UK-Study on Working Hours

In February the social consultancy Timewise published its findings from their study about shorter working days in the film industry. The paper “Designing a blueprint for a shorter working day in film & scripted drama” was funded by BBC Drama, Screen Scotland, and Film & TV Charity in partnership with Bectu Vision.

Part of the global research before starting the study was the already existing Swedish model, which limits working hours per week to 40, which can be spread over 4 days (10 hours) or 5 days (8 hours). Schedules must be locked 14 days before the start of filming, late time changes are penalized with a fee. The feasibility study then was done in 2023 with 800 participants, of which 98% would prefer shorter working days, 71% of those still if that means a decrease in salary.

The 3 key findings start with the conclusion, that changing the existing structures is not impossible, because it isn’t “someone else’s problem”.
Each branch of a production thinks other branches wouldn’t want or couldn’t accept a change – due to anecdotes and long-held beliefs that aren’t real. Therefore “embedded behavior” needs to be challenged, because it’s mostly rooted in those false assumptions. The third finding refers directly to the Swedish model and its joint agreement on fixed pre-schedules, which could only be changed until 2 weeks before filming starts, so producers, writers, as well as crew, can plan the schedule, but also their lives. The summary of the costs, the findings, and finally the recommendations are definitely worth a read, not only for the people from the Art Department but all of film makers, especially the ones who make the decisions.
Read more articles about the industry’s support or the BBC’s reaction to it.

German Directors Guild joins Film Author Alliance with production designers, costume designers, camera and editors

“Stronger together”

With effect from 1 March 2024the Bundesverband Regie e.V. (BVR) will join the UrheberAllianz (UA).
The UA was founded in 2018 by the Berufsverband Kinematografie (Camera, BVK), Bundesverband Filmschnitt (Editor, BFS), and ARTSCENICO member Verband der Berufsgruppen Szenenbild und Kostümbild (VSK) to jointly represent the interests of film authors vis-à-vis broadcasters, production companies and online platforms.

The authors’ alliance is concerned with fair conditions for artistic work, adequate social security protection, naming authors with a function in the film work, and appropriate remuneration and participation in exploitation proceeds.
To realize these goals, the UrheberAllianz will now conclude and evaluate further collective agreements in a stronger alliance. Since 2018, UrheberAllianz has agreed on several joint remuneration rules with RTL is currently in arbitration with ZDF, and has been in negotiations with ARD since 2023. The BVR has already concluded joint remuneration rules with all broadcaster groups and cinema producers since 2013 remuneration rules since 2013, and arbitration is expected with Netflix.

AI – Talks and

Mercedes Echerer (EU XXL Film) initiated a talk with Austrian philosopher, essayist, and publicist Konrad Paul Liessmann, German composer and journalist, as well as authorship rights advocate Mathias Hornschuh, and Austrian voice actor, and president of the United Voice Artists (UVA) Patrick Messe about “Artificial Intelligence – Challenge, Fake, Chance or Threat”. The approaches to the issue couldn’t have been more different, which gives great insight on the one hand, but also ideas of coping with the reality of AI being a part of our lives for a very long time, even if unnoticed, which might explain why we underestimate the impact of it on the other hand.

“KÜNSTLICHE INTELLIGENZ Herausforderung I Fake I Risiko I Chance I Bedrohung” (in German)

Besides the very interesting perspectives of three experts in totally different fields, there are initiatives that all deem important. The UVA prepared a statement in cooperation with several partner associations such as European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ecsa), Federation of European Screen Directors (FERA), but also Associations of journalists or translators, urging EU policymakers to create an “innovation and creator”, artist-friendly AI act. They also wrote a proposal concerning the EU AI act, which is as interesting for Production and Costume Designers as it is for Voice Artists or Composers.