Eight owners Katie Millington and Lib Kelly have today unveiled their commitment to include a line in every production budget moving forward that will go towards the mentorship and training of underrepresented groups in our industry at full applicable rates.
Says Millington: “There has been a lot of talk about diversity in the industry and this is our answer to being less talk and more walk. We believe every production should be an opportunity to upskill someone.
Says Kelly: “It is important that this experience is paid so we can open the industry up to people who don’t have the means or support to work for free to gain experience.”
Millington and Kelly received a joint nomination for the B&T Diversity Champion Award in 2021 – one of their proudest moments in business.
Eight has a well-known commitment to empowering women in the film industry and they actively support a 50/50 pledge of equal representation of men and women on set. The additional budget line on shoots will be a natural extension of Eight’s cornerstone value, ‘fostering diversity’.
Eight has been working closely with Miki Magasiva and Mario Gaoa from The Brown Factory to implement a strategy to foster indigenous, Māori and Pacific people in advertising and film. Loosely based on the US Association of Independent Commercial Producers “Double the Line” initiative, Eight’s ‘inclusion line’ will extend this initiative in the aim to broaden access to the industry.
Says Millington: “Unearthing new talent and nurturing diverse voices is what we’re good at and what we enjoy most. This ‘inclusion line’ in our budgets is a serious investment, but it’s undoubtedly the most rewarding part of the job. We are passionate about ensuring stories are being told with a diverse range of voices in all departments from the ads that get streamed into our living rooms each day, to the fiction and nonfiction films we see on the big screen. We are committed to continuing to seek out and foster a diverse range of crew members and this line item solidifies our intent.”
Eight’s aim is to get other companies to follow suit, as being largely a freelance based industry, the opportunity exists for every production company, on every production to train one person now.
Eight will work closely with advertising agencies and film bodies to use this line item to offer paid opportunities to people at every stage of their career who can be on set gaining knowledge and experience. The aspiration is that this leads to lasting change and the upskilling of a diverse range of people into senior roles.