Topsheet provides COVID-19 touchless payroll for productions
Erin Pearson
April 1, 2020

With film sets shutting down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of people are out of work for an undefined amount of time. We have searched and found that a lot of foundations have recognized the financial struggle that filmmakers are facing and they’re doing something about it.

Our heart is that all of you are provided for and taken care of during this time. To make this easier for you, we have compiled a list of resources that offer financial assistance, specifically to filmmakers, as well as, other resources offered by the government. I hope this helps some of you, and if you have any questions, we will do our best to help you out.

California Unemployment or visit your state’s website for information on applying for unemployment benefits.

Disaster loan applications allow small business owners to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This program also provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million.

SAG-AFTRA relief fund is offering financial assistance to all SAG members. They are getting a lot of applicants, so your application could take up to two weeks to process.

DGA is working to fast track residual payments as well as waving COVID-19 testing fees.

IATSE is waving COVID-19 testing fees and donating to charities that help support industry workers.

WGA is waving COVID-19 testing fees and helping its members find the resources they need in this difficult time.

Teamsters is connecting its members, who have been furloughed, to companies like Ralph’s and Stater Bros who are currently hiring drivers.

Motion Picture and Television Fund is offering financial and emotional assistance to those who need it.

Actors Fund offers free and confidential social services for people in performing arts, nationally. They offer counseling and support groups, education, emergency financial assistance, and other practical help.

Will Rogers relief fund is currently ironing out the details of their COVID-19 relief fund for furloughed industry workers. But they have links on their website to other helpful things in the meantime.

Pay Up Hollywood offers a one-time stipend payment for partial wage loss ($450) or total wage loss ($900) as they are trying to help as many people as possible.

Recording Academy aims to help musicians who have lost gigs due to venues closing down because of the COVID-19 outbreak. It seems like they offer a one time grant, but that may change depending on funding and the length of time things are closed down.

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts will disburse $1,000 grants to artists who have had performances or exhibitions canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 Virus.

Equal Sound is working to support musicians who have lost income because of events being canceled. They are still working out the details, but are committed to helping those affected by the outbreak.

More resources This link contains all the current assistance options in California. Check your local and state governments for other assistance programs.

A Quick Encouragement

I’ve been digging into the Great Depression for some other articles I’m working on and to satisfy my own curiosity. There is a vast amount of uncertainty now like there was then. It’s a vague comparison as the circumstances are entirely different, but the premise is the same. Times are tough and a lot of people are out of work.

During the Great Depression, our filmmaking forefathers came together to unionize in order to solve their problems of cut wages and massive lay-offs, thus changing the landscape of the film industry for decades to come. The Coogan law was passed to protect children’s wages and many suggest that it was the most creatively innovative time in history.

We don’t know how long this will last or what the world will look like when it’s over, but I do know that hardship brings about lasting change. Let’s make sure it’s good.

About Topsheet

Topsheet is an entertainment tech company specializing in production payroll. We service clients from commercials for Fortune 500 to feature films. We are born in technology, built with filmmakers in mind.

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