It's been a sh*tstorm... let's make sure next year isn't.

Matt Humphrey

December 21, 2020

There’s no easy way to put it, and we are all living it – this year has been monumental, especially for freelancers. As we gear up (or down) for a highly unusual festive period and hurry on the exit of 2020, let us be mindful of each other and take our learnings forward to be better next year. 

For a lot of us, this year has been about survival, and doing everything we can to hold on to jobs, bring money in, and pay the bills. This was made all the more problematic by government support systems that allowed many of us to fall through the cracks.

There are however some positives to have come out of this year too.

2020 has allowed us to invite change.

For years there have been systemic issues in place that have affected many aspects of employment in entertainment - from inequality to complete lack of access or opportunity. 

  • The #BlackLivesMatter movement has brought racism and race related inequality to the forefront. We must do all that we can to stamp it out and create an ecosystem that embraces, supports and encourages black and minority voices and artists to thrive.
  • We all have a voice and a responsibility to invite change into our lives wherever possible - especially in the workplace.
  • Change is possible. Change is inevitable. Change is the future.

2020 has invited us to be curious.

Shifting mindsets and seeking opportunities that stray from the norm are not easy. Luckily, when the ground beneath us shifts, it allows us to find other paths to continue with our journey. 

  • Who would have thought we’d be doing interviews or production meetings via video call - let alone whole pieces of entertainment produced entirely remotely?
  • Digital + Physical is here to stay. Hybrid forms of entertainment have already become a mainstay of how we continue. It’s ok that it’s different. Without being different, we can’t evolve or change.
  • The second coming of the internet this year means that ‘successes’ have evolved from every corner - let us be curious enough to keep an eye out for them and bestow praise and encouragement where we can.

2020 has also brought us together.

Not physically, obviously, but in a way that hopefully lays a solid foundation moving forward. 

  • Rival suppliers have joined forces to add their voices and resources to huge global actions like WeMakeEvents. 
  • Competitive studios and agencies have met with artists and union members to strike up deals for voiceover artists.
  • Organisations and freelancers have been invited to the same table and (Zoom) room to discuss and ideate around key issues - through the Future Labs, hosted by FMTW.

There is still so much to do, and learn, and take forward into next year. We have to be better. Again - we have to be better.

We are not here to be right - we are here to make it right. 

We have to continue to adjust, be flexible, open-minded, mindful, aware and inclusive at every step. Personally I’ve given up on what is normal and have tried to get through this whole blog (and year) without using that cliche ‘new normal’ phrase - cos it doesn’t mean s**t.

Our future is what we make of whatever comes our way, so let’s make it a good one, a better one. 

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