Tax(i) Credits

As I await my fate with SMG – the details of which should be next week – and with the news that Dreamworks are about to layoff a significant amount of people, I want to mention something which one of the commentators in the above article mentioned: “Thank goodness for Uber and Lyft. You can immediately start making money while you wait for another gig.


Well, a good few weeks ago – just before we received the news about what was going to happen, I took an Uber into work (train strikes). The driver works in the film industry (and actually lives abroad for personal reasons which I won’t divulge here) and has worked on many of the recent big hit TV shows currently airing on Netflix, Apple TV (such as Masters of the Air) and Amazon Prime Video. But at the moment they were Ubering to make a bit of money, and it suited their schedule.

We were nattering about the state of the industry as a whole, particularly the dominance of the streaming services and how it’s affecting British production – the good and the bad – and the level of influence the big companies (streaming or otherwise) have on our film and TV industry – especially when it came to government support through tax credits. It was fascinating to learn more about the production side of things given that I’ve generally been post-production (which is kind of changing thanks to virtual production, which absolutely fascinates me and has restored my interest in VFX again especially given its close ties to the gaming industry).

But I could never become an Uber driver. Firstly, I can’t drive. Secondly, when you hear about the stories about the requirements that Uber puts on its drivers (I’ve had some very interesting chats with other Uber drivers over the years), the expense seems to outweigh any benefits. From what I remember one driver telling me, they’ve had to put their all electric vehicle plans back a bit due to a variety of factors. But then again, maybe if Uber either owned the cars or gave a massive discount to drivers, that plan may have accelerated by now.

But back to the present, I had a rather nice surprise when I got a call back from a company I had previously contacted but the salary on offer was somewhat lower than I’d have liked. Another Guildford games company has reached out to me after I put in a speculative application, so that’s another potential lead too. A few rejections – which is to be expected – but they probably weren’t right for me anyway. Maybe I could put an end to all this later this week? Who knows.