Opting out of the government directive, regarding how many hours an employee can be asked to work, has been common practice in the broadcast industry for many years. Filming shoots are complex, demanding, expensive, and populated by crews who pride themselves on the ability to keep going until the final scene is complete. Television Production Managers have long relied on staff ignoring the 48-hour rule, when drawing up filming plans. The ‘opt-out’ clause is often viewed as a freedom from convention, the only way ambitious shooting schedules can be achieved.
But is this really the case? The ethos of staying “until the job is done” effectively ignores how impossible this masculine work ethic can be for women to subscribe to.
In this public lecture, Perelandra Beedles, Programme Leader in Television Production Management, Edge Hill University, asks: by creating filming schedules which favour those with few caring responsibilities, are we effectively barring female workers from certain projects? Are we reinforcing a machismo culture of production?
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