BBC “Considering” Findings From Landmark Study That Trialled Eight-Hour Working Day In Film & TV Drama Production
12.02.2024 - 00:15
The BBC is “considering” the findings of a study that found production costs would increase by a minimal amount if the working day was reduced from 10 to eight hours.
The ‘Designing a blueprint for a shorter working day in film and scripted drama’ blueprint found that costs would rise by just 4% if the industry reduced its standard working day by two hours.
Given that the working day would be reducing by one fifth and productions would therefore take longer to shoot, the main reason for the minimal increase in costs was put down to the fact that 71% of the 800 respondents to the survey would be prepared to see salaries drop to a pro-rata basis, which was used in the modelling. Almost all respondents (98%) said they want a shorter working day of eight hours.
Conducted by social enterprise Timewise and broadcasting union Bectu, the first-of-its-kind study, which was mainly funded by the BBC and Screen Scotland, concluded that it is “in principle commercially viable to extend a production schedule in order to reduce the daily working hours from 10 to 8.”
Having spoken to commissioners, producers, directors, writers, actors and crew, the study’s authors said there was “general consensus” that working hours are “too long and unsustainable in film and television.” The BBC and Screen Scotland are now “considering” the findings, it said.
“Whilst the writers’ strike resulted in a reduction in work for crew, there remains a need to tackle the long hours culture that is causing many to leave due to ill health and resulting talent shortages,” said the study. “The situation is acknowledged by many industry insiders to be unsustainable.”
In order to reach its 4% costs conclusion, the study modelled a budget for an eight-hour
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