artists
While it’s not business as usual, the film and TV industry is still going strong. Broadcasters are continuing to host live shows where possible and with upcoming dramas like Gangs of London (premiering on 23rd April on Sky Atlantic), and the recently successful Quiz airing on ITV this week, viewers will never be short of exciting new shows to get into.
Why not get involved in our Mad Dog 2020 Poetry competition? April celebrations National Poetry Month, and we’re holding a poetry competition! Head to our Facebook page to learn more. Winners will be offered free photo sessions at our Mad Dog 2020 offices, to use for their profiles.