Money Matters Report
2023 was an extremely difficult year for many in the film, TV and cinema industries. The effects of a cost-of-living crisis and production downturn which became evident earlier in the year were compounded by the writers and actors strikes in the US in the second half of the year.
The impact on the industry’s workforce quickly became evident to us: at the worst point, applications for our Stop Gap Grant rose by 800% year on year.
It’s clearly important that we understand the financial circumstances of people working in the industry – not least to know where to target help when crises occur. Yet, prior to our research, surprisingly little hard evidence existed about the finances and financial resilience of those in the industry.
Money Matters survey
In the late autumn of 2023 we conducted a survey of more than 2,000 industry workers to examine their financial circumstances and underpinning elements of financial resilience. Key findings included:
- 45% were finding it difficult to manage financially. This was particularly high among certain groups, including: freelancers, those with a disability or long-term health condition, carers with adult dependents, and those working in film.
- 42% had less than £1,000 in cash savings, including 27% who had no cash savings whatsoever.
- 40% felt they would be able to make ends meet for no more than one month if they lost their income.
- Over a quarter (27%) have had work cancelled due to the US writers and actors strikes.
- 71% expect to not have enough work over the next 6 months.
Our Money Matters report acts as an important benchmark, providing robust evidence which highlights that many in the industry have found it difficult to support themselves financially. Throughout 2023, the Charity has necessarily responded to the acute needs of film, TV and cinema workers falling into financial difficulty. However, we recognise the need to support the longer-term financial resilience of those working behind the scenes in the industry. Our research has allowed us to engage in evidence-backed discussions with industry partners and others to try and identify support and solutions which help to alleviate some of these issues at source, rather than just dealing with the symptoms.
We intend to conduct further surveys on this topic in future, to build up a picture of how the finances of the industry’s workforce are changing over time.
For questions about the Money Matters report, please contact [email protected]