Voltage Pictures, Jamie Carmichael and John Shepherd, and AGBO are among the latest Los Angeles-based fundraisers to join the multitude of relief efforts for Covid-19 underway in the US.
Voltage and Looks That Kill producer Austin Sepulveda have launched Operation Protect The Heroes to start production of 3D-printed face shields for local hospitals and essential workers.
Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr.’s Random Act Funding is serving as the operation’s anchor funder, Kent Seton of the Edward Charles Foundation is on board as fiscal sponsor, and Vertical Entertainment as principal donor.
At time of writing Operation Protect the Heroes, in partnership with Asya Nur Celik and Burak Celik’s 3D Collaborative and the Southern California Institute of Architecture, has assembled 75 at-home 3D printers and made 4,500 face shields. The shields are based on a design by 3D Printing Design Group Budmen, which has been certified by the National Institute of Health and is the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s approved design.
The initiative is working with R&D Design and Associates in New York to help scale up production to more than 2,000 shields a week and is working with Los Angeles-based production facility Fat Eye Studios to centralise operations. The initiative is seeking further donations to help underserved local hospitals including the USC Keck School line of hospitals, and other essential workers.
“I saw the great work that American High was doing with 3D printed face shields in upstate New York and knew that with their help this was something that we could mimic in Los Angeles,” said Sepulveda. “What I was not prepared for was the overwhelming outpouring of support that would follow. We have a dedicated volunteer core led by Russ Taylor and Paul Barney and have turned Brian Bohner’s Fat Eye Studios into an assembly hub for the face shields. The partnership with Voltage Pictures has been incredible from day one and I am excited to continue to supply PPE [protective personal equipment] to those in need.”
“I read about Jeremy Garelick and American High doing masks in NY so Jonathan [Deckter, Voltage president and COO] and I teamed with Austin to do this in LA,” said Voltage Pictures CEO Nicolas Chartier. “Cedars Sinai offices are in our building and we see nurses and doctors hard at work every day. We really appreciate the support we’ve received so far and encourage as many people as much as they can to help us scale the production even further. Also, hospitals need blood, please consider donating your blood, it’s free!”
Members of Troop 223 in Pacific Palisades are involved with The First Great Backyard Campout 2020! on May 2 organised by executive producer Jamie Carmichael and producer John Shepherd to raise money to support Westside Food Bank’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and feed local people in need.
Campers “reserve a spot” in their own backyard, or living room with a sliding scale registration fee ranging from $25 for a “Sleeping Bag Level Donation” to $250 for a “Marquee Tent Level Donation”. Organisers are asking participants to camp out all night in their backyard or living room, with children expected to prepare dinner while parents cook breakfast the following morning.
Campers can set up an individual fundraising page or create a team with other members of their scouting troop, school, faith-based group, club, neighbours or friends. It is not mandatory to be a scout to take part.
Ever dollar raised allows Westside Food Bank to provide enough food for four nutritious meals. The food is distributed via the Westside Food Bank’s 55-plus member agencies which provide food to tens of thousands of low-income people including home-bound seniors, people who have lost jobs or been furloughed due to Covid-19, families with children, college students, veterans and people experiencing homelessness or living in temporary or permanent supportive housing facilities.
Carmichael, the Atlantic Nomad co-founder and former Content Media president of film, and Shepherd, said, “There are a lot of people in our community who could do with some extra food, so let’s do our bit to help – all from the comfort of our own backyards. We’re doing the right thing by staying at home, but with all the health professionals, first responders and essential workers working so hard for us, we wanted to find a way for the rest of us to contribute. The idea is to give families a chance to have fun whilst raising funds for L.A. families in need. So spend some quality time at home at the First Great Backyard Campout 2020!”
Westside Food Bank chief development officer Genevieve Riutort said, “Food banks exist because we can operate on a large scale. Westside Food Bank is now ordering truckloads of food each week, and often that food is out of our warehouse the same day it comes in. Before Covid-19 we could stretch a truckload of some items for up to eight weeks. We expect this level of need to continue for months to come and we can’t keep up this increased distribution without an influx of support. The First Great Backyard Campout 2020! is a wonderful way to engage young people while enabling us to continue our vital service for people struggling to keep food on their tables.”
City Market Social House, VOX Productions and Anthony and Joe Russo’s AGBO have teamed up to support the entertainment industry workforce through food donations. The partners have established the non-profit EventLA, which aims to support film and TV production workers and the special event and live entertainment workforce that have been impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic.
EventLA plans to distribute more than 2,000 weekly grocery boxes to workers who have been laid off or seen their income reduced dramatically due to the public health crisis. The organisation expects to expand the programme with contributions from strategic partners including primary food supplier Sysco Los Angeles, and is actively seeking additional partners and donors that will help support an expansion of the program by way of funding or in-kind donations.
EventLA is accepting money through Venmo (EventLA), or through donations of supplies such as paper (8 1/2’” x 11”), packing tape, masks, gloves, food saver bags, deli containers with lids, Ziploc bags, hats, sunscreen, and lunch for their team of approximately 15 people. Click here to learn more.
TV writer Liz Alper and entertainment organizations #PayUpHollywood, Scriptnotes Podcast and YEA! have launched Hollywood Support Staff Covid-19 Relief Fund to assist Los Angeles-based support staffers affected by the shutdowns.
The fundraiser is seeking to raise a minimum of $100,000 to provide a one-time stipend of $450 or $900 to as many Los Angeles-based support staffers in need as possible. The team will fulfil requests for aid based on the order they are received and the urgency of the applicant’s personal situation. Click here for further details.