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Creative Economy

Film captures UK TV and performing talent during lockdown

February 22, 2021
Published on:
July 6, 2020
January 5, 2021

Film features UK creative talent during lockdown

Lockdown The Mind Shed 650px
(Above: The cast of the 'The Mind Shed' are featured in the lockdown film, '62 Days at Home'. Image: film still)

A new short film has captured the responses and activities of UK screen, music, and theatre performers during the lockdown to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.

'62 Days at Home' is a short film capturing the activities of some of the UK's best-known film, TV, music, and theatre performers as they lent their support, raised funds, educated, and entertained during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The film, which brings together contributions shot between 25th March and 24th May, was commissioned by the Creative Industries Council for the CreaTech 2020 at Virtual CogX festival. It was produced by Talent Republic, the leading European independent talent broker, with The Quarry providing the editing.  

It features:

  • George the Poet reflects on ‘The Power of Collaboration’ in a piece written for this year’s Skoll World Forum - a conference which unites social entrepreneurs with essential partners in a concerted and targeted effort to solve the world’s social problems.
  • Liam Payne offered advice and words of support to his audience via his ‘Weekly – Wrap-up’ YouTube show. For aspiring and experienced guitarists, John Taylor and James Bay recorded over twenty-six tutorials.
  • Emilia Clarke created a platform for poetry and invited colleagues to read from ‘The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind & Soul’. In the film, Andrew Scott reads ‘Everything Is Going To Be All right’ for Men Against Cancer Ireland, Helena Bonham-Carter reads ‘Wild Geese’ for The Camden Psychotherapy Unit and Thandie Newton reads ‘Love After Love’ for V-Day: A Global Movement to End Violence Against Women & Girls. Over 11 million people have watched these three readings alone.
  • Konnie Huq, Steve Backshall, and Myleene Klass have between them provided over 30 hours of science, wildlife and music lessons for children, offering much needed relief to thousands of parents navigating the difficulties of homeschooling.
  • The ‘Thank You Baked Potato’ song from Matt Lucas helped raise nearly £1.25m for FeedNHS, a non-profit campaign he co-founded to provide food for health workers, with the comedian receiving musical assistance from the likes of Brian May and Josh Gad.
  • Comedian Romesh Ranganathan, whose other projects have included ‘Big Night In - Lockdown Distractions’, is shown on film participating in ‘The Mind Shed’, a mental health-based chat show, alongside Tom Chapman (Founder of The Lions Barber Collective), Anthony Crank (presenter & actor) and Dr Peter Aitken (consultant psychiatrist).
  • Survival expert Bear Grylls provides motivational thoughts and readings.  His foundation has donated thousands of activity packs to children across the North of England.

Anne Batz, Founder, Talent Republic, said:

The style of the film is deliberately simple as the integrity of the content spoke for itself. Our only criteria in selecting material was you had to feel it was coming from a good place. It was also important for the film to have something for everyone, whatever your age or sensibility. It’s unusual to have such a diverse group of talent under one umbrella – Oscar-nominated actors, rock musicians and wildlife experts rarely mix. But together they have provided an eclectic combination of science lessons, bass tutorials, poetry, and prose from ingenious storyteller George ‘the Poet’ Mpanga."

Janet Hull, Director of Marketing Strategy, IPA, and CIC CreaTech Organiser, said: “When we were putting together the virtual CreaTech at Cog X programme for the Creative Industries Council, what came up time and time again from the Arts Council, Society of London Theatres, UK Music etcetera was how versatile and adaptable our UK creative talent was being under lockdown. This film speaks for that community – our brilliant UK creative talent – who, like all of us have been at home for 62 Days and more. It’s an artistic reflection of life in isolation, and a humble contribution to keeping everyone sane. It’s a homage to all of the creative community who are finding times tough right now with theatres and cinemas still shut and production only just picking up again.”

The range of the performers captured on film underlines the scope of the UK's creative industries which contributed £111.7bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2018. This wealth creation is under-pinned by an array of individual actors, musicians, writers, and performers.

The film follows a report from the Creative Industries Federation warning of a ‘cultural catastrophe’ because of the disruption and income loss caused by the lockdown.

The report's authors, Oxford Economics, estimate that the UK creative industries could lose close to £75bn this year at a cost of over 400,000 jobs. The impact of the Covid-19 lockdown will be felt in all parts of the UK, with creative industries projected to be hit twice as hard as the national economy overall and up to three times as hard in some regions.

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