COVID- 19: Spanish screenwriters and directors will lose this year an average of 52% of their incomes

  • 62,4% of audio-visual creators have no job activity in their sector due to the pandemic.
  • One in four has or believe that he will have problems to pay the rent or mortgage.
  • The impact is especially significant among those dedicated to feature films and documentaries.
  • It is a profession made up of mostly freelance workers, and the employees have no job stability in general: before the pandemic, only 8,9% had a permanent contract.

MADRID, MAY 18. A survey among directors and screenwriters commissioned by the Collecting Management Organization (CMO) DAMA reveals the difficulties that this group faces because of Covid-19 pandemic. According to this study, carried out between April 24 and April 28 among 200 professionals, Spanish directors and screenwriters foresee for this year an average loss of their income of 52.3%.

In gross terms, including taxes and social contributions, the average loss of activity is estimated at 26.618 euros. The biggest lost is contemplated by directors (61.6%), while by sectors, those dedicated to documentaries will be the most affected with a drop income of 61.8%, followed by screenwriters and directors of feature films for cinema (53.8%). Those with contracts for a specific project will lose an average of 72.9% of their income.

These figures are contextualized in a labor framework that, due to its intrinsic characteristics, is characterized by irregular income, as denoted by the analysis of the situation of the professionals before the declaration of the State of Alarm. Until the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, most directors and screenwriters were self-employed (58.1%). Specifically, 51.3% as freelances and 6.8% working in their own companies. A third (32.5%) worked as employee with temporary contracts or contracts for a specific project and only 8.9% of those surveyed had a permanent contract. In this situation, a lot of professionals (43%) were dedicated in other activities, manly in audiovisual teaching.

This situation changed due to the pandemic: only 37.6% of professionals keep their situation. 34.1% of those who worked are unemployed now and 24.3% are part of a temporary redundancy plan.

The damage caused by this situation is not uniform among the different professionals. The stop of the activity is higher among directors (77.6%) than among screenwriters (60.6%) and regarding the employment situation, 69.2% of authors/business owners say that their projects have been stopped, a situation where 64.3% are self-employed. The audiovisual products more affected by this situation are documentaries (76.5%); 67.4% of features films; 60.8% of television series; 51.3% of platform series and 47.8% of animation.

This complex economic and labor situation is reflected in a growing concern among professionals regarding their domestic and professional payments. One in five (20.4%) considers that could have problems in a short term to pay household supplies such as electricity and communications; a percentage that raises to 27.4% in connection with the mortgage and the rent of the house. According to recent data from INE on living conditions, the average number of households with similar problems is around 8.0%.

When the professionals of the sector believe that the activity will recover the levels of the beginning of this year? Nearly half of the respondents (46.6%) believe that the crisis is very deep, and it will take more than a year. 36.1% hope the normal activity will be recoup before the end of 2020 and only 15.2% are talking about a period between three and six months.

Given the seriousness of the economic and labor situation that many of its members are facing, DAMA is finalizing a specific Aid Plan for Covid crisis, which will join to existing ones. It will include specific contributions from the CMO as well as professional advice for restoring to all mechanisms enabled by the administration in order to mitigate the effects of the crisis.

About DAMA.

Created in 1999, DAMA is the only Spanish CMO specialized in the copyright management of audiovisual works. It has more than 1.400 members, most of them active professionals who have worked on the latest Spanish audiovisual hits and defends in Spain the audiovisual rights of the main foreign CMOs.