Wellbeing for Documentary Filmmakers

Industry wellness strategies

26th February 2024
 

Screen Well’s “Wellbeing for Documentary Guide” Launch

 

The Peachy team was incredibly impressed by Screen Well’s, “Wellbeing for Documentary Guide“, which launched last week. It covers everything from strategies to help tackle burnout, isolation and the post-wrap blues, through to how to view your project through a wellbeing lens for your team, contributors and your audience.

There was a great Launch and Q&A webinar (re-watch here) with a panel that included Documentary filmmaker Akhim Dev, who directed the award-winning and incredible documentary The Children in the Pictures, an exploration of the Queensland Police’s Task Force Argos and how they rescue children from online sexual exploitation.  Dev shared his personal experience working with such an emotionally distressing topic.  Screen Well’s Ben Steel, Sane Australia’s Anu Dhingra and Media Stockade’s Rebecca Barry also shared strategies they’ve employed to overcome mental health challenges working in the screen sector.

The creation of this guide is a small but powerful step in the right direction to improve mental health across the screen industry. Implementing some of the suggestions into your business might feel overwhelming at first, but purposeful actions over a period of time will gradually change your business and our industry for the better.

 

Who are the guides for and what resources do they include?

There are guides for those who work in Australian documentary, for those who are small business owners or sole traders and for those who work in a production office or AD department.

One guide includes a checklist of obstacles that may be stopping you from being able to refuel your tank and has suggestions and practical and preventative action plan items to help you overcome these obstacles in order to mitigate stress and improve your overall wellbeing.  There are templates for setting up your callsheets with crew wellness and positive mental health in mind.

Another guide talks small business owners through what mental health means, the legislative obligations of business owners and lists the numerous benefits of improving mental health in the workplace before providing practical guidance on how to develop a wellbeing strategy for your business and how to deliver a positive onboarding experience.

 

 

 

 

Prioritising wellbeing together as an industry

From the “Wellbeing for Small Businesses Mini Guide”:

“Some entrenched work cultures and work conditions in our industry often prevent a healthy work-life balance that can have dramatic impact on our mental health. Screen business owners can play a pivotal role in reducing fatigue and increasing work-life balance for the industry by being role models and improving their own work-life balance. “

Peachy very much resonates with this concept of evolving how we work in this industry in order to put health and wellbeing first.  Having flexibility and work-life balance is one of our core company values.  We are proud to be able to share and amplify this vital industry resource and to advocate for change. We believe that the strategies in the guides can help our industry to be more positive, productive, creative and resilient – so we can continue to create amazing work together!

 

Access the guide here at Screen Well.

 

Brisbane-based colourist Angela Cerasi from Peachy Keen Colour graded this shot of New York photographer Martha Cooper being embraced by two young men with caps, glasses and beards, for the documentary Martha: A Picture Story

Documentary Feature: Martha: A Picture Story, colour graded by Peachy

 

Wildlife Documentary Feature: Living With Devils, colour graded by Peachy

 

Read about Peachy Founder Angela Cerasi’s initial journey working as a freelancer and how she managed her mental health (among other things) while doing so.

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