The global crisis of the coronavirus is affecting the film industry in absolutely all of its factions. The pandemic is going to be a hard economic blow for the display cases and distributors with the closure of cinemas, and the confinement and production companies, with the delay or stoppage of filming. However, as always, the worst part is not carried by the big corporations, if not all the workers or small businesses that depend on them.
To prevent the spread of the virus and for security reasons, all filming of movies and television are now unemployed. Few days ago we saw the images heartbreaking than the scenes of ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ and ‘The little mermaid’ abandoned, but they are also empty sound stages the studios Babelsberg in Germany, where they were to be recorded ‘Matrix 4’ and ‘Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’. None of the two films had even started to be filmed in these facilities, but both of them had already begun the pre-production and the stoppage of the project has left up to 300 workers and self-employed workers without salary or a right to benefits, specific economic.
Charlie Woebcken, CEO of the studios Babelsberg, confirmed to Variety they could not know with certainty when or how he would take up the work activity, which had forced the studios to temporarily paralyze the contracts to all employed autonomous contract for work and service to each one of the films that there is roll. Several of these workers have formed a pressure group to demand that Warner and Sony reached a settlement agreement for the termination of the contract before taking legal action, but also ask the government to take into account this exceptional situation.
As the German government has raised the packages of economic aid for the rescue of the film industry before the crisis caused by the COVID19, this type of self-employed workers would not have access to a benefit under this agreement, but may request support from other federal measures. The starting of the disposal of the Ministry of Culture German would cover the costs of delays and stops of productions that have a federal grant or regional, which is not the case of international productions, such as Hollywood.
Why do they roll in Germany?
Although neither Sony nor Warner receive subsidies from the German government to film ‘Uncharted’ and ‘Matrix 4’, yes that benefit from the refund of 25% of the payment of taxes by production that the country offers. In this way, Sony will be returned to 21.15 million euros compared to the 25 million that you will receive the film from Lana Wachowski. The u.s. companies will benefit as well from this financial aid even though they have stopped shooting, leaving the workers in the studios Babelsberg in a limbo in which may not be welcome, nor to the aid of Germany or the united States.
To what yes would have access is to request financial compensation within the package of 50 million euros that the German government has allocated to and the self-employed and small businesses, as well as to social assistance, but this is a help that is outside of the movie industry and would not recognize that these positions are essential to any shoot, such as lighting, cameras, carpentry, etc, as part of the industry.