Share my Telly Job

This is a great thing – an online community built for freelancers in the Television industry who are hoping to find more flexible working contracts. It’s called “Share my Telly Job” and it seeks to enable people to be put together with like minded folk who want to – well – share their telly job.

There’s an event coming up on April 28th, where Share My Telly Job & Telly Mums Network are joining forces with ITV Loves Talent to offer a night of ‘speed dating’ for like-minded fellow freelancers who are looking to job-share.

So if you’re looking for a better work-life balance, pop along and see if you can match up with someone of the same mind because, as they say on the site, “we truly believe that the more broad and diverse the people involved in making TV are, the more enriched the stories we tell on screen will be”.

Current Job Share Friendly Jobs

And there’s also a Facebook group

Production Base – a warning.

Production Base is one of those sites which charges people to see industry jobs. It is also a site which has come under a fair amount of online criticism of late for their sneaky practice of requiring its members to sign up to a continuing authority to take sums of money out of their bank accounts when their membership elapses.

The reason this has caused some irritation is that many people who have forgotten that they have signed this authority and want to cancel have discovered that if they don’t do so in time they find they have had a large sum of money withdrawn from their account and Production Base then refuse to reimburse any of it even if it is a day after the renewal date and was clearly unwanted.

The company is of course within its legal rights to refer to its small print in this way but, as can be imagined, this has not engendered many warm feelings in the hearts of freelancers within the industry.

A warning then: if you have signed up to this lot, do very carefully check when the renewal date is and cancel well in time. You won’t be seeing any of that cash again if you get it wrong, even by one day!

Or better still, use this tip from an online commentator:

“If you’re concerned a new contract with a company might auto renew, send them an email immediately after committing to the initial contract period informing them you do not want to auto renew the contract, do this through a 3rd party email (Hotmail etc) to avoid claims of email manipulation”.

But also ask yourself this: do you really need to pay out any money at all for the privilege of being able to apply for jobs? Apart from the morality of any company charging people to do that, the vast majority (if not all) jobs are available on the abundance of free to use sites online, including numerous Facebook pages (just a few listed below), the Unit List., the free part of Talent Manager and all the companies that have their own Talent databases.

Meanwhile here are a few comments from some those who have posted online:

“What a waste of time and money”

“It must be the only way they stay in business because it certainly isn’t because of any of the services they provide”.

“Awfully outdated site no customer experience and not even a great wealth of work being posted on there especially if you’re freelance. All of which can be found for free”

“With anything like this, if the option is there to pay by card, do it. Then just change credit card company every year so old payments bounce and they have to contact you to ask for money”.

“I had the same shit. They auto-renewed without any form of notification to me and refused to refund me, despite the fact I’d not used their shitty website for 10 months. #C***s”

“All of these companies make money from people desperate enough to pay to apply for low-paid jobs. I wouldn’t expect scruples”.

“I cancelled years ago as it started advertising way low paid jobs and didn’t look into rates”.

“I too have been a victim of PB auto billing. I can’t be specific to other peoples claims but after some fairly flippant replies from them and a refusal to supply supporting documentation, I contacted my payment provider and said I’d been the victim of an unauthorized payment. They gave PB 30 days to prove I’d authorized payment, which they couldn’t and I got a full refund”.

“I’m stunned PB are still trading. With the number of quality, FREE, Facebook groups who don’t spam your inbox with unsuitable positions, and whose members will immediately jump on advertisers for ridiculously low pay rates, means I simply don’t see why anyone would pay for PB.
I know some people like it as an online CV location but you can get that for free on Linkedin”.

Here you go then: some lovely free-to-use pages on Facebook where you can fill your boots with job opportunities galore:

Runners and new starters in the industry.

Experienced TV professionals.

More experienced TV professionals.

Yet more experienced TV professionals.

Even more experienced TV professionals (and some good chat).

Northern crew.

Pact’s Scotland Indie Diversity Scheme.

* Applications close at 5pm on Friday 20th March 2020 *

What will I be doing?

This scheme offers a first step into the television industry.

It won’t always be glamorous, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to kickstart your career.

You’ll be asked to do everything from getting teas to delivering props. With every task you will be gaining an incredible insight into how television works – and where you might fit into the industry.

Roles as runners usually lead you into the industry in two directions — by reading the accompanying job descriptions, you can learn about what you might progress onto:

What you need to do

  • Be on time or preferably early!
  • Have a can-do attitude – doing everything that is asked of you gets you new opportunities
  • Make sure you are supporting the production – helping them out when they need it
  • Be keen to learn – being a trainee is a fabulous viewpoint to observe how things work
  • Be a good problem solver and have an ability to think on your feet
  • Be organised and know how to prioritise what you need to get done
  • Have a passion for television and the enthusiasm to develop your career

What will I get paid?

You will get the Scotland Living Wage (currently £9.30 per hour)

How long is the contract?

The contract is for six months and begins on Monday 1st June 2020

What training is on offer?

You’ll have a full programme of training, normally on a Saturday throughout the six months which will teach you everything you need to know to build a career in television production.

Where will I work?

There are some great companies on this year’s scheme – have a look at their web sites so you are familiar with the programmes they make:

  • Companies TBC

To apply please fill in our application form.

Fremantle’s Access All Areas programme

Fremantle is one of the largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of scripted and unscripted content in the world. We produce in excess of 12,000 hours of original programming, roll out more than 60 formats and air 450 programmes a year worldwide. We are best known in the UK for shows such as Take Me Out, X Factor, Grand Designs, The Apprentice and many more! We’ll be visiting Stoke-on-Trent, Taunton and Carlisle in February and would love to share this opportunity with your contacts.

Fremantle’s Access All Areas programme aims to demystify the TV industry and bring in fresh and undiscovered entry-level talent to the industry. We’ll be holding a free TV workshop at each of the above locations with industry experts and practical tips to boost CVs.The criteria? It’s simple – all we ask is attendees:

  • Have an interest in TV
  • Are aged 18+
  • Have little to no work experience in the television industry

All those who attend a workshop will be invited to apply for one of four, four-week paid placements held over the summer of 2020 with travel and accommodation included.More information can be found on the programme’s website

and those eligible can register directly on the following links: Stoke-on-Trent, Taunton, Carlisle. Any questions, please let us know.

Many thanks,Yusun Yugire

Vaishali Karanjkar. Roth Productions. Mohan Nadaar. The Bees Production Ltd.

A warning to anyone considering working for either of these two individuals or their companies.

They have recently recruited freelancers to work on a film called
“Rat On A Highway” and failed to pay the fees agreed for the work, despite numerous promises to do so.

As such due caution should be exercised before embarking on any kind of financial relationship with either of them or any of their companies in the future.

Janet Marrett. Kashif Boothe. Mediathirsty Productions.

A warning to anyone considering working for either of these individuals or this company (

This company has recently recruited someone to work on a production and then failed to pay them the minimum wage to which they are entitled.

As such due caution should be exercised before embarking on any kind of financial relationship with either of them or this company in the future.

The mandy network.

There is a site called “The mandy network” which, somewhat hyperbolically, advertises itself as the “number one network for cast, crew and creative professionals”.

It isn’t of course, as anyone who has trudged through the pages of its unpaid “opportunities” will readily testify.

It also touts its services as being “free to join”. What you discover when you join however is that you are actually going to have to pay an upfront fee to apply for the jobs they advertise.

We here at the Watercooler have that strangely old fashioned view that no-one should have to pay to apply for a job of work.  Apart from being manifestly unjust, it means that jobs become restricted to those who can afford to pay to apply, with the obvious social consequences that entails. We regard companies that peddle that kind of nonsense as being no better than the leechy things that append themselves to unprotected bottoms in the high seas.

So our advice if you are thinking of paying for the right to apply for work is – don’t.

All the jobs worth applying for in the industry always appear on free sites such as those you find on Facebook. You don’t need to pay and you gain nothing by doing so. The only jobs that don’t appear on the free-to-use sites are the crappy “come and work for nothing for an IMDB credit” type operations. These are mostly not accepted on the reputable pages as they have no value on a CV and are a misery to work on, usually because you end up working till stupid o’clock for an underfunded, overstressed, inexperienced bunch of hopefuls making what turns out to be an unwatchable and unwatched short film.

In short then, our very fiorm advice is that you avoid “the mandy network” like the plague. Don’t waste your money on it, not least because if no-one pays, it will have to close. And if it does, those jobs won’t simply disappear, they’ll all just end up being available elsewhere for free.

And if you are looking for work, how about trying all these lovely free to use pages instead.

Spectrecom Films

This company has a longstanding and very poor record for failing to pay its freelancers on time. Caution is therefore recommended for anyone considering having any kind of financial relationship with this company in the future.

If you are a freelancer who is encountering any difficulty with being paid on time by this company, please feel free to make contact with the details and your invoice will be paid. Confidentiality guaranteed, no cost, no obligation.

Please note that this company went into liquidation in October owing money to many freelancers. They have reopened under several new names:

Kennington Film Studios
Fortemus Films
Maia Films

Tramp Television
TOA Television

Freelancers beware!