A new model proposing shorter hours in the UK screen industry is gaining industry support.
Bectu Vision, a Scottish film skills training body affiliated with equipment union Bectu, along with flexible working experts Timewise have completed an in-depth study assessing the financial implications of shorter working hours in scripted drama production . bbc and Screen Scotland, which backed the study, are now considering its findings.
Titled “Design a plan for a shorter workday in film and scripted drama,” it found that the majority of respondents, including producers, writers, actors and crew, believe long production hours are “unsustainable” and They cause many skilled workers to leave. the industry, contributing to crew shortages.
The study, which looked at the crew’s eight-hour workday instead of the usual ten, assessed knock-on effects on costs and schedules. The results found that overall production costs would only increase by approximately 4% if production schedules were expanded to account for a shorter workday.
It also found that more care was needed early in the process, particularly during commissioning and pre-production, to ensure schedules remained efficient over time. An example was the previous scripts.
Bectu Vision and Timewise now recommend a trial production with shorter days to test their theory. Timewise has previously introduced similar initiatives in a variety of industries previously considered incapable of flexibility, including teaching, construction and nursing.
“I’m one of thousands of people who had to abandon a career in television and film after starting a family,” said Timewise co-founder Emma Stewart. “This led me to found Timewise and I am determined to make a difference for the next generation of talent.”
“We have to face the facts: current working patterns mean we slam the door on inclusion. People with family commitments, caring duties and the need to balance everything else in life are instantly lost. The irony? Our dynamic creative sector thrives on diversity and the art of the possible. We are experts in imagination and making dreams come true. It will cost just 4% more to produce, to create a better work-life balance for staff. It is a price worth paying.”
Amy Shaw, co-director of Bectu Vision, added: “We are very excited to be able to present evidence based on production and equipment insights to help find solutions to the problem of long working hours that has plagued the industry for so long. “This work will be instrumental in moving the industry forward in how it approaches the issue and in creating a healthier, happier and more sustainable work environment for all film and television freelancers.”