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Report considers shorter TV and film production day, impact on cost and sustainability

12/02/2024

The report by Timewise and Bectu found that adopting a shorter working day will lead to healthier, more resilient crew with the potential to drive efficiencies on productions and enhance retention across the industry

By Jenny Priestley

Published: February 12, 2024 Updated: February 13, 2024

The report by Timewise and Bectu found that adopting a shorter working day will lead to healthier, more resilient crew with the potential to drive efficiencies on productions and enhance retention across the industry

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A new report from social enterprise Timewise in conjunction with Bectu has studied the impact on the TV and film production industry if the working day was reduced from 10 to 8 hours.

Timewise and BECTU Vision undertook a feasibility study in 2023 to explore the viability of commissioning a production that would test a shorter working day in scripted drama. The study was funded by BBC Drama Commissioning, Screen Scotland and The Film and TV Charity.

The initial research included interviews and conversations with industry leaders from the BBC, Screen Scotland, Bectu, PACT, Screen Skills, The Film and TV Charity, and a number of commissioners and independent production companies as well as a poll of over 800 UK crew members, to ascertain their preferences.

Of 812 respondents surveyed, 98 per cent were interested in a shorter working day, of which 71 per cent said they would still be interested if it impacted their day rate.

For those who have pre and post wrap to their day, a reduction in the hours of filming was seen as a good thing, said the report, enabling them to work a shorter day in total.

The report found that a shorter working day would involve an increase in the total cost of production of 4 per cent, largely driven by the extended period needed to complete filming, based on an 8-hour working day.

It also found that equipment costs on two example productions increased between 19 and 22 per cent. We explored the possibility of a reduction in equipment costs based on reduced daily usage, however equipment hire companies confirmed that costs were already discounted based on weekly bookings and would not reduce any further, said the report.

A key barrier to adopting an 8-hour working day is cost, stated the report, but it suggested there is significant potential for further efficiency savings and a reduced environmental impact with more time dedicated to the planning process.

All the feedback from this research suggests that adopting a shorter working day will lead to healthier, more resilient crew with the potential to drive efficiencies on productions and enhance retention across the industry, it added. Significant longer-term commercial benefits are likely to stem from this.

The full report is available to read here.
LINK: https://www.tvbeurope.com/production-post/report-considers-shorter-tv-...
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