With the coronavirus putting a halt to both TV and film production, producers, directors and writers have rallied together to form It Takes Our Village, a fundraising initiative to aid the hundreds of thousands of crew members left unemployed because of the pandemic.
The initiative was spearheaded by Bruna Papandrea (founder and CEO, Made Up Stories) and “Big Little Lies” producer Gregg Fienberg, who were separately working on galvanizing industry colleagues to help. According to one of the members of the It Takes Our Village coalition, “Homeland” director Lesli Linka Glatter, they teamed up, realizing “it was better to join forces.”
Dana Fox, co-creator of “Home Before Dark” and also a member of the coalition, stresses the importance of the initiative, supporting the members of the industry who serve as pillars of production. “When I drag myself out of bed, pump myself full of coffee, and get to set as early as I can, there are hundreds of people who have been there for hours before me,” she says.
“No one works harder but gets less credit for creating the content we all love,” she adds. “We owe it to these people — our work families — to do right by them.”
“This came out of concern for the people we work with,” Glatter says. “Anyone who is in a position to help — and it doesn’t matter what the help is, whether it’s $10, $15 or even $50,000 — this is to support the business we are in. We are in this together.”
Jess Wu Calder, co-founder of Snoot Entertainment, points out that everyone, from the PA to the transportation department to hair and makeup, have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting shutdowns, and that those working on a production often form a familiar bond.
“Families support each other,” she says. “It takes our village.”
Papandrea stresses that while the entire entertainment industry is struggling, those who live paycheck-to-paycheck cannot be forgotten. “They are our community – and our community is in need,” she says.
Donations to the initiative can be made via the GoFundMe page. Funds will be shared between the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) and The Actors Fund. Both organizations distribute emergency relief to help workers in the entertainment industry.