The film industry as a whole has been hard hit by the ongoing pandemic, but for the most part, independent firms with less capital have been hit hardest by the halting of production. A recent survey carried out by Broadcast has revealed that the main assistance to independent UK production companies has come from streaming giants as opposed to UK broadcasters.
The survey revealed that production costs are currently around 25% higher owing to the additional safety measures which have to be taken. Whilst UK broadcasters have not been footing these additional costs, offers from streaming services prove more lucrative.
The survey found that of all the distributor’s independent firms want to work with, Netflix is the most desirable. 40% of those surveyed said they would like to work with the streaming giant.
The report produced, stated: “There was great over-caution by the BBC. Our commissions for the streamers were much better handled via protocols, guidance and fair financial support.”
Whilst another independent contributor added, “We no longer put any time into pursuing original commissions with U.K. broadcasters.”
On the other hand, Netflix’s handling of the pandemic was largely celebrated by producers. The streaming services chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said, “The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community. Almost all television and film production has now ceased globally – leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs.
“These include electricians, carpenters and drivers, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis. This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide.”
This statement was backed up by a $100m USD relief fund launched to assist the creative companies that Netflix works alongside.
The conclusion of the report that more needs to be done domestically, not only to assist independent companies, but to support the future of British film and TV.