Year 2020 for a Production Assistant

This post was written by our Production Assistant Annina Juuso, who became an official member of Blockbusters Gang after graduating from our BBG Junior Program in February 2020.

Reflecting on the past year, it is clear that we all now share something that certainly hasn’t been an apparent problem for the workers of the film and media industry in a long time: a worldwide epidemic. Productions were shut down due to lockdown, beginning new shoots became risky and many of us lost our jobs. New questions on how the industry should, and moreover could, handle these sorts of situations now and in the future became the hot topic at every shoot I was employed at. Even with our newly put regulations, talk of what could be improved upon and which procedures weren’t enough was the daily lunch table conversation. Bonding over shared stress of a new problem that needed solving.

Compared to many people during the pandemic, I was very fortunate as I was employed through most of it. The year began in a normal manner with a short film and a few commercials here and there. The short film especially was a great chance for me to learn more and gave me a chance to take on a role that gave me more responsibility than usual. But so came March along with the lockdown; most shoots that were planned for the spring were postponed and so I too waited for the things to get better.

I also became an official member of the Blockbusters Gang this year! Looking stern and determined here in my official Gang-photo.

Come summer, procedures were established and productions got going for us at least here in Finland. After having worked on a commercial in pre-production as well as at the actual shoot, I was happy to hear an offer for the tv-series Cargo (in Finnish Rahti) for Fremantle Oy. Besides having an awesome crew to work with, I had a great production crew to help me grow as a film worker. Though the workload was heavy and the circumstances changed more than usual, I’m very happy with all we achieved.

Less than a day in between, I began a new project immediately after Cargo came to an end, this time as a runner for the television show Next of Kin (in Finnish Jälkeläiset). Having worked for Bufo Oy before (in the short film I mentioned above) I was happy to return to an already familiar company. Many new people and many great adventures. Being a runner was more slower paced in general which was a welcome change at that point, but the job still had its  busier days which gave me chances to challenge myself. The whole crew, again, was great and pulling together through the final bits of 2020 with them was amazing. I was also happy to see, with both tv-series I worked for, that people had quickly acclimated to this new work environment that COVID-19 had forced us into. The mask protocol was a given to all and general rules to keep up hygiene were followed of course.

Living the best life with my fellow Gang members. Here we are on the set of Cargo.

Now that 2020 has come to a close I really am excited for what is next, albeit still wary of the epidemic still ravaging many countries and communities. A new year is still something that can clear the slate from our previous worries and gives us all a chance to take a breath before starting anew. Being a bit of a dull realist, I still see the problems we still carry on from the previous year. However the view forward somehow seems brighter in the distance.