Creating inclusive productions
How to make productions fully inclusive for parents and/or carers.
We hope the following information and signposting will help you reach a range of potential solutions. We’ve organised the following information into the various stages of production with specific information on childcare solutions and the Raising Films Ribbon case study on GUILT highlights one approach to creating a supportive production environment.
If you’re interested in how the full life-span of a production can become more inclusive click on the ‘Beyond Production’ button further down to read about touring the festival circuit as a parent filmmaker and what festivals and industry events might consider at budgetting and planning stages.
We are, as ever, in full support of the organisations listed below and if you engage with them and want to share your story about the outcome then please drop Raising Films an email.
- Put HR policies in place e.g. draw up official contracts with all individual workers, clearly stating their terms of employment and rights.
- Have clear and open hiring practices, which are not only reliant on existing networks.
- Have a zero tolerance policy for any discrimination throughout your production, and clear and open processes for the reporting of bullying, harassment, and personal difficulties including mental health, physical health, and caring responsibilities.
- Identify various crew members who are accessible to everyone to seek help from, from runners and interns up.
- Allow time off in lieu to workers.
- Include health and wellbeing interventions within your production budget.
“Don’t apologise. Ask for what you need.” Shelly Love
When you are crewing up, talk to everyone about what they need in terms of caring support, in order to develop an inclusive caring policy for the various stages of pre-production, production and post-production, whether that’s aimed at parents or carers or those that are both, who are working on the production.
Consider the ages of children, are they school age, at nursery? Would an on-set crèche support the parents on your crew? Ad hoc adult care is more difficult to secure for your crew members with caring responsibilities so how can the schedule/working hours be made more flexible to suit individual needs?
NB: during the recruitment process potential employers should not ask an individual if they are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or have children/what their childcare arrangements are – as these situations should in no way affect whether that person is hired. A production-wide family-friendly policy can be discussed during the hiring process then discussed in more detail once crew are offered roles.
Talk to your funders about whether any childcare costs could be added to the budget – NI Screen covered some costs on Shelly Love’s A BUMP ALONG THE WAY, so it is possible BUT generally only on a case-by-case basis.
“We acknowledge that not every production can do everything but every production should be thinking about what it CAN do.” Raising Films
Sources of information…
Further reading on work/life balance:
- BECTU’s Eyes Half Shut report on long hours and productivity in the UK film and TV industry.
- Screen Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Survey Findings from Creative Scotland.
Raising Films has a range of checklists offering guidance and best practice aimed at employees through to guilds and schemes and we also have a Job Share Resource that we hope will inspire you to think about offering roles for potential job shares on your production.
- In terms of scheduling can the production run on 10 hour days rather than 14? Can you do five day weeks rather than six day weeks? For inspiration take a read of our piece from the team behind A DEAL WITH THE UNIVERSE who completed all their post-production ‘during school hours’ to enable the director and editor to collect their kids at home time.
- Offer roles as job shares to make them more accessible to parent/carer employees. We have a range of stories from our community about job sharing, from someone who worked part-time in the Art Department and devised a system to share her work across the other members of the team, to a Producer job-sharing experience and job sharing in post-production.
- Have a longer lunchtime once a week and have kids visit set for lunch so people see their families, and families see their parents at work.
- Protect the health & safety of any pregnant employees on your production.
- Provide suitable accommodation to anyone who has to travel with members of their family.
- Provide a suitable private space for breast feeding or pumping if required by any member of the cast or crew.
- Investigate new production roles, for example Producer Joy Ghararo-Akpojotor recently talked about getting an Artistic Wellbeing Practitioner onto a short film shoot during prep, to discuss ways in which to manage stress and fear during the shoot.
- Be aware of the subject matter of the project, is it potentially triggering for cast and crew? What can you do to migitate this?
- Include health and wellbeing interventions within your production budget.
- Consider offering on-set childcare and bring cast and crew into the decision, perhaps the provision could be financed in part through their contributions?
The Wonder Works
A nursery based at Warner Bros. Leavesden Park and opening from September 2020.
Back in 2015 Mark Radcliffe came along to a Raising Films networking event. Also in 2015 the Raising Films founders met Charlotte Riley at an industry event. Both Mark and Charlotte talked about their ideas for an on-set childcare provision, so Raising Films played matchmaker and introduced them…
The WonderWorks is a socially responsible childcare business and a recipient of the Raising Films Ribbon. You can read our initial interview with Mark here on our website.
The Production Guild has kindly allowed us to replicate their interview with the team behind The Wonder Works – Charlotte, Mark, Marcus and Natasha – who answer specific questions about the Wonder Works provision.
What is it that makes Wonder Works so special?
Wonder Works is a nursery built for the film industry, by the film industry. We’ve taken all our experience and used it to sculpt the service we offer so it’s truly flexible for working families. Our approach to childcare and education is inspired by many different styles, including Montessori. With that in mind, we’ve created a warm, welcoming environment where children can experience and learn before they move onto school. We’re also proud to be Ofsted Registered.
Who can use Wonder Works?
We have both full-time and flexi-spaces available to children aged 3 months to 5 years. They are available to WarnerMedia staff, Leavesden based productions, tenant companies based at Leavesden Park and members of the Production Guild.
I often work during school holidays and need somewhere that can accommodate the holiday periods. Will the Wonder Works still be open?
We’ll be open year-round, 360 days a year! We are also happy to accommodate holiday-only cover if we have availability, so please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
My work hours aren’t a standard 9am-5pm. Is the Wonder Works able to accommodate this?
Yes absolutely, our hours accommodate the extended hours of the film and TV industry. Our standard 10-hour day runs from 8am to 6pm for parents with a structured working day. We also have limited half-day places available. We also offer a 12-hour day running from 7am to 7pm for parents working on production.
I currently qualify for subsidised 15/30 childcare hours at another nursery, can I transfer this and bring my child to Wonder Works nursery instead?
Yes. We do accept early years funding. You might not realise that you’re entitled to tax-free childcare so please contact us and we can talk you through your options and event help you with the process.
The Wonder Works nursery sounds amazing, how much does it cost?
Wonder Works is competitively priced and comparable with other local nurseries. A 12-hour production day is £92 and is organised via your production, a standard 10-hour full day is £75. We have a limited amount of half-day spaces at £40. This is all excluding any early years or tax-free funding that you may be eligible for.
Can I come for a tour?
Yes! Someone from our team will be on site every day, along with our Deputy Manager, Natasha. You can contact us via email to arrange a tour and a chat. We’re fully set-up for COVID safe visits too.
Nipperbout was conceived in 1992 by Janthea and Steve Bridgden. It has since grown from a boutique family business to a nationally recognised, award winning company that cares for over 10,000 children a year.
Janthea and Steve Brigden came from well-established acting careers and after starting their family, became increasingly frustrated with being unable to source childcare to attend auditions. The company originated from Janthea’s experience working as an actress. After the birth of her daughter, she quickly realised she had no flexible options when it came to childcare while she attended auditions. When she started working in the West End again when her daughter was ten weeks old, the problem became even more evident and the solution was Nipperbout.
Janthea realised that leaving children in someone else’s care was a huge leap of faith and parents needed to be able to trust and relax, to enjoy the event they were attending. A gap in the market was spotted for mobile/event childcare and Nipperbout was born. Nipperbout started operating in a similar manner to a theatre in education company and still uses actors to entertain the children and many of them have achieved childcare qualifications.
Nipperbout is an award-winning childcare provider, has been providing professional childcare services to venues and events organisers for over 25 years and is well placed to partner with film and television companies to provide childcare on location or on set.
Nipperbout offers a complete full day care service for children from 0-17 years old. Ofsted registered, the team provides children with exciting educational themes to allow parents to work, secure in the knowledge that their child is happy, homework is being done and schools won’t fine them.
To find out more about Nipperbout’s childcare services and how they can support parents on location or on set send Nipperbout an email or call 01296 712658.
Producer, Jules Hussey (who now sits on our Advisory Board) sends out a welcome letter to all her cast and crew before a shoot begins, to outline who to speak to if they have problems, or more seriously if they feel they are being bullied, and to reiterate that the everyday lives of the crew are important, so leaving to attend appointments etc. is accommodated. Lines of communication within the production are open both ways too – during the shoot Jules sends out an anonymous survey to all cast and crew to ask how they are doing and if anything could be improved.
Here is Jules (left photo, centre front) with the crew of GUILT holding up signs stating who they care for
Internal note: check with Jules about potential for having ‘I Care For’ signs as a download here with a call to action for people to share them with RF.
The Raising Films Ribbon is available to production companies, festivals and conferences, training schemes and educational institutions. It will be awarded to acknowledge activity that takes into the account the needs of parents and carers.
Stories on inclusive productions from our community…
One of our ribbon awards during the summer went to Casey Herbert a producer working on her second feature. Ahead of the release of THE LAST RIGHT we caught up with Casey to look [...]
Back in 2015 Mark Radcliffe came along to a Raising Films networking event. Also in 2015 the Raising Films founders met Charlotte Riley at an industry event. Both Mark and Charlotte talked about their [...]