WHAT IS CONTRIBUTOR CARE?

WHAT IS CONTRIBUTOR CARE?

Contributor care involves looking after the psychological health of on-screen contributors throughout the production process. There is no one size fits all approach to contributor care given that all productions vary in levels of risk and even within a bracket of high risk, there will be a number of different variables to consider. In addition to that, risk can lie within the individual too and this is why pre-production assessments are incredibly important.

Contributor care covers a number of stages in production from pre-production to post transmission. Throughout these different stages, contributors must be supported by appropriately qualified and trained mental health professionals. It is also important to ensure that the remit of the psychological services provided by the production is set out in the informed consent documentation so that the contributor is aware of the type, level and amount of support that they will be entitled to as a result of participating in the production.

WHAT STAGES ARE THERE IN CONTRIBUTOR CARE?
PRE-PRODUCTION ASSESSMENTS:

The aims of the pre-production psychological risk assessment may vary depending on the broadcasters and production company. Some broadcasters may request an assessment to sign the contributor off as fit to participate. Some broadcasters may require the assessment to ascertain where the contributor may need support throughout the process. Usually, the objective of the pre-production assessment will be to establish fitness to participate as well as identifying any existing psychological vulnerabilities which may be exacerbated when exposed to the environmental stressors which will be unique to that production.

When looking at environmental stressors in the production, we look at a multitude of factors such as: the nature of the production, the number of filming days, whether the contributor is required to be away from home for filming, the channel of broadcaster, the length of time on screen, the likelihood and nature of media exposure that may result from participation.

WHO

Pre- production assessments should be carried out by a registered psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist who has experience, registration and insurance to conduct clinical psychological assessments on individuals, specifically for the purposes of participating in film & TV production.

Given the unique nature of the production process, a standard mental health assessment alone will not provide the level of insight required to make an accurate clinical judgement as to whether a contributor will be psychological safe to participate in a particular production, and where further support should be implemented for that contributor.

PRODUCTION SUPPORT

Where deemed appropriate and identified through the initial assessments, contributors may require support on-set. This is likely to be when the contributor is away from home, filming emotionally demanding scenes or filming in a demanding environment. On-set support isn’t necessary for all production formats.

WHO

Production support should be provided by a registered psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist who has experience, registration and insurance to work clinically with individuals, as well as experience of working psychologically in the film and TV industry.

POST FILMING SUPPORT

For contributors who have been filming in unusual conditions or have been away from home for a significant period of time, they may require support when filming ceases to help them readjust to life outside of the filming process. This type of support isn’t necessary on all production formats.

WHO

Post filming support should be provided by a registered Psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist who has experience, registration and insurance to work clinically with individuals, as well as experience of working psychologically in the film and TV industry.

PRE-TRANSMISSION SUPPORT

At any point prior to transmission, when there is a period of time allocated for editing before transmission, contributors may become anxious or nervous about how they are going to be edited or how they are going to be received by the public. There may also be promotional activities which might be new territories for contributors, in these circumstances, sometimes pre-transmission support is required.

WHO

Pre-transmission support should be provided by registered a psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist who has experience, registration and insurance to work clinically with individuals, as well as experience of working psychologically in the film and TV industry.

POST TRANSMISSION SUPPORT

Post transmission is one of the most significant points in the production cycle for the contributor. At this point they are exposed to the media and will have the ramifications of this to deal with, this could include a rise to fame, a lack of attention, inconsistencies between objectives and outcomes for the contributor, an increase in social media attention, media attention, and many other factors.

WHO

Post-transmission support should be provided by a registered Psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist who has experience, registration and insurance to work clinically with individuals, as well as experience of working psychologically in the film and TV industry.

BEYOND POST TRANSMISSION

Once a production has aired, at that point the impact and potential support required can be assessed. In our experience, when contributors are offered support for a period of time, they tend to use it when they feel that they need it. It is rare that contributors will want regular therapy unless they have been adversely impacted through participation in the production.

WHO

Any support provided beyond post transmission should be provided by a registered psychiatrist/psychologist/psychotherapist who has experience, registration and insurance to work clinically with individuals, as well as experience of working psychologically in the film and TV industry.

The latest changes to the Ofcom Broadcast Code in relation to duty of care and psychological support have been developed to ensure productions know what is required when it comes to the welfare of their contributors and providing the appropriate care and support.

Cast Care Clinic is able to provide consultancy or workshops to teams within production companies to introduce the various stages and roles involved in contributor care and psychological support. Get in touch for details and to talk to one of the team.

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