#KCProductionRelief is support film artists in need, and you can help
Streaming services and comfort films have been a saving grace during quarantine. When the real world is scary as all hell, there is no greater escape than cozying up on the couch and letting your mind drift away into cinematic worlds of wonder. It’s hard to even imagine a scenario of being stuck inside for months without a tv. What would we even do, read a book? Yeah right.
However, those who are behind the scenes of the shows we love are finding these times harder than ever. In early March, Keep KC Filming fought proposed budget cuts from the Kansas City Film Office—an impact of over $10 million dollars a year. Now, productions have shut down in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, leaving many local filmmakers out of a job.
The KC Film Office and Kansas City Women in Film and TV have partnered together to create #KCProductionRelief, an effort to raise money for grocery store gift cards for members of the local production community who are currently facing hard times. With productions at a halt, there have been unfortance cases of furloughs, layoffs, and a lack of freelance work in the Kansas City film community. #KCProductionRelief is one way to directly help those in the community who are struggling with a lack of income.
“Individuals can support this cause by sharing our social media posts and emails, making sure that as many people see this campaign as possible,” says Erin Zimmeran, Kansas City Women in Film and TV President. “If anyone has any extra money they would like to contribute, we have rewards they can receive for contributing, or they can contribute without rewards, and all donations are tax free,”
KC Film Commissioner Steph Scupham reached out to KCWIFT to be the non-profit arm of the campaign so that donations can be tax-deductible to donors and tax-free for the organization. This allows for as much of the donations as possible to go back into the community, supporting those artists who have helped support us with binge-worthy content while we’re stuck at home.
#KCProductionRelief donations also come with perks; you can get a red KC Film Hats, leather KC Film notebooks, pens, and—for this week—community partner Lights On Kansas City is offering equipment rental matches up to $50.
“We want to keep our production folks in town and comfortable. There were many years that our talented production folks were leaving for the coasts, and now that we have been growing—and are known as a burgeoning production town, we have been able to bring in and create work for our talent to keep them home,” says Zimmerman. “In full transparency, I feel that our artists and filmmakers will leave town, or maybe even leave production behind, if they don’t have the support they need to survive. The arts are the third largest ‘employer’ in our metro area. If they were an employer, they would have 9,000+ employees. That is a lot of people out of work right now that need help from whoever can spare it.”
It’s apparent that the road to recovery will be a difficult one for all fields of art. But in times of crisis, some of the greatest art is made. This is why it’s so important for those who can help out to do so.
“Right now, we just hope to keep people in the city they love, ready to do the work that they love—and that we all benefit from in the film and TV shows and web series, etc. that we consume—when we can get back to some semblance of normal,” Zimmerman says. I also hope to see a greater appreciation for our folks in production, and for the industry that is helping to put Kansas City on the map. We love our town, and we know the world is growing to love us, too.”
Donation can be made at the KC Film Office website.