Hollywood has few jobs, but these companies are hiring workers idled by the coronavirus

For Hollywood’s workforce, the coronavirus has been devastating. The pandemic has decimated many industries, especially entertainment.

Tens of thousands of workers — grips, actors, theme park workers, ticket collectors, agents and studio executives — have suddenly lost their jobs as the industry has been roiled by the mandated shutdowns in movie theaters, productions and live events and shows. Major media companies such as Walt Disney Co. have announced substantial cuts, deepening the economic fallout for Los Angeles’ signature industry.

Foundations, unions, businesses and celebrities have launched relief funds and emergency food drives to ease the pain for families and help them obtain benefits from the $2-trillion stimulus package. But those relief efforts will go only so far.

Making matters worse is that jobs in other sectors that would normally be a backup source of employment — restaurants and retail, for example — also have disappeared.

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“The problem is there are very few industries that are hiring, especially in relation to the overall demand for jobs,” said Kevin Klowden, executive director of the the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics.

A record 6.6 million people filed for initial unemployment claims in the U.S. in the week ending March 28 — double the record 3.3 million from the previous week. Klowden estimates 100,000 entertainment workers in L.A. county have been affected and at least 250,000 nationally.

Still, as bleak as the jobs picture is, some entertainment companies, especially those in animation, video games and streaming, are still expanding.

Here’s a look at who’s hiring:

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Animation/interactive

Animation and interactive media have been a lifeline for some studios as other film and TV productions have halted. Notably, most members of the Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839) who were employed when the coronavirus hit, are still working, said Steve Kaplan, the union’s business representative.

“The animation industry is lucky,” Kaplan said. “Many jobs can be done effectively at home and so the transition has been relatively smooth, especially during a time of crisis when many studios had to scramble at the last moment to adjust to a new workflow.”

Among those hiring is North Hollywood-based Bento Box Entertainment, known for its work on the Emmy winning TV series “Bob’s Burgers.” The firm employs more than 500 artists and production staff across its studios in Los Angeles, Atlanta and London. It is has openings for about 20 freelance production personnel. https://jobs.lever.co/bentoboxent

Santa Monica based Skydance Media, the production company set up by David Ellison that earlier this week acquired Madrid-based animation firm Ilion Studios, is actively hiring in several areas. www.skydance.com/job-openings/

Independent animation house Titmouse, known for such edgy comedy series as “Big Mouth,” recently expanded its L.A. operation with a new building in Burbank and is hiring. https://titmouse.net/careers/

Podcasting

Podcasting, another area where staff can easily work remotely, also is still growing. One of the drivers is Spotify, which has been rapidly expanding its presence in the space, acquiring several podcast production companies, including Gimlet Media, the Ringer and Parcast. The Swedish audio company has a number of jobs open in L.A. www.spotifyjobs.comLife at Spotify@Spotifyjobs

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New York-based Wonder Media Network, founded in 2018 to create podcasts covering politics, business, and culture, is recruiting in various areas, including production and marketing. https://wondermedianetwork.com/jobs

Streaming

The surge in home entertainment has been a boon to streaming services.

“We’re hiring to meet Tubi’s rapid growth and expect to add positions in the coming months,” Tubi Vice President Valerie Arismendez said. The company, which operates a free streaming service with ads, has open positions at its San Francisco headquarters as well as other locations, including L.A. https://tubitv.com/static/careers

WarnerMedia, which recently pledged $100 million in relief for crews affected by the coronavirus shutdowns, also has open positions in its offices in Seattle, L.A. and New York. “WarnerMedia is recruiting for over 200 positions for HBO Max in the areas of product and growth marketing and engineering as we head towards our May launch,” a WarnerMedia spokesman said. https://www.warnermediagroup.com/ca

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi, which is heavily advertising new shows, recently posted jobs in communications and other areas, according to its website. https://quibi.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/quibicareers

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Streaming giant Netflix, which has a large presence in Hollywood, is bulking up globally.”We continue to hire, particularly customer service staff who work from home to provide support to our members around the world,” a Netflix spokesman said. https://jobs.netflix.com/search

Amazon Studios, the tech giant’s division that produces movies and original series, has more than 40 job openings listed in Culver City, including executive and managerial roles: https://www.amazon.jobs/en/team/amazon-studios. Amazon’s entertainment content database, IMDb, which has an office in Santa Monica, also has a handful of openings. https://www.amazon.jobs/en/teams/imdb

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