In a bid to present a holistic picture to government of how COVID-19 has impacted the screen industry, Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has called on the sector to share how coronavirus has affected their production slate and release schedule, and launched an industry survey.
“Ours is a powerful and enduring industry that has had the resilience to weather many storms. This being said, COVID-19 represents a unique threat to our businesses and workers on a scale we have not faced in living memory – physical production is not a job that can be done from home,” said CEO Matthew Deaner.
“We are already hearing from our members about suspension, delays and terminations for productions including The Voice, Clickbait and Australia’s Got Talent, and we acknowledge that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. While we have issued advice to our members on pragmatic steps to take for health and safety on set and in regards to business continuity planning and insurance, we appreciate that it may simply not be possible to say ‘the show must go on’ at this point.
“As I stated earlier this week, support will be needed from the federal government to minimise bankruptcies and job losses for this industry that makes a $3 billion economic contribution and supports 30,000 FTE roles. Therefore, we must act now to report the full economic impact of this virus and make our case for compensation without delay.
“In order to adequately capture the employment issues and hard costs of suspended production, lost export revenue, delayed theatrical windows and contract concerns, we are asking all Australian screen professionals and production companies, regardless of SPA membership status, production type or genre, to complete the following survey. We appreciate now this is a stressful and demanding and thank you all for your co-operation.
“We are also calling out to the Australian viewing public to make the most of their time at home and catch up on some quality Australian content – gather the family to binge a few episodes of Bluey on ABC iView, unwind with some light entertainment like Gogglebox on Foxtel, Australia’s Got Talent on 7Plus or Survivor on Channel 10, get hooked on a reality show like Married at First Sight on Channel 9, sink your teeth into a gripping Aussie drama such as The Gloaming on Stan or Tidelands on Netflix, expand your mind with a documentary like Muslims Like Us on SBS, or maybe break out the DVD player and relive an Australian cultural icon like Mad Max or The Castle.
“We appreciate the Government’s responsiveness to date in what are extraordinary circumstances and continue to look forward to working with Government to protect our sector.”
Complete the Effect of COVID-19 on Screen Production survey here.