James Bednark remembers assembly with the director, producers, and others concerned with Amazon’s untitled Tracy Oliver mission in New York Metropolis when it was introduced that Broadway theaters have been shutting down in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have been all sitting within the assembly, sort of taking a look at one another, and asking, ‘Are we going to be filming this episode? What’s going to occur?’” remembers Bednark, who was beforehand artwork director for Showtime’s Ray Donovan between 2018 and early 2020. “That evening, we obtained a cellphone name from the unit manufacturing supervisor and the producer saying that we’re shut down and the decision for tomorrow was canceled… We have been informed we have been going to be down for 2 weeks and two weeks was indefinite.”
Bednark’s day job could have stalled, however he hasn’t been sitting idle. As an alternative, he’s been busy sourcing supplies for ArtCube Military, a bunch of largely New York-based movie, tv, and theater artwork division freelancers and associated companies making private protecting gear (or PPE) for medical employees dealing with a scarcity.
Bednark has been working intently with Eva Radke, a former artwork division coordinator, who’s the CEO and cofounder of ArtCube Nation, a nationwide networking group for showbiz artwork professionals. The ArtCube Military emerged as a New York-based, pandemic-focused offshoot whereas unemployed movie trade employees pivot in a time of disaster—a pure match for folks of their line of labor, Radke and Bednark say.
“It’s a group of people that already must supply bizarre issues, already work below stress when there’s zero room for error,” says Radke, who was impressed to hop into motion final month as information of a sluggish provide chain started to unfold.
Members of the “Saturday Evening Dwell” crew are among the many volunteers making PPE for medical employees in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. These frontline hospital employees despatched this thanks to ArtCube Nation and the “SNL” crew.Courtesy of ArtCube Nation
The group additionally launched a fundraiser April 3, which has to this point made greater than $13,000 of its $20,000 aim, to assist with shopping for supplies and supply prices.
As of Tuesday, Radke says volunteers have been in a position to produce not less than 10,000 face masks; greater than 6,000 face shields for New York Metropolis space hospitals, elder care amenities, and EMS drivers; and almost 700 shields for different cities and states, which embody New Orleans and Oregon. The fundraiser additionally helped buy additional provides akin to surgical robes and scrub caps.
About 120 folks in New York Metropolis are concerned within the effort, alongside fabrication retailers, and even some 3D printers in New Jersey who’ve “put the phrase out,” Radke says.
“We’re actually hyperlocal proper now as a result of that’s what we are able to management and that’s the distributors that we all know,” says Radke of the group’s volunteer workforce, whereas including that they’re “blissful to satisfy any orders that we get in from wherever across the nation.”
Most of the native provides they’ve made have been given to well being care employees by way of residence supply, a proven fact that Sophie Balzora, a doctor at NYU Langone Well being, appreciates. She reached out to ArtCube earlier than the anticipated surge in coronavirus circumstances, frightened that she and her husband—additionally a doctor—wouldn’t have a adequate quantity of PPE.
“In preparation and as a precaution, I reached out to them to request three face shields,” she tells Fortune by way of e mail. “They have been past implausible and responsive—so form and communicative. And so they supplied me with 5 face shields…. I used to be so astounded, and so extremely grateful.”
These are some provides ArtCube volunteers are utilizing to create face shields for medical employees in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.Courtesy of ArtCube Nation
Bednark has tapped his community of distributors to amass every little thing from foam and elastic to marine vinyl, in order that different volunteers can assemble wanted face shields. However there have been instances the place shortages of supplies have required the ArtCube crew to get artistic and discover alternate options that can do the job, which is one thing they’ll do as a result of they’re a small group, as each he and Radke level out.
“We’re not frightened about retooling a whole manufacturing facility,” Bednark says. “We are able to simply change up to reply to what’s out there.”
Radke is thrilled with the outcomes of the fundraiser to this point, the companies serving to her group, and the suggestions from the medical group.
“Well being care employees are thanking us? I can’t even settle for it,” she says. “No no, that is our gratitude in the direction of you.”
Extra must-read tales from Fortune:
—China’s film theaters are closed once more, inflicting anxiousness for studios
—How over 100 live-event firms pivoted to constructing momentary coronavirus hospitals and testing websites
—How film theaters could make a comeback after the coronavirus pandemic
—When jazz musicians aren’t live-streaming owing to coronavirus, they’re scrambling to rebook misplaced gigs
—The coronavirus pandemic is altering broadcast and streaming TV as we all know it
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