What makes a successful camera team when the stakes are high? How to best work with directors? Insight and advice from the DoP behind Steve McQueen’s latest release.

Last week we hosted our 6th virtual networking session, more than 6 months on from our pilot session launched amidst production’s shut down. For this camera department focused session we were joined by legendary DoP Shabier Kirchner (Small Axe), Julian Court (Killing Eve) and John De Borman (World on Fire).

Following 1-on-1 meet and greets with talented Crew in the camera department the DoPs opened up the floor to questions from the Crew Community. …

What is the risk to the employing production for not auto-enrolling eligible supporting artists?

Though supporting artists frequently consider themselves to be self-employed, in the eyes of the law supporting artists regularly perform work classifying them as a ‘worker’ and therefore require auto-enrolment from their ‘employer’. We spoke with The Pensions Regulator to better understand eligibility criteria and how that applies to supporting artists, how to auto-enrol supporting artists, and the risks and liability for non-compliance.

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POP: How has the COVID-19 crisis affected automatic enrolment (AE)?

TPR: These are unprecedented times and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is acutely aware of the pressure employers and pensions savers are under. …

Insane, creative, brilliant production needs optimising in 2020.

Chloe Chesterton, Commercial Director, We Got POP
Chloe Chesterton, Commercial Director, We Got POP

Standardisation is not a sexy word. It smacks of rules and regulations; a corporate vision at odds with the spontaneity of production.

However, replace standard with optimal, best, considered, and things get a bit more interesting.

Production is the finished product; exquisitely non-standard. The result of a thousand spontaneous decisions, contributing to a unique, impossible-to-repeat artistic moment in time.

But without standardised processes we observe serious and significant problems in our industry. Blended over time into a that’s just the way it is attitude, which we are only beginning to question.

Extraordinary, creative, brilliant production needs optimising in 2020.

A look at the tech helping 35+ productions safely restart.

In late May we received the first glimpse of what production post shutdown would look like when industry wide guidelines for producing television safely was released. The guidances lay out a set of new physical, procedural, compliance & oversight, and communication requirements that productions need to uphold in their return to set.

Many of these requirements weren’t new to our clients as the Production Portal already equipped them to run smart, secure, paperless productions.

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POP Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance Summary

However, the guidance surfaced a new requirement the Production Portal didn’t cater yet to; secure health declarations. Productions now needed to:

  • Capture crew’s symptoms, household COVID-19 status and…

ScreenSkills quickly mobilised to create and deliver a brand new online training, the ‘Coronavirus basic awareness on production training’ to support the industry get safely back to work. We spoke with CEO, Seetha Kumar to discuss ScreenSkills’ shift to training online, the importance of accessible, industry wide training for the industry’s safe and inclusive restart.

How are productions streamlining ScreenSkills tracking into their existing workflows?

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POP: What impact has COVID-19 had on ScreenSkills?

People have needed new knowledge to operate safely in the context of Covid which is why we developed training to address that, such as the free online coronavirus basic awareness on production training. We offered practical support on relevant issues including financial support and mental health as well as opportunities to learn through masterclasses with industry experts and related skills development sessions. …

Productions can easily track and verify completion of the essential training.

Streamlined digital tracking and verification of ScreenSkills training is live on all POP powered productions. The streamlined workflow allows admins to quickly and easily track and verify crew’s completion of ScreenSkills training. Here we’ll highlight what it is, why and how we created it.

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ScreenSkills COVID-19 training tracking and verification

For a safe return to set most productions now require crew to have successfully completed ScreenSkills free ‘Coronavirus basic awareness on production training’ before coming on set to ensure everyone has a basic level of COVID-19 Secure compliance understanding.

Our platform equips clients to run secure and efficient processes around implementing this policy, including enabling them…

Facilitating a single standard approach to support Scripted to work smarter and fairer.

The introduction of the Pact Bectu TV Drama Agreement in 2017 signalled a shift towards a fairer and more transparent future for those working in the industry. With the agreement in place freelancers working for Pact member production companies would be subject to the same minimum conditions.

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The standard Deal Memo has been widely supported across HETV drama production. However, its adoption has typically relied on a photocopier and a pen, and has sometimes been (often only very slightly) at odds with the Deal Summary portion of production company templated contracts, which can be adjusted from organisation to organisation.

While these differences are typically fairly minor, it does mean that HETV drama production companies have contracted their crews (within the same Agreement) in almost-the-same-but-nevertheless-slightly-different ways over the years. …

We spoke with film and TV legal specialist Sarmad Saleh to discuss the benefits and risks of standardisation, adoption of progressive solutions and making the industry more efficient.

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How is Scripted taking a unified approach to the Pact Bectu TV Drama Agreement?

POP: How has the film & TV industry already embraced standardisation? What benefits have we seen from this?

From a software perspective there’s a level of standardisation in place already (e.g. reports/ budgets, editing and post production) by virtue of there being standard software used.

There is an appetite for similar standardisation in the legal film & TV sector but there’s still a long way to go. The most obvious examples are the union agreements already in existence, which set out the core rules governing the cast and crew. There is also generally a standardised approach to agreements in that the legal provisions largely need to deal with the same things (e.g. rights, obligations, working hours, pay, duration, credits). …

How can guidance for COVID-19 Secure production be implemented on set?

POP’s Founder and President, Kate McLaughlin led a panel alongside Entertainment Partners’ Joe Chianese with Samantha Perahia, Head of Production UK, British Film Commission; Matt Spooner, Production Safety Consultant; and Jamie Christopher, Executive Producer to find out.

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Kate: What is the most significant change you expect to see across production?

Jamie: The biggest changes I see coming are in the amounts of crew on set and the balance of what that will be while still maintaining an efficient workplace. I think we all agree that we’re going to have to be a little more patient throughout the process.

The other massive challenge is going to be maintaining these guidelines. We can all be led into a false sense of security once it’s all working… thinking “no one’s got it, we’re all fine, and the government is turning around and saying everything is fine, nothing to worry about.” Maintaining the guidelines is going to be paramount to the success until a vaccine arrives. …

Katrina Neylon joins We Got POP to help power digital transformation across the industry.

Katrina’s 30+ year media career has seen her work across all genres, with US majors and European studios/distributors, as well as UK super-indies at Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Shine, StudioCanal, Fremantle Media and most recently ITV.

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Through her work bringing series such as Broadchurch, The Last Panthers and Trust Me to the international market, Katrina has witnessed first hand the challenges facing producers, as risk, liability, compliance and tighter than ever bottom lines distract from their core goal of telling compelling stories. …


We Got POP

Powering a smarter, fairer future for entertainment by building technology to digitise, connect and open the industry.

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