Author Archives: cambrsec


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  1. Write to your MP: (and if they respond please forward the reply to  )

  2. Sign the IPSE & Creative Federation Industries petition:

  3. Check the BECTU website:

Info on BECTU’s website:

There’s also a Camera Branch update about what BECTU is doing here.

Links from elsewhere:

COVID-19 advice for freelancers working in film and TV

The TV, Film and Commercials industry relies on the goodwill of freelancers and now is a good time to ask for some flexibility from employers wherever possible.


If your production is put on a hiatus:
  • Many productions have been paying half pay or full pay for a specific set period of time. This is at productions’ discretion but it is always worth asking your engagers if they will support you financially for as long as possible.
  • Check your contract to see what the hiatus clause entails and what your potential entitlement is.
  • Keep an open and positive dialogue/communication line going with your heads of department (HODs) and producing teams. The production might start up again soon and working relationships resumed.
  • Keep safe and practice government guidelines while you’re away from work. These can be seen in the Helpful Resources links below.


If your production is cancelled:
  • If you are working under the Bectu/Pact Major Motion Picture Agreement,BECTU/Pact TV Drama Agreementor Bectu Construction Agreements and are engaged on weekly contracts, you will be entitled to one week’s notice period. You will be paid in full for that 1 week even if you don’t work during that week.
  • If you are working on a commercial under the APA agreement you can see what your cancellation rights are in section 7 of the agreement which you can find here:
  • If you are on any other fixed-term contract, you have the statutory right to a minimum notice period of:
  • 1 week if you’ve worked continuously for at least 1 month
  • 1 week for each year you’ve worked, if you’ve worked continuously for 2 years or more
  • These are the minimum periods. The contract may specify a longer notice period, so first read what your own contract says. Bectu advises members to request a longer notice payment wherever possible.
  • If an employer ends a contract without giving the proper notice, you may be able to claim breach of contract.
  • If you have a daily contract, unfortunately there are no current laws protecting you.
  • Every contract is different so it’s essential you read yours carefully to determine what compensation is available to you.
  • If you haven’t got a contract at all, or if you’ve been engaged via an agency, unfortunately you may only be paid for days worked (unless a cancellation fee was put forward and accepted by the engager before accepting the work). Please note that it is the industry norm for most crew (apart from ‘Dailies’) to be paid at least one week’s notice and we urge members who don’t have a contract to request this as a minimum.

Up and coming pencilled or confirmed work

If you have work that is due to start soon…
  • Do not accept work without agreed cancellation fees with the engager.
  • Bectu recommends the following cancellation fees in line with the organisation London Freelance:
    • 1-7 days’ notice 100%
    • 8-14 days’ notice 75%
    • 15-21 days’ notice 50%
    • 22-28 days’ notice 25%

What is Bectu doing to help?

  • Representing members to the government and the industry. Working closely with industry stakeholders on:
    • – BFI Screen Sector Task-Force (Covid-19)
    • British Film Councils Advisory Panel (deals with the economics of inward investment)
    • Greater London Authority Round Table: Supporting Freelancers During Coronavirus.
  • Lobbying the Treasury to have adequate financial support in place for people who have lost income while working as freelancers or on other precarious work contracts (inc Zero Hours).
  • Lobbying the Treasury to provide support for renters.
  • Lobbying the Treasury to provide sickness/absence from work payments to freelancers as well as employees.
  • Requesting deferment of the 31 July tax deadline, along with lobbying for tax rebates, and retrospective tax rebates for workers who have paid heavy tax bills in recent months. (Note the government has delayed IR35 changes for a year – see
  • Encouraging productions to recognise the unique vulnerability of workers on ‘Daily’ contracts and to provide the enhanced cancellation terms that are currently offered under Bectu’s Construction Agreement.
  • Gathering info on what productions are doing to support their crews. Any information is valuable to us so please get in touch with Bectu if you know anything.
  • Supporting and advising our members on an individual and crew basis.

This crisis has shown just how much the entertainment industries rely upon the goodwill of people who work on very precarious contracts of employment, whether they are freelancers, zero hour contract workers, or employees of companies that are, themselves, commercially vulnerable.

Bectu is also working to develop a long-term response – a New Deal for Freelance and Precarious Workers – to ensure that, in future, the working relationship is less one-sided than it has been shown to be in recent weeks.

This section was updated at 17.00 on Friday 20 March

Helpful resources

Bectu officials will be available to speak with you throughout this difficult period, so if you have any questions get in touch – phone 020 7346 0900 or email

Meeting & Social, Old Street.

Our next Meeting and Social is in Old Street on the 15th of February. It’s a new member special, but there will be information of interest to all.

We’ll put out a buffet at 1pm and members get a free drink also. Non-members can attend. There will be a discount for those joining on the day.

The venue is The Angel Pub, which is located at 73 City Road, EC1Y 1BD (Old Street tube).

You can download an agenda in advance, though printed copies will be available.

See you there!

Camera Branch Diversity networking event at the BSCexpo

The BSC Expo takes place on the 31st of January & 1st of February in Battersea Park. The Camera Branch diversity representative has set up an event to improve the poor representation in the camera department. We hope a networking event will bring talented women and ethnic minority camera professionals to the attention of those with hiring power in the industry.

The initiative is in partnership with Primetime, a visibility platform aiming to address the gender imbalance in the film and television industry, with thanks to Digital Orchard for hosting the event in their New Talent Bar at the BSC Expo. It is also supported by Imago, Illuminatrix, the British Blacklist and Women Behind the Camera.

Camera branch’s new equality and diversity officer Catherine Goldschmidt commented: “We recognise that, like much of film and television production, there is substantial under-representation of BAME and female talent in the camera department. Because so many breaks are down to who you know, we wanted to introduce women and minority ethnic people working in camera and related grades to those who hire crew members.”

BECTU diversity officer Janice Turner added: “We are delighted at the positive and enthusiastic response from top cinematographers and the British Society of CInematographers to our initiative – we hope the contacts made at the meetings during BSC Expo result in useful information and more opportunities for women and BAME technicians in camera.”

Tim Bertani, secretary of BECTU’s camera branch, said: “This initiative is a great opportunity for talented professionals to widen their networks”.

To apply, you need to download the flyer, select who you’d like to meet and send your C.V. with contact details to the organisers by the 27th of January. Registration for the BSCexpo is free.

Camera Branch Meeting & Social, Saturday, 16th November

The Camera Branch General Meeting and Social is on Saturday the 16th of November from 2pm. It’s in The Apollo Room, The Crown Tavern, 43 Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell, London, Greater London, EC1R 0EG. The nearest tube is Farringdon which is about 5mins away (map here).

As usual, members get their first drink free (bring your member number or register) and there will be a buffet supplied to kick off the social part of the meeting.

We’ll be starting with some presentations on getting the most out of the union: how it is organised, deals for members and most importantly, how to get things done.

Then we will have updates on branch projects like the low budget initiative, a survey of camera people in the factual sector and a proposal for helping you improve your rates.

After industry updates, there will be time for general chat, socialising & networking.

If you could use this eventbrite link to register, that will help us estimate the numbers and provide accordingly, but it is not required. We can confirm that we will be running a reduced sign up fee on the day for any non-members who would like to join: £7.50 per month for the first year.

General Meeting & Social, Saturday 2nd March

Camera Branch General Meeting, 2nd of March


The Camera Branch General Meeting and Spring Social is on Saturday the 2nd of March from 2pm. It’s in The Orchard Room, The Green Man, 36 Riding House Street, Fitzrovia, London. W1W 7EP.

A month before the new financial year, we’ll be starting with some presentations on matters important to your bank account. BECTU Research officer Tony Lennon will update on the ‘Making Tax Digital’ changes that are coming up. Branch Official Sean Kelly shall introduce the auto-enrollment pension scheme that will soon be extending to the self-employed. Our Chair will then focus on rates, including our key tool, the branch Rate Card.

Also, we will have short introductions to some branch projects. We’ll be presenting our Low-budget action plan, our new Script Supervisors Association, a Factual sector survey and a guide to the the TV Drama agreement.

After general updates on the industry, it will be time for general chat, socialising, networking etc. Members get their first drink free (bring your card / number). There will be buffet food on the side. If you could use this eventbrite link to register, that will help us estimate the numbers and provide accordingly.

We can confirm that we will be running a reduced sign up fee on the day for any non-members who would like to join. £7.50 per month for the first year.

You can download a copy of the agenda here. We look forward to seeing you!

Peter Skarratt Seminar (For Script Supervisors)


The Peter Skarratt Seminar

At short notice a seminar was arranged with renowned 1st Assistant Editor Peter Skarratt who was on a fleeting visit to London. Places were limited due to the intense nature of the Seminar and first priority was given to Peter Skarratt template users & Script Supervisors wishing to trial his templates.

The branch Script Supervisors hope to conduct similar smaller courses for beginners next year. Peter Skarratt has flagged up the possibility of another seminar during the summer next year.


Peter Skarratt

Peter Skarratt is known for his work as 1st Assistant Editor on The Matrix, Chappie and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. We were privileged to have him conduct a one day seminar/ workshop, demonstrating the formats of his 4 x template system.

Peter devised his digital system when dealing with rushes from 10 different locations in New Zealand on The Lord of the Rings. Since then, Peter’s system has evolved and Script Supervisors in the US, Australia, UK and other countries use his system.

Peter is very supportive of Script Supervisors and explained very clearly how his 4 templates work. We also got an introduction to the new breakdown system he is developing.

After a Q&A session, we rounded off the day chatting over drinks & snacks.

If you’d like to try the system, there is a 90 day free trial. Find out more at

Camera Branch Social and Annual General Meeting.

The Camera Branch is pleased to announce details of the Camera Branch Social and Annual General Meeting.

It will take place on the 9th of June. The location is The Orchard Room, The Green Man, 36 Riding House Street, Fitzrovia, London. W1W 7EP. Doors will open at 6pm.

The event will be open to all. Members will receive two free drinks and can vote for a new branch committee.*

Acclaimed Oscar nominated Cinematographer John Mathieson BSC (Gladiator, Logan, Hannibal, X-men first class) will be attending on the night and will give a brief talk.

There will be a presentation related to our long hours campaign, Eyes Half Shut.

The branch committee will give a quick round up of what the Camera Branch has been working on over the past 12 months.

Most of the evening will be your chance to chat with fellow camera department members.

Entry is free, but if you can register via our eventbrite page, this will help us anticipate numbers. It will be possible to join the branch on the night.


*(Bring your membership card, number or some other ID so we can issue you with drinks tokens and a voting card.)

The democratic nature of the union means that our agenda and activities are driven by the membership via the committee, working groups and also by advice, information and ideas from individual members. If you would like to join the committee, let us know (even if you can’t make the meeting). Committee roles are listed below. We are eager to fill the empty places, but you can run for any role. Our Get Involved page has further details.

Committee Roles:
Vice Secretary
Branch Treasurer (currently unfilled)
Vice Chair (currently unfilled)
Membership & Recruitment Officer (currently unfilled)
Publications & Communications Officer
Learning Rep
Film Rep (currently unfilled)
TV Drama Rep
London Production Division Rep
Health & Safety Rep (currently unfilled)
Commercials Rep
Factual Rep (currently unfilled)
Entertainment Rep (currently unfilled)
Low-Budget Rep
Cinematographer Rep
Camera Operators Rep
Focus Rep (currently unfilled)
Loaders Rep
DIT Rep (currently unfilled)
Script Supervisors Rep
Playback Rep
Stills Rep
Stills Rep
Trainees Rep
Trainees Rep