BBC’s Foyle’s War – the actions of a few are jeopardising the entire industry.

There are several issues facing the future existence of Irish film but  the 4 most critical and areas that need attention are:

  1. The introduction of tax relief’s for high end TV in the UK which potentially will see the loss of all BBC, ITV and Sky production in Ireland from March 2013
  2. The retention of section 481 beyond 2015 and what if any changes will be made to make it more effective
  3. Greater transparency of costs across all departments including better flexibility and efficiency.
  4. Clearer leadership, responsibility, and direction for developing a sustainable industry.

Last week it came to my attention that a van which had been servicing construction department of the BBC series Foyle’s War had to be withdrawn, because certain members of Siptu objected to the driver loading and unloading. The van in question was costing production €270 per day; this was replaced with another van to meet the approval of some Siptu crew members. Including the van and stagehand/labour to load/unload it is now costing the production a whopping €530 per day, that’s an additional cost to the company of €1,300 per week or a decent week’s wages for another crew member.

On the other end of the scale there are crew members in production and art department working a 50 hour week for €500 who are “represented” by the same union and many other departments who’s wages have been slashed for a least the past 5 years.

Most crew on productions are aware what is happening, the reality is it’s immoral to allow these practices to continue and not speak out. It is already leading to less productions coming to Ireland, fewer jobs and deterioration of conditions for the rest of the crews hired. We are all aware what happened in the housing sector and banking are we going to allow a small sector to bring down the Irish film industry?

In just three words – It’s just shocking.

© Tom Dowling 2012 image by Tom Dowling

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Categories: Film and TV

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