This is going to open doors for so many people!
Powerhouse filmmaker Ava DuVernay has been making waves in the industry for a while now, telling the stories that often go unheard and providing opportunity for a whole host of new talent. In 2021, she launched ARRAY Crew, a searchable database for film crew workers that originally just started as a list of 500 names, The LA Times reports. It quickly grew to more than 11,000 industry professionals, becoming a hub for studios looking for workers. To date, more than 900 films, television shows, commercials, and general video projects have used the service to find reputable and verified crew members. Now just two years since its launch, DuVernay has announced its expansion.
ARRAY Crew was created as a way to diversify film and television productions, connecting underrepresented workers with entertainment hunchos looking to hire. Upon its launch, every major studio and streaming service came on board to finance the project. ARRAY Crew has since remained a completely free service for crew members and become a key tenet of DuVernay’s nonprofit arm, ARRAY Alliance. Now DuVernay is partnering with Impact, an online professional network created by Oscar winning filmmakers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, creating the largest hiring network in the entertainment industry.
“We were having challenges breaking into new markets and figuring out technology that would work worldwide. Our challenges are that you have to become a tech company in order to run this as a robust digital platform…What I really loved about Impact is they were saying, ‘We want to make a new system and we want everyone to feel like they’re included. So why don’t you come in with us?’,” DuVernay explained.
ARRAY Crew will now exist on Impact’s platform, with a total of 40,000 active users who will have access to a larger network of 1.2 million entertainment industry professionals. ARRAY Crew members will be identified with special badges and the site will implement a filter allowing people to search specifically for ARRAY Crew members. Right now, the app will remain free for crew, studio, and other industry executives but eventually, the platform will charge studios to pay for the service.
While Hollywood is currently dealing with the writers’ and actors’ strikes, virtually shutting down the industry, the new merger is prepping for the future when people will eventually return to work.
“When the lights go back on, folks are really going to be searching for a road back to normalcy. And so our goal was really to prepare this, to have everything ready. We’re just trying to make sure that we hold that line,” said DuVernay.
Last year Impact secured $15 million in funding. With the company now funding ARRAY Crew, Grazer and Howard said the partnership just made sense for scaling their collective impact. So many people have been shut out of the industry and the trio said they realize that it was by design. Now they’re diversifying the pool and opening up pipelines that they hope will change the industry indefinitely.
“You begin to recognize this insulation is no good for the industry. It doesn’t make any business sense. It’s bad for the art form and therefore it is also lousy for society and the audience,” said Howard.
“The foundational ingredient is that we felt we can achieve this together…but with the potential for a greater impact,” added Grazer.
To join the ARRAY Crew, click here. Congratulations Ava!
Cover photo: Ava DuVernay launches largest hiring network in entertainment industry/Photo Courtesy of Christopher Patey/Getty Images/People