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Freelance Video Producers Are Ready To Work, Storyhunter Survey Shows

Nearly half of freelancers in the video production industry have worked through the pandemic and continue to look for jobs after…
Freelance Video Producers Are Ready To Work, Storyhunter Survey Shows

Freelancers and Production Companies Are Ready To Work, Storyhunter Survey Shows

Key Findings:

  • Freelancers and production companies feel comfortable working during the pandemic and are prepared to do it safely
  • Nearly half of freelancers and production companies have worked during the pandemic
  • Most freelancers are willing to travel reasonable distances for production jobs
  • Most freelancers have lost jobs due to the pandemic
  • An overwhelming majority of freelancers are open to working with crews

Nearly half of freelancers in the video production industry have worked through the pandemic and continue to look for jobs after implementing safety policies to reduce health risks, a global survey conducted by Storyhunter shows.

Eighty-one percent of freelance video professionals said they are comfortable working in the field while implementing safety protocols to prevent infection and spreading of the novel Coronavirus, according to a survey of over 976 freelance professionals. Just under half of the videographers, production companies, directors, producers, photographers and journalists surveyed said they’ve worked during the pandemic.

“I think what this shows is that freelancers moved quickly to protect themselves, as well as their clients and subjects, to prevent the spread of the virus while maintaining their livelihood,” said Hubie Pilkington, head of client success and creative partnerships at Storyhunter. “What was most surprising was the overwhelming number of freelancers ready and willing to work, provided they have health and safety protocols in place.”

More than two-thirds of freelancers said they have safety protocols in place for their shoots and 88 percent of freelancers said they would work with a larger crew if safety protocols were implemented, according to the survey of freelancers in 120 countries. Los-Angeles based documentary filmmaker and video journalist Sarah Fretwell, who completed a project last month on Storyhunter, recently completed an online COVID-19 Safety Training for Visual Journalists from Catchlight and Everyday Projects.

“I wanted to be extra cautious to ensure the safety of those I was filming, myself, and those in my household.” said Fretwell. “I left the training confident I could work in a way that ensured the safety of everyone involved.”

This week, Storyhunter issued safety guidelines that freelancers agree to follow when working on it’s marketplace, to ensure they are implementing best practices. These guidelines include wearing masks, sanitizing video equipment, being aware of potential high risk areas, how to safely conduct an interview and much more.

“Safety for our community is the utmost concern,” said Jaron Gilinsky, founder and CEO of Storyhunter. “We believe stories need to be told now more than ever, but we want to make sure that everyone on our platform is working in the safest way possible. “

Even as the overwhelming majority of freelancers are ready to work to support their livelihood, 60 percent said that regional laws are preventing them from working, the survey found. Many countries have only allowed businesses offering services deemed “essential” to the public to operate normally.

On Storyhunter’s marketplace the past 2 months, there was an increase in hiring by news publishers, more likely considered “essential” workers, while the usage by branded and advertising agencies decreased, according to marketplace data.

“News clients are more comfortable hiring a local production team than sending their own crews to travel to the location,” said Gilinsky. Many countries and states around the world have implemented travel restrictions during the pandemic.

Freelancers in the video production industry are willing to work but they also believe clients should pay more for the complexity of working during these times and following Covid-19 safety guidelines. Almost half of freelancers surveyed said clients should pay 10 to 30 percent more than usual, and 15 percent say clients should pay more than a third higher than their normal rate. One out of three freelancers did not think clients should have to pay more during the pandemic, according to the survey.

When the coronavirus became more widespread in March, 33 projects were canceled on Storyhunter, the most in a single month in over two years and more than double the monthly average. In April, cancellations reduced to the monthly average of 14, according to Storyhunter data.

Eight out of 10 freelancers surveyed said they had shoots cancelled because of the pandemic, with 40 percent of them saying they had more than 4 shoots cancelled, the survey shows.

With more information about how to stay safe and having missed jobs over the past few months, freelancers are looking to make up for lost time.

“I’m sanitizing my gear, using long lenses, wearing masks and gloves, staying socially distant,” said Fanny Texier, a filmmaker and video journalist on Storyhunter. “I’m taking all the safety precautions and ready to work!”

Survey Methodology:

Storyhunter sent out a survey to our active community members on May 7, 2020. Our goal was to better understand the local dynamics affecting the freelance video production industry during the pandemic. We emailed a 9-question survey to 28,385 Storyhunter freelancers and production companies in 192 countries. We received 976 responses from creators in 120 countries across more than 10 services. The results of the survey showed that freelancers are eager to get back to work, and are prepared to do it safely.

Other Survey Questions & Answers:

We hope you found the data in this survey valuable and welcome any feedback.

By The Storyhunter Editorial Team