To help UK indies through this unprecedented crisis, Pact Council have voted unanimously to offer free and full access to its many services and resources to all eligible UK indies for a period of six months.
The free membership window will see existing Producer members’ payments frozen between April and September 2020. Those members who have paid in advance will receive a credit note for the period and will be offered the choice of either an immediate cash rebate or a discount against future renewal.
The free membership window for lapsed or new members will run from May to October 2020 and is open to any indies who meet the criteria to qualify as either a Full Producer, Affiliate or Film Member.
Pact’s regular offering for its members includes a range of services and resources, such as:
- Legal and Business Affairs advice and support by phone, e-mail and online
- Access to a library of contract templates and agreements
- Access to member only commissioner briefings and events
- Weekly e-mail updates and breaking news alerts
- Industry offers and discounts
- Access to the Pact Growth Accelerator online business tool
- Business development advice and support by phone, e-mail and online
- A dedicated Nations and regions team available by phone, e-mail and online
In addition, Pact has ramped up its offering since the COVID-19 pandemic began and is providing members with sector-specific support and advice, including:
- A weekly COVID-19 webinar briefing and Q&A
- A dedicated COVID-19 section on the Pact website
- E-mail alerts with the latest guidance and information
- Access to new and updated template agreements and guidance, such as the recently drafted furlough leave letter for employers
- A turbo-charged Pact Growth Accelerator with even more online resources, such as new commissioner briefings and webinars
Pact also continues to carry out crucial lobbying and campaigning work on behalf of indies; forging agreements with the unions and guilds, discussing sector-specific policy and incentives with Government and ministers, and negotiating with the broadcasters – all to ensure the best possible environment for indies to do business in, both during and beyond this crisis.
Pact CEO John McVay said: “We hope that this offer will help our existing members to weather this particularly challenging storm, where their income streams have been severely hit and there’s no certainty around when things might let up. We also encourage indies who are not currently members to take up the offer to benefit from the extra resources and support that Pact membership offers during this time.”
Pact Chair Sara Geater said: “This pandemic is the greatest single threat our industry has ever faced and we will only get through it if we work together. It’s in everyone’s interest for indies to survive and be in as strong a position as possible to resume their normal activities as soon as it is feasible.”
Kate Norrish, Executive Producer of Hillbilly Films who are Pact members said: “We are a very small, wholly independent production company who had to halt filming on a feature film as a result of COVID-19 and never has our membership of Pact felt more vital…
"The clarity of the updates on furloughing and Pact’s brilliantly calm demeanour on the webinars has frankly been a God send. As a result we have been able to communicate with our crew every step of the way which in turn has made them feel heard in these extremely challenging times.
“It has also made us as producers feel part of a bigger community which given that we are all self-isolating has helped enormously.”
How to take up the offer
Existing Pact members do not have to do anything. They will be contacted by the Pact accounts team shortly.
Lapsed Pact members and any indies who are new to Pact who would like to take up the offer should contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.