Joe Gaffney. Jermaine Pinnock. Root2Fruit Media.

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

Please note that a considerable number of people have recently been left unpaid after working on a production for Joe Gaffney, Jermaine Pinnock and Root2Fruit Media (https://root2fruitmedia.co.uk/) and that due caution should be exercised before embarking on any kind of financial relationship with either of them or this company in the future.

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

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.

Top Tips for finding work experience in the TV industry

Shona Galloway wants to share with Watercooler users her experiences looking for work experience in TV as a new starter. Here’s what she has to say, and if you’d like to write an article yourself  about your own experiences, you can send it via the contact page…

A quick guide to securing a work experience placement in the TV sector. All from the perspective of someone who has been through it and come out the other side, after gaining experience working with BBC1, CBBC, and Channel 5.

1. Do Your Research
When looking at companies to get work experience from, research the type of programmes each company makes in order to tailor your CV and covering letter accordingly. For example, Boomerang mainly produces factual entertainment documentaries. Knowing this, you can brush up on your knowledge on what type of content comes under the ‘factual entertainment’ category, and what that specific company has just finished making.
It is important to try and find work experience with a variety of TV production companies, who each produce different styles of television. An employer looking at a CV from someone with work experience in Live TV, Dramas, and Documentaries is more likely to employ you than someone who just has experience in TV News.

2. Be Persistent
It happens to everyone – rejection. You could contact 30+ production companies and have one response back. However, it only takes one yes to make it worth it. That work experience ‘yes’ could lead to your first job, or it could provide you with skills to put onto your CV that you wouldn’t be able to learn outside of industry.
There is also nothing wrong with a follow up email on a work experience query. If you still haven’t heard back from anyone a month after contacting them, a follow up email to the right person at the right time could not only secure you the work experience, but would show them that you are determined and focused on securing the work experience.

3. Your CV
TV Production Companies receive hundreds of CVs from people wanting to do work experience, which means your CV needs to make them want you to come in. Most employers will tell you that they only really read the first page of your CV. This is why it is vital that the first piece of paper they pick up clearly shows what skills you already have, what previous experience you have in TV or in work in general, and who exactly it is YOU are. It also goes without saying that your email address and contact number need to be correct and clear at the top of the page. If you are at university, make sure you don’t use your university email as employers could get in touch with you in the future after you have graduated. By that time, you may not have checked your email in weeks (or even at all.)
Name the document your CV is as ‘[YOUR NAME] CV for [NAME OF PRODUCTION COMPANY]. This way they can find your CV quickly and easily amongst other work experience CVs that are just literally named ‘CV’.

4. Your Cover Letter
This is where your research comes in. In your cover letter, talk to them about which programme they’ve recently made that you’ve enjoyed. Make sure you actually watch the programme you talk about to avoid any awkward situations in an interview.

It’s also important to talk about what can you do for them as oppose to what can they do for you. They will like that you are taking the initiative to stand out from the usual crowd of work experience cover letters, and they will certainly be more likely to take you on. Always try and identify who to address the cover letter to. It looks a lot more professional and personal for the receiver to see their name after ‘To’, rather than the name of the production company.

5. Think Outside the Box
Try and think of other non-conventional ways to get in contact about work experience opportunities. Networking events are a great way to meet people in the TV industry. RTS Futures hold an annual event for young people who want to kick- start their careers in TV in locations all over England. Dozens of representatives from production companies are on hand to give advice, exchange contact details and to promote themselves.
Don’t be afraid to contact an individual from a production company, express an interest in what they do, and ask to go for a coffee to talk about their job. If the meeting goes well, it effectively sets you up with a contact in that company for future reference. Having that contact will make it much easier to attain work experience, as they would have already met you and will already like you. [* but don’t make a nuisance of yourself or be surprised if you get no reply. The Cooler]

6. Call Don’t Email
Work experience emails can undoubtedly get lost in the daily burst of work related emails. Calling the production company will instantly make you memorable. It also shows to them that you are confident on the phone, and they will normally pass you on the email address of the most relevant person to help you.

By Shona Galloway

Thank you Shona. For further advice on preparing your CV take a look at our post CV Writing Tips

Worked as a Runner on Britain’s Got Talent or The X Factor?

Have you ever worked as a Day Runner on Britain’s Got Talent or X Factor? If so you may well be due holiday pay for the work you did on these two shows.

Thames are now aware that many people will have been promised holiday pay and never received it as they should have. Dean Jones (Director of Production) has said that anyone who now wants to receive this pay should write to the company with details of the work they did and Thames will address this for them (email address: dean.jones@thames.tv). There is also a firm commitment from the company that no-one will be penalised as a result of asking for this holiday pay as it is their legal entitlement.

The company has also committed to pay holiday pay to every runner who works for the company in the future and has also committed to endeavour to treat people fairly on these productions in the future.

This message has been approved by the company at the highest level.

Any questions, ask Mark on derrywatson@gmail.com.