The GTC has put together this repository of links to information sources, helplines and also some ideas for how to use the lockdown period positively and keep motivated. Of course, this is a very fast-changing and highly unusual situation, so keeping this page up to date will be difficult and making it comprehensive impossible – but we urge GTC members to help by submitting any further resources, updates and ideas you feel it would be helpful to share with other members. Send a useful COVID-19 information resource or idea.
How to shoot news safely during the COVID-19 pandemic: guidelines from Andy Portch, experienced SKY News cameraman:
For the best up-to-date guidance see the BECTU 'returning to work' section: https://bectu.org.uk/topic/health-and-safety-covid-19
For anyone seeking urgent financial assistance the Film and TV Charity 24/7 helpline is on 0800 054 0000 – free support given day and night.
Financial Support: www.filmtvcharity.org.uk/we-can-help/financial-support
Backup is a Technical Entertainment Charity – providing financial support to industry technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film. The charity offers support when an industry professional or family member is seriously ill or suffering after an accident. Grants are tailored to the individual’s needs and can include essential living costs, medical related expenses, advice, retraining and travel. Backup is able to offer support in some cases where industry workers have been hospitalised with coronavirus.
Set up by BFI and The Film+TV Charity with a £1 million donation from Netflix.
Applications close Wednesday 22 April. How to apply:
The Film+TV Charity is also offering repayable grants for freelancers who are eligible for Government support but struggling until it comes through in June: https://filmtvcharity.org.uk/news-event/repayable-grants-scheme-announced/
Application also close Wednesday 22 April.
Probably not relevant for most GTC members but some involved in art projects must just be eligible: www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19
HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559
Universal Credit: www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus
Furloughing staff: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS): www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Tax: HMRC guidance for if you can't pay your tax (VAT or self-assessment) bill on time: www.gov.uk/difficulties-paying-hmrc
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) site with information for the freelance and self-employed is at: www.ipse.co.uk/ipse-news/news-listing/coronavirus-ipse-activity-and-advice-freelancers.html
Crunch is a generally good site with lots of very useful information for small businesses including tax for freelancers, the IR35 minefield and other areas that all self-employed people have to consider in the normal run of things. They have put together a specific section dealing with all the recent coronavirus-driven announcements from the UK Government: www.crunch.co.uk/knowledge/running-a-business/coronavirus-support-for-self-employed
This brilliant site pointed out to us by a GTC member could really be included in any of the categories on this page as it is an incredible collection of resources covering not only financial advice but health and wellbeing, learning resources and much more. Its aim basically is to share positivity and make the world a more connected, humane and generally better place. Founder Ben Brophy's enthusiasm is infectious and we encourage you to listen to his introduction to recover some hope for the future if you are feeling down in the current situation. For the mean time though, it also has a very useful and constantly updated collection of Coronavirus related information:
If you will experience difficulty paying your GTC subs in the next few months, please contact the Administration Officer. Please bear in mind that cancelling your GTC subscription will also nullify your PLI insurance if you are part of the group GTC scheme, so we would much rather find a way to help you stay a member during this difficult time when networking and community have never been more important.
If you weren't able to join the GTC e-Workshop 'Government Support for Freelancers' with media finance trainer David Thomas (or any other GTC eWorkshop), you can link to the recording here: www.gtc.org.uk/members-area/recent-gtc-workshops/gtc-eworkshop-recordings.aspx
On a more general domestic front, Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, has information on his site relating to 'Coronavirus Financial Help & Rights':
BECTU has put together a more comprehensive list of COVID-19 related information sources than we can hope to keep up to date here – so this might be a good place to start if you need industry-specific financial, legal or employment advice: www.bectu.org.uk/topic/covid-19-coronavirus
There is further information on forthcoming events and action BECTU is taking on its @Camera Branch Instagram site.
For the latest information and guidance on COVID-19 and screen sector Q&A on impact on the sector at large: www.bfi.org.uk/supporting-uk-film/covid-19-update
The excellent Prolific North news, events and jobs hub for the creative industries in the North has a regularly updated coronavirus section with latest news from the region: www.prolificnorth.co.uk/news/coronavirus
The Rory Peck Trust has put together a very good set of COVID-19 resources for journalists/news crews offering links to: Safety and Reporting guides; Mental Health Support; Sources of funding; and Online Training and Videos:
BECTU Camera Branch has created a form to complete if you have been asked to work in a way that you believe to be unsafe in relation to Covid-19. You do not have to be a BECTU member to complete the form:
Latest and updatrd NHS advice on what to do if you think you or a family member may have sypmtoms of the virus:
Latest guidance on how to comply with the lockdown guidance and guidance for households with possible cases of coronavirus
Latest WHO COVID-19 related public health advice and research:
The Film & TV Charity offers mental health support 24/7 on its helpline:
0800 054 0000 – free support given day and night.
24 Hour Support: filmtvcharity.org.uk/we-can-help/support-line
They also have a live chat here: filmtvcharity.org.uk/about-us
The GTC's Welfare Officer is Chris Yacoubian and he is there to help and suggest avenues of support. Contact the GTC Welfare Officer.
The GTC is also very fortunate to have the support of psychotherapist Alex Iga Golabek. See her website: Ego Therapy
Two years ago we published our well-received Mental Health Supplement which can be found, along with a list of mental health charity contacts, at:
This NHS page includes a comprehensive list of mental health helplines, including various specific conditions, e.g. anxiety, bipolar, abuse, addictions and bereavement
The BBC has a mental health app and list of mental health support resources: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1NGvFrTqWChr03LrYlw2Hkk/information-and-support-mental-health
In its Safety and Reporting Guides section, the Rory Peck Trust has included a section on Mental Health Resources – aimed particularly at supporting journalists reporting on COVID-19.
Keeping busy and trying not to focus exclusively on COVID-19 news and its likely effects can be helpful. The enforced time at home could be a good time to get on with the kind of jobs listed below that so often get put off. At least once this is all over you will be able to feel pleased that you have tackled and achieved some of those tasks that tend to hang around on the bottom of the 'to do' list.
The enforced time at home might be a good time to learn some new skills or improve your knowledge of a particular piece of equipment or shooting technique. Many GTC sponsors have some great online resources that it woud be well worth exploring. To mention but a very few (and please do help us add to this list), we know about collections of informative blogs from: ARRI, Procam, Top-Teks, VMI.
There are so many live events on every day at the moment, it can be hard keeping track of them all and remembering which one you want to join when. The Broadcast Network is a free community site which places all these events in one easy to navigate calendar – simply choose the view you wish and see what is happening on any day that is green, then click through for more info.
Cine Live Guide is a global directory of cinematography-based live stream content aimed at educating cinematographers around the world. It was put together by cinematographers Edgar Dubrovskiy, Nicolas C Geissler BVK, Christina Ienna Assoc CSC, Eric Oh CSC MYSC and Laurie Rose BSC and is supported by member societies & leading organisations internationally. View all the live stream content scheduled for the coming days and weeks now:
GTC members can access recordings of all the recent GTC eWorkshops, including those by David Thomas (on financial support) and Neil Thompson on HDR and Large Sensors from here: www.gtc.org.uk/members-area/recent-gtc-workshops/gtc-eworkshop-recordings.aspx
Listen in on some fascinating conversations with top cinematographers on the BSC YouTube Live Channel – including, for example, a Fireside Chat with Seamus McGarvey ASC, BSC – Nocturnal Animals, Bad Times at the El Royale; a Masterclass on the filming of Killing Eve with cinematographers Julian Court, BSC and Tim Palmer, BSC, and many more coming online each week.
If you haven't already discovered it, catch up on GTC member Michael J Sanders' excellent podcast, which features lively chat, usually based around an equipment topic and very much from the user's point of view (so far, Canon C500MkII, Sony FX9 and LED lights have been discussed). Often the guests are other GTC members.
The CallSheet.co.uk has put together a list of more than 100 links to resources to keep TV adn film people connected, productive and entertained during isolation:
Science Rules! with Bill Nye:
ScreenSkills is offering a range of online training sessions ranging from camera, screenwriting and production skills, to Pilates and yoga sessions, and even drop-in 'Daily Cuppa Session' with a mental health first aid trainer: www.screenskills.com/insight/news/supporting-our-workforce-during-the-covid-19-crisis
The industry standards body SMPTE has made many of its learning resources free during the COVID-19 crisis, including recorded webinars, industry standards and journal articles, and discounted virtual courses.
Most of us are conducting our lives via Zoom these days - so have some fun and replace that boring blank wall or ceiling that your iPad insists on angling towards with a Star Wars backdrop or place yourself in a familiar BBC set:
Star Wars: https://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-backgrounds
BBC sets: https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_collection/zfvy382
The excellent MindBody app is a great source of a huge range of yoga, Pilates, meditation and other online fitness classes to help you keep fit and connected.
The fantastic team at In Safe Hands Training, who many GTC members will now know through having done one of our free Emergency First Aid training days, are running online First Aid training sessions during the COVID-19 lockdown, including some aimed at children. See what's coming up here: