Why Runners should keep to the one page CV rule.

It is often suggested that Runners should keep their CVs down to one page. Here are 5  reasons why this is a good rule to follow:

1. Employers will spend maybe 5-10 seconds taking a first look at your CV. One page will force them to focus on your best content in that time.

2.  If you don’t put a limit on the amount of information contained in your CV, you will tend to put unnecessary detail. Sticking to one page makes you focus on the strongest material to include, expressed in the most concise form. How many times do you want to say you made tea and coffee or did the lunch runs on this or that show? Does that Cycling Proficiency qualification really add anything? Or that student film which you loved making but won’t mean a hill of beans to a TV industry Line Producer?

3.  Employers are often not in the first flush of youth.  If they print out your CV (which many of the old dears do because that’s the world they know) you are forcing them into the hell of staples and paperclips. You really don’t want to confuse them any more than they might already be. 

4.  It is not uncommon for more experienced TV professionals to stick to one page. If they can, so should you.

5. If your CV is jam packed with brilliant shows and you have to add another page, you should ask yourself – shouldn’t I be moving on and up by now?

Sticking to one page isn’t an immutable rule but if you are going to break it, consider whether the reasons for doing so are good enough – they rarely are. 

Free, confidential helpline for Film and TV workers

Here’s something freelancers should know about – a new service provided by a great organisation,The Film & Television Charity.

It’s the Film & TV Support Line, a free to use confidential helpine for all workers in our industry to use if they would like support for a wide range of needs, including stress, anxiety, health, mental health, and financial and legal concerns.

The number you can call is 0800 054 00 00 and it is available 24/7. There is more information here and anyone who’d like to support the charity’s work can do so by dropping them a fiver or two via this link.

Worth having a look at all they do – it’s a lot!



Endemol’s Brightbulb internship scheme

It’s that time of year again, when one of the best opportunities comes around for new starters in the TV industry.

The Brightbulb internship scheme is a paid opportunity run by those lovely people at EndemolShine, one of the UK’s top TV production companies. They are looking for 8 junior creatives, specifically people who are into TV formats because your job will be to come up with more of them!

NO EXPERIENCE NECCESARY

You don’t need any specific qualifications, media training or any previous TV experience to do this job but you do need bags of enthusiasm, a good brain and innovative, original ideas.

It’s a three month contract starting on Monday 30th of September 2019, full time and paid at a weekly rate of £400 gross, based in Endemol’s office in West London. If you live outside the M25 and need to relocate to commute for the position there is a one off relocation bursary of up to £750 available to help you move.

As always with these opportunities, competition will be fierce so apply thoughtfully.

Good luck!

LINK to the details and application form

Richard Osman talking about the scheme

Facebook posting

How Much Should I Be Paid?

We thought it would be a good idea to show the minimum you should be paid per hour. Holiday pay should be paid at the end of your contract for any untaken holiday, and on a casual engagement it should be added to the rate.

NMW Rates have been updated as of 1st April 2019

More detail

The government website has more details about working as an apprentice. (Apprentice holiday pay is not shown above as the rate is different from Workers).

See also You And The Minimum Wage

Callum Johnston (aka Common Wisdom). Stone Empire Pictures.

A warning to freelancers and suppliers to take great care when embarking on any business relationship with the above individual and company. 

A large number of freelancers have found themselves seriously out of pocket due to not being paid for their work for this set-up. BECTU have been informed and legal action has started but caution is recommended for the future.

New safety rules for Drones

Dronesafe UK has updated the rules concerning the flying of drones around UK airfields. These rules came into force on 13th March 2019

The government has introduced a new rule stating that the 1km restriction from the airfield boundary is replaced by a restriction using the airfield’s existing aerodrome traffic zone, which has a radius of either two or two and a half nautical miles and then five kilometres by one kilometre zones starting from the point known as the ‘threshold’ at the end of each of the airfield’s runways. Both zones extend upwards to a height of 2,000 feet above the airfield. It is illegal to fly any drone at any time within these restricted zones unless you have permission from air traffic control at the airport or, if air traffic control is not operational, from the airport itself.

https://dronesafe.uk/restrictions/

What Employers really think about runners

This website shares admins with the huge Facebook Runners Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/tv.runners/

We created the group to try to widen access to a more diverse range of new entrants as an alternative to just using word of mouth and taking the last person someone else employed. Many aspiring runners never get their chance, and many still won’t, but the wider the net can be cast the better off the industry will be in the long run.

We were very conscious that employers would be cautious about posting to such a large group, wary of being drowned under the weight of nonsensical or utterly inappropriate applications, so we put in place (and actively police) a set of rules such as ‘only apply for jobs where you meet the criteria precisely’, ‘don’t contact employers about other jobs’, ‘no friend requests or private messages’ and so on.

Gradually more and more employers began to offer more opportunities and confidence has grown over the years, so a few weeks ago we ran a survey to understand what employers and runners thought about it all. It’s worth reading, especially if you’re an employer and you’ve never considered (or have been nervous about) using the group to find new entrants. And it’s worth reading if you’re a runner and looking for a way into this industry.

The survey results are here, feel free to leave your comments below.

National Youth Film Academy (NYFA)

Are you considering paying a fee to attend an audition/interview for one of the National Youth Film Academy’s £1200 (+ costs) “Set Ready” courses?

If so it is worth bearing the following reviews in mind. Every single one of these is from individuals who have paid to go to auditions or been on the courses themselves (and is just a small representative sample of many others):

“I only did the interview and then realised that it was way too much money for what it was offering”.

“I did an online 9 hour course (spread over 3 weeks) and learned more in those 9 hours than I did in 2 weeks”

“I would not recommend the NYFA to anyone who is looking to improve their skill set in the film industry”

“I attended their Summer Course and found it to be extremely unprofessional – all the work and organisation for the course was loaded onto young apprentices who had no idea what they were doing!

“The main gripe really is that we paid a lot of money for very little return”

“I went to their ‘breakthrough courses’ and the staff were awful, rude and disrespectful to their students, the guest speakers were good but the nyfa demanded full ownership and copyright of our films, meaning they have never been entered into festivals or viewed again by an audience, they gave all students a member status on their website but it is worthless and has led to no new opportunities”

“For the money paid, it was atrocious”

“The course itself was very bare bones; Not only were the course tutors not that experienced (at 18 years old, I’m much more qualified than most of them), but I hardly learnt anything! The most interesting workshop for me was for screenwriting, but even then, I actually learnt very little”

I felt it was a waste of my time”

“I was put into a group with 8 other actors, a director, an AD and a writer. My group were missing a producer, editor and cinematographer. Other groups had 5 actors and a ‘full’ team, again when I point out the unfairness of this, I was told they would sort this. They did not”

“The amount of money for this course is dramatically out proportion for the experience received”

“In my opinion, the NYFA was a waste of money. I have not benefited in any way from being on this Course and could not recommend it to others”

“Fairly badly organised and overpriced”

“I would not recommend the course if people have any other way to network, and that instead they could spend half the cost of the course and produce a well funded short with a similarly sized group. Talking with friends from this course, they feel similarly”

“I personally wouldn’t recommend it as it certainly isn’t worth the money and the only thing my daughter got out of the course was to make new friends with like minded young people”

**UPDATE**

And if you have just arrived on this page after reading the scintillating reviews of this company’s offerings on Trust Pilot, you may want to reflect on the fact that, for some reason, fully 50 people within 72 hours decided to leave their first ever review on that site and all spontaneously decided to make it about their experience on these courses. And would you know – every single one decided, entirely independently, to express overwhelming satisfaction!!

Such an outpouring of effusive joy, it’s almost like a miracle.

*UPDATE 2**

And now it transpires that course attendees have been paid to leave reviews on Trustpilot – which does also help explain the enthusiasm on show! You’ll struggle to find mention of this salient fact in the reviews themselves though, which is not only against Trustpilot’s rules but a little shady to say the least…


Peekaboo Global Consulting Limited. Darlington Abuda. “The Accidental Spy”.

Please could all freelancers be extremely cautious if offered any work by a company called Peekaboo Global Consulting Limited or its owner, Darlington Abuda.

Numerous freelancers have reported that they have not been paid for work they have done on a feature film shot in the UK, produced by this company; “The Accidental Spy”.

Please email Mark Watson (derrywatson@gmail.com) if you would like more details.

Peekaboo Global Consulting
9, Animashaun Street
Progressive Estate
Ojodu Lagos
NIGERIA

Cold emailing for work: The dos and don’ts.

Cold emailing is when you approach a production company you have not worked with before with the aim to make a connection and hopefully secure future work. It’s not the most enjoyable task but one that when it pays off, it can make all the hours of searching and emailing worthwhile. Most production companies receive cold emails on a daily basis and while some may have an automated response, many won’t reply simply due to the volume of CVs they receive. The best things to do after sending a cold email are to forget about it and try not to let it play on your mind. If there’s a job coming up for which you could be suitable, the company will be in touch. If there isn’t such an opportunity, there’s nothing more you can do.

There are, however, things you can do to make your email stand out and better your chances of consideration for future employment.

  • Include a clear, concise subject in the email. E.G, Josie Smith – London based Runner.
  • Don’t write in capital letters and never state ‘urgent’ or ‘important’ in the subject.
  • Be brief but give all the relevant information. Start with a direct opening line which includes your name, job role and why you’re emailing them. Follow up with couple of sentences about your experience, interest in their work and availability. Then politely sign off the emailing saying your CV is attached and you hope to hear from them should a suitable opportunity arise.
  • Personalise your email to make it relevant to the company or person you’re contacting. Be sure to include (and spell correctly) the person or company’s name. Explain why you’re emailing them in particular; perhaps you enjoyed their recent documentary on Ch4 or have a passion for period dramas such as the ones they produce, etc.
  • Be courteous and complimentary if you wish, but don’t suck up. Whilst it’s absolutely fine to say how much you enjoy their work, don’t go too far or you’ll appear disingenuous.
  • Do your research. If you are going to mention their previous work, ensure you have the correct information. It would be very embarrassing to compliment a company on a production they didn’t make!
  • Don’t offer to pop into the office to introduce yourself or ask to meet for a coffee. In this instance, when you don’t have a personal connection, it would be inappropriate. If they want to meet you, they will invite you at a time that suits them.
  • With the recent change in General Data Protection Regulations, you must state that you’re happy for your details to be kept on file and distributed for employment purposes.

You may be more familiar with the term cold calling rather than cold emailing. Before the days of email, this would’ve been the way to get in touch with people to tout for work. These days people, especially busy production people, would generally choose an email over a phone call from someone they don’t know. This is particularly relevant when looking for work, where a phone call is often redundant, as the employer will tell you to email your CV anyway. They don’t have time to listen to your skills and experience, they’d much rather read it on a nice PDF attachment. And if you’re calling to ask who to send it to, you can find those details on the company’s website. You might wish to email an individual but the website only has a jobs@ email address. If that’s the case, its likely to be because the company procedure is for CVs to go through the jobs@ email and you should respect this.

A further example of this, and one we advise against, is turning up at an office with a hard copy of your CV. It might seem like a way of standing out or putting in more effort, but more often than not it’s a waste of time. It sounds harsh, but more often than not a hard copy will be left on someone’s desk or put in the bin. Databases and contacts are stored digitally, so while its easy for someone to save your CV or add it to a database, a hard copy is more cumbersome. When someone has already received multiple CVs that week by email, they’re very unlikely to go to the effort of scanning and saving your hard copy.

There are lots of brilliant production companies across the UK and the best way to find them is to start Googling, keeping a particular eye out for companies in your region. You could start with the TV Watercooler Job Sites Database which has details various production company job pages, as well as links to job boards and crew agencies.

Good luck