Here is a list of the best-of-the-best, those production companies which are taking part in the governments furlough scheme, guaranteeing 80% payouts to staff and freelancers who have been laid off.
Oftentimes this involves companies having to do a lot of hard work and take quantifiable financial risks to do something which may not be of immediate benefit to them but which are a lifeline to workers struggling with financial hardship.
The owners and management of these companies should be v proud of what they have done, they are saving our industry and helping innumerable people pay their bills.
Brown Bob Productions (Thanks Nicki Gottlieb!)
Curve Media (Rob, Camilla, Paul & Iain stepped up really early – nice work!)
Middlechild TV (Broadcast Best Place to Work in TV 2020)
Strawberry Blond TV (Broadcast Best Place to Work in TV winner 2019)
Frieda TV (Nice one Jon Lloyd!)
Nutopia (Jane Root – big company, big heart!)
Crackit (Iain Pate and Head of Production Nicki Purcell, much appreciated!)
Thames TV (they’ve taken a big hit from coronavirus but it hasn’t stopped them doing the right thing by their workers)
Great Scott Media (Leon Wilson & Ed Sleeman – just opened for business, setting a great example to all new indies)
Woodcut Media (we love Kate Beal, and always loved her mum!)
Hungry Bear Media (Thank you Dan, we love you!)
STV Productions (Another biggie with a big heart!)
Fulwell 73 (Thank you Johnny Moore!)
Shine (Big company, lots of happy workers – thank you Shine!)
Love Productions (A virtual thank you cake in the oven for you Love!)
Google (They make TV too – and made their workers happy!)
Knickerbockerglory TV MD Jonathan Stadlen personally rang his staff within 24 hours to let them know – we love you Jonathan!
Fremantle TV (Job done, thank you all at Fremantle!)
Finestripe Productions (Bless you Katie Lander and Sue Summers)
Ricochet (Thank you Joanna, Bob and all)
Keo Films ( Ingenious, pioneering, authentic – and very lovely)
Windfall (Award winning company with a big heart too!)
Optomen (Tina, Nick, Sophy and Verity – we salute you!)
The Garden (Doing the right thing and campaigning for freelancers too)
Viacom (Big company taking the big step to support their workers)
RDF (Top 20 indie showing its love)
Emporium Productions (Thank you Emma Read!)
Studio Something (New company, genuinely nice people and won a highly commended award at this year’s Broadcast Awards. Great company)
Nine Lives Media (Thanks Cat Lewis , as reported: “They have been great and really made the process easy for us”. Lovely!)
October Films (Another biggie, looking after the workers)
Northern Town (Nice one Eddie, we knew you’d come good!)
Chalkboard TV (A company that makes great shows, run by great people!)
Argonon Group (Jenny King in HR – thank you for your hard work on this, your team love you for this!)
Tomos TV (Furloughed within hours of the announcement and paying out in March – you lovely people!)
World of Wonder (on the case and furloughing!)
Flicker Productions (“Have furloughed everyone they can, and are working really hard to work out what they can do for people who aren’t eligible. They’ve been great across this whole thing!” Lovely people clearly.
Full Fat TV (Colette Foster, you are much loved for this!)
Wonder TV (Hearing that Wonder are going above and beyond withe their furloughing. Much love to them).
Banjay (Massive group of companies, trying to sort out all their staff
Tuesday’s Child (Karen Smith – we have heard that your hard work keeping people employed has been a “lifesaver” to so many. Much love felt for you by all).
IWC Media (A great company that does things right – we salute you IWC!)
Purple TV (From query to completion, taken care of in under 2 hours. Margot, you’re a gem!
Title Role (15 years of award winning telly – and there for their workers when it really counts – thanks Helen, Ian and Kirsty!)
Two Rivers Media (Did the right thing – Alan Clements, we salute you sir!)
Kindling Media (Furloughing all their staff – love you Sarah McHarry!)
Raise the Roof Productions (Company MD Jane Muirhead personally called staff on the Saturday morning following the chancellor’s statement to let them know – and then followed through. Great work Jane, thank you!)
Stellify Media (Matt and Kieran, your workers salute you sirs – and a lot of them have emailed me to say things that would make you both blush!)
E&E Productions (Furloughing some very happy workers – thank you!)
Neal Street Productions (Thank you from your staff Sam, Pippa and Caro!)
Windfall Films (Much kudos to David et al!)
Spun Gold (As one freelancer said: “It is an absolutely LIFELINE and I cannot begin to enthuse about what a fantastic company it is to work for too”). NB I have heard a LOT of good stories about this company on this front.
Modest TV (“Andrea Hamilton, MD of Modest TV, has furloughed all of her PAYE staff” – hooray!)
Working Title (“They’ve been brilliant with us on the film ‘The Swimmers’ put us on a paid two week hiatus and then furloughed everyone they could. In a cynical industry it’s really heartening when a company has your back”).
**EDIT I hear more news about Working Title – after HMRC failed to process tax details earlier in the year (thereby rendering a large number of freelancers ineligible for furlough), the company came forward and paid three months of furlough out of its own pocket! As my contact tells me “they really looked after us all when things were looking dire and inspired a lot of loyalty”.
Truly a caring company, we salute you Working Title!
Off The Fence (“Not only has it been a lovely company to work for throughout, but their awesomeness extends to difficult times like these – special thanks to Karen Meehan”).
Raw Cut A company known for its journalistic integrity – and its integrity in matters furlough too!).
Monkey Kingdom (“There are a lot of happy people tonight” says one freelancer – special thanks to Karen Hudson (prod exec), Sam Lawrence (MD), David Grainger & Will Macdonald (creative directors).
Expectation Entertainment (Furloughing till the end of the scheme – nice work Expectation!)
Whizz Kid Entertainment (Great programmes, lovely people – thank you Malcolm and Lisa!).
Gameface Productions (Without going into too much detail it can safely be said that Gameface has earned its place on our list of the best-of-the best many times over. This, from a freelancer, says it all: “The Managing Director, Adam Adler, always does his upmost to make sure that his team (from Exec to Runners) are all well and happy, in both their personal and working life. If there’s anything Adam can do to help his staff in any way, he without a doubt will do it”. Adam, you are a gent, and much loved -and Director of Production Ruth Emerson too!).
Bad Wolf (Termination letters rescinded, furloughing instead – Julie and Jane, lovely people!)
Betty TV (News just in, furloughing!)
Oxford Scientific Films (Anna Brett, head of production is “massively lovely”!)
Warp Films (Rehired and furloughed their freelancers – good on you Warp Films, a shining example!)
Blast Films (We love you Blast – so do your freelancers!)
Hat Trick (Hat Trick stepped up early doors and were determined to furlough as many freelancers as they possibly could. A great, caring company).
Firecracker Films (“Jes Wilkins, the chief creative officer, was communicative throughout the process and Julie Scott, the productive executive, made sure everyone who was eligible was on the scheme”. Great work both – the Watercooler salutes you!).
Five Mile Films (New company but fully behind their freelancers, great at communication and eager to furlough wherever they can. Thank you Nick Mirsky!)
Crook Productions (Paul, Matt and Andrew – employers with very big hearts!)
Rumpus Media (“The HOP is working very hard to get as many people covered by furloughed as possible”. Great work Lucy, it is much appreciated!)
Initial TV (Now furloughing all those eligible freelancers whose contracts have expired. Nice work Initial!).
HCA Entertainment (“They have managed to furlough all their staff and our head of production has been regularly checking in, ensuring everyone is coping well”).
Avalon (Navigated their way around the ups and downs of furloughing while keeping in contact with their freelancers. Great job Avalon, many freelancers have written to express their thanks to a great company!).
All3Media (The big one. Lots of companies, innumerable freelancers, thank you so much Sara Geater, many relieved freelancers because of your work!).
Lion TV (Got in there as early as they could, furloughed as many and as much as they could and got money into people’s accounts within 48 hours. Nice people who run Lion!)
Raw TV (“Aside from being amazing people and a great company to work for/with, they also stepped up to the plate from the start with trying to furlough and support everyone they can. And are continuing to do so. Tom in HR has been working non stop”. Nice one Tom and Raw!)
TwentySix03 (“Have gone above and beyond, revisiting all of our cases every time the rules change, to make sure those who are eligible are getting help”. Much appreciated!).
Swan Films (“Doing a brilliant job to balance new lockdown commissions and furloughing staff where necessary.” Great to hear!)
Mentorn Scotland (“I always feel very supported when working at Mentorn but never more so than now and I’m very thankful for Jill Greenwood’s help and communication throughout”).
Clerkenwell Films (“Such good eggs at Clerkenwell!”)
Fizz TV (“Not only have they furloughed anyone they possibly could, from the instant all this hit, they’ve been checking in with their freelancers on a personal basis too, including the ones they couldn’t help financially….unwaveringly supportive, professional and honourable”).
Dragonfly (All PAYE freelancers signed up again and all furloughed – nice work!).
Remarkable TV (“Sarah Boyce (production exec) and Susan King (Director of Production) are always great to work for, but they have been incredibly loyal and caring and I think deserve a place on your heroes list”).
Hello Halo Productions, (MD Wendy Rattray, HoP Rosie Rider: creators of smart, witty, compelling television and lovely people to boot)
Kalel Productions (MD – Nick Parnes: witty, noisy and ambitious shows but quietly supportive as well!).
Keshet Productions (MD – David Williams: quality productions, quality team – thank you David!).
Zeppelin Films (MD Elliott Reed, HoP Katie Davies: thought-provoking, dramatic, emotional and entertaining television – and caring employers too).
Oxford Films (“Annie Lee, director of production, and Tiffany Paul, accountant, have gone out of their way…” Lovely to hear – thanks both!).
If you know a company we should be adding to this list, do let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org. This list will be regularly updated.