Production companies shine light on struggles for ‘behind the scenes’ crews

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After the entertainment industry shutdown in March, thousands of production companies found themselves out of work in Nashville.

“We were one of the first industries to shutdown and we know we’ll be one of the last ones to return,” Production Manager Chris Lisle said.

Many shows and concerts have cancelled for the remainder of 2020, so those crew members are asking for further financial assistance from lawmakers.

“There’s legislation that has stalled and needs to be passed for the PPP and more importantly the extended benefits to extend PUA for unemployment benefits for people in our industry that have been affected with zero income,” Shawn Lear said.

Lear, with Bandit Lites in Nashville, said that funding is crucial to keeping those families afloat. Many production companies are estimating they will be without consistent incomes until next spring.

“To go from being in an industry that just works, works, works, to a dead stop that’s hard to even grasp mentally, nonetheless financially,” Lisle said.

Hundreds of production vehicles highlighted the issue during a parade through downtown on Tuesday.

“We’re so used to being silent and invisible that now is our time to be seen and heard,” Lisle said.

Lisle said as shows slowly start to come back for smaller entertainment venues or at limited capacity, it does give him hope for steps forward.

“It’s just going to be one of those things that progresses to the next and the next, but we will not go from 0 to 100 like we were last year. It’s going to take time and we’re going to come back to a different industry to a lot of degrees as well,” Lisle said.

A national campaign will shine red lights on businesses and homes to show support for the entertainment industry on Tuesday night.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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