Unpaid work experience – your questions answered


 So what’s the big issue?
The issue is that many Film and TV companies are breaking the law with regard to not paying young people the National Minimum Wage where it is due. They will take on someone as a “runner” or “work experience” (using the claim that it is “good for your CV” or “good experience”) and then not pay them. This is illegal. Every worker (with a few minor exceptions) is entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for every hour they work. The current minimum wage rates are here. (This is for short engagements, holiday pay will be paid at the end of a long contract unless you have taken holiday).


If it’s illegal, why do these companies do it?
Some do it because they don’t know the rules (and every employer with a duty of care should) and some do it because they think they can get away with it. The 2005 TVWRAP campaign highlighted the issue of illegal unpaid work in the TV industry which encouraged a lot of companies now to abide by the law of the land. The better companies (like Granada, RDF and Endemol) do not take on young people to do unpaid work, however there are still some companies who risk the wrath of the Inland Revenue by using young people as workers and not paying them.

But what about “work experience” or an “internship” – surely that doesn’t need to be paid?
If it is just “shadowing” or the work experience is part of a course, for a full time student only, organised by the relevant academic institution and is a required part of that course (i.e the student has to do the work experience to pass) then people on work experience or internships need not be paid the NMW. The National Council for Work Experience say this:

“Government legislation in respect of the National Minimum Wage means that UK employers can no longer offer unpaid work experience, unless they are doing it as part of their course”

http://www.work-experience.org/ncwe.rd/ … rs_149.jsp

The problem is that most companies use the phrase “work experience” to cover a multitude of sins. Proper work experience involves training and assessment, agreed goals and a plan – it is primarily of benefit to the young person involved. “Work experience” which involves someone coming in to an organisation and doing jobs is not work experience, it is work. If it is work the person involved must be paid at least the NMW, whether it involves some residual training benefit to that person or not. Also an individual cannot voluntarily forgo the right to be paid the NMW where it is due.

But aren’t these people “volunteers”?
The NMW rules re volunteers are designed to deal with the issue of clubs and charities who may have people who give their time freely and without obligation. Someone on work experience is not a volunteer if they are given tasks to carry out, set hours, set meal breaks, appear on a call sheet or are doing tasks that a paid member of staff would otherwise be doing. That is work, and that must legally be paid the NMW. As the PACT rules state (rewritten after a meeting with the DTI) “A work experience person who…is expected to obey instructions should be paid at least the national minimum wage”.

The other issue is the question of how “voluntary” this work experience really is when every young person who enters the TV industry has to do it as a condition of getting paid employment. A recent survey found that almost all young people have had to do at least 3 months unpaid work before they get a paid job in the industry. That makes the “voluntary” nature somewhat suspect.

Why should I care about this?
Firstly because it is manifestly unfair that keen young people should be exploited in this way, for their labour to be used as a way of propping up the budgets of a TV production company. Of all the people on a production team, why should the youngest, weakest and probably most hard working be treated in this way?

Secondly young people who do unpaid work have to have independent means to support themselves while they are unpaid – that usually means their parents or their own savings. It often means that the less well off are thereby denied an opportunity to pursue a career in Film and Television. Fair?

And one very good point made by others – if companies can get people to do their work for free, why should they ever pay a wage to anyone. That then cascades upwards so the next level up is devalued and then the next.

The inevitable end point – no-one values real TV skills and no-one wants to pay for them.

An exaggeration? You ask the nearest Make Up Artist what has happened to their industry…

Surely that’s the price to pay if people want to break into a highly competitive industry?
Apart from the fact that it is illegal to use people in this way, why should young people have to give their time and effort unpaid just because lots of people want to do it? Should the basic morality of “a fair day’s pay for a day’s work” be compromised just because the media is a “glamorous” career?

Never did me any harm – it toughens you up – you need to be tough in the TV industry, it’s good training.
Listen Grandad the world’s moved on since your day – in case you hadn’t heard they scrapped National Service as well. The “toughening up” argument is nonsense – there are many skills you need to be a good TV Researcher/Producer/Cameraman/Director etc; the ability to generate good ideas, tell a story, frame a shot, capture good sound, prioritise, write good dialogue, manage people, manage budgets, have vision etc etc. Being able to live on fresh air is way way down the list.

OK I’m convinced, what can I do about all these companies who are exploiting young people and breaking the law?
Tell everybody about it – let everyone know who the offenders are right here.

Oh and join the union (BECTU) too – it really is the best way to start your career!

And of course you can also shop the offenders to the Inland Revenue. It’s easy to do (details available through this site). You can do it anonymously and the Revenue will never reveal your name. Or, if you don’t want to, PM me (click on my name) or send me an email (derrywatson@gmail.com) and I’ll do it for you. Your anonymity is guaranteed to be sacrosant – no-one will ever know.

HMRC always want to know about the people who break this law. And when HMRC get interested in a company on an issue like this, they tend to start looking at all aspects of a company’s finances – companies will soon realise it just isn’t worth the risk for a few hundred quid…

Unpaid work in TV is on its way out – we’ve come a long way in five years, let’s kill it for good.

*Edited to update the NMW rates*

Send your story privately and in confidence to MARK WATSON

Unpaid workers in TV – has anything changed?

If anyone has any doubt about how much the landscape of TV unpaid work has changed, see these adverts from March 2005. It is rare to see this kind of advert nowadays without the company being howled down by everyone! (NB Don’t apply for any of these, they are 9 years old!):

1. Runner. Sixth Sense. Contract: 15 weeks 
“Sixth Sense Film & Television Ltd has an opportunity for a dynamic runner based in Birmingham. Working on a network factual children’s series based in a local hospital, we are looking for someone to support the day-to-day filming schedule. 

Duties will include everything from running errands and carrying kit to dealing with production crew and young contributors. 

This position is ideal for anyone who would like to be part of a small production team and experience working on location. 

All applicants must be flexible, as working hours will change from day to day depending on filming requirements. As work is within a hospital environment you must be in very good health, be a non-smoker, and be prepared to complete or have a current (less than 12 months old) CRB disclosure check. 


Position available from end of February for approximately 15 weeks. Payment is in form of a contribution of £140 per week towards expenses.”

2. Runner. Ethnic Multi Cultural Media Academy.
Contract: Ongoing
EMMA Media (Ethnic Multi Cultural Media Academy) is offering successful applicants the opportunity to come and work within our company as researchers/runners. The placement will be full/part time ongoing. We have produced successful EMMA Awards over the last seven years, 2004 was broadcast on the BBC. We also work closely with Saatchi & Saatchi regarding EMMA Award AD Campaigns. 
This is a fantastic opportunity for talented determined individuals to gain valuable experience and insight into the Media industry. Good research and communication skills will be required, experience is an advantage but not essential. 
All payments are strictly upon expenses basis only. 
Only those short-listed will be contacted.

3. Runner (unpaid) Long Way Round.
Contract: 1 week to 1 month
Work experience person needed to help out in small but busy production office. Duties will include general admin, running errands, filing, logging tapes, some research and generally mucking in. 
The successful candidate will be based in London and have good computer skills. No previous TV experience necessary. 

4. Runner (unpaid) Carnival Films. Contract: About 3 weeks
We have a work experience placement available for an in-house Runner over Easter. Duties will include general admin, working on reception, script reading, researching, and assisting the producers and other staff in all aspects of daily office life. 
No previous experience necessary but an interest in TV drama is desirable. 
Accommodation in London essential.

4. Researcher. Leopard Films. Contract: 2 weeks
“Out-going and self motivated people needed across the UK to help find contributors for Channel 4 Television factual entertainment series. Natural Born Dealers is an exciting new antiques show being produced by Leopard Films, (makers of Cash in the Attic, Car Booty & Money Spinners) and a nationwide hunt for participants is underway. If you’d like the opportunity to be involved in creating the next big hit on daytime TV then please apply. 
This will be a 2 week unpaid placement with travel expenses paid within the London area. This is a great foot in the door opportunity!”

5.. Trainee Producer. Vox Pops International. Contract: 6 – 8 weeks
“Fantastic work experience offered for well-organised, enthusiastic and presentable trainee producers to assist on our productions at fun, lively, dynamic company near Epsom. This is a very ‘hands on’ opportunity to film and edit – not a typical runners job. Some DV Camera and Final Cut Pro editing experience required. We pay towards your travel expenses to and from work up to £35 per week plus any other out of pocket expenses while working for us. Many of our staff started off on work experience with us although we cannot guarantee a job at the end of your placement which depends on your value to us and our work requirements at the time. Local car drivers preferred”

6.. Various positions. Carolan Productions. Contract: 12 weeks 
“We require people to work on a range of programming, including a game-show, a magazine style program, a documentary, some music promo’s, 2 short movies, and some TV commercials. The projects are in pre-production stage, we need talented and reliable people in the following areas. 
Presenters – To present the magazine program. 
Camera/ Lighting Operators (with own equipment preferable) – To assist in all of the ongoing projects. 
Production/ Location Managers – To manage the location and filming of the magazine program and documentaries. 
Researcher – To research material for the magazine program and documentaries. 
Editors – To edit, and create graphics for the music promo’s, documentaries, game show, also to create TV program trailers. 
Audio Designers/ Composers – To create theme tunes for the game-show, and background music/ sound for the films and documentaries. 
Writers – We are currently looking to create new and exciting (entertainment, reality & lifestyle) formats, we require people that want to work in a team, Carolan Productions will go on to produce the programs for TV channels. 
Web Designers (proficient in HTML & Flash) – Designers that will work on our website, for prospective clients, and produce Flash graphics for adverts. 
Please send an email (and CV) clearly stating your skill, and if you want a work placement (12 weeks etc) or work experience”

7.. Make up Artist. Endemol Productions. Contract: 9 days

“CBBC at Celebrity Fame Academy for Comic Relief 
Experienced make-up artist wanted looking to build CV in live terrestrial programming. 

The shows will be early morning live programmes and will entail making up our male and female CBBC presenters. 

The job will be weekdays starting March 2nd – 11th from around 6-8am (including a pilot on 24th Feb)

Unfortunately we can only cover the cost of travel but again this is a great opportunity to work behind the scenes on one of the UK’s biggest shows.

Please only apply if you live in the South London area and have a good knowledge of make-up for TV.”

TV interns fight back!

David Letterman intern files law suit against American talk show star

Intern sues TV talk show host David Letterman CLAIMS SHE AND 99 OTHERS WORKED 40 HOURS A WEEK FOR NO PAY ON ‘THE LATE SHOW’
One of America’s most famous talk show hosts is being sued by a former intern – and 99 others, who she claims also worked for free on one of the biggest shows on US television.


Mallory Musallam, 26, interned for four months between September and December 2008 on David Letterman’s Late Show. She accuses his Worldwide Pants production company and CBS (the show’s broadcaster) of violating minimum-wage and overtime laws.

But Mallory isn’t just sticking up for herself. She’s filed a “class action” lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court on Thursday on behalf of every unpaid Late Show intern from the past six years – which means more than 100 interns. CBS has responded by suggesting that opportunistic lawyers are attacking valuable learning experiences for young people keen to start a career in media.

According to documents obtained by Deadline, the David Letterman intern claims that the defendants (Letterman’s company and CBS) intentionally minimized their labour costs by giving work to unpaid interns instead of hiring additional employees or paying regular staff overtime to do it.

Additionally, she says she typically worked more than 40 hours a week but did not receive any payment or vocational training in exchange. (American law is slightly different to UK law – internships which provide a significant training element need not always pay the minimum wage).

According to Mallory’s online CV, at the Late Show she “helped research celebrity guests, dubbed videos, worked on a telephone switchboard, acquired integral information for show content, and helped with any other research-related tasks.” She also lists internships at Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and W magazine, but has only filed a suit against CBS.

The lawsuit is seeking wages, with interest, and legal costs “owed to Named Plaintiff and all similarly situated persons,” a group that the suit claims “is believed to be in excess of 100 individuals.”

The network says it will defend itself against Musallam’s claims. A CBS spokesman said:

“This lawsuit is part of a nationwide trend of class action lawyers attacking internship opportunities provided by companies in the media and entertainment industry.

“We pride ourselves on providing valuable internship experiences, and we take seriously all of our obligations under relevant labor and employment laws. We intend to vigorously defend against the claims.”

Graduate Fog is always pleased to her of interns standing up for themselves. We know it isn’t easy and few of you feel able to do this, for fear of being blacklisted by prospective employers. It is even harder when your employer is rich and powerful, as those who challenged Tony Blair, Simon Cowell and Topshop boss Sir Philip Green know. The US courts will decide whether Letterman and CBS owe their former interns any payment. But, regardless of the outcome, this high-profile case will make other employers sit up and take notice. We support Mallory’s right to challenge Letterman and CBS and will follow the case with interest.

Are you rooting for Mallory? What do you make of CBS’s comments that lawyers are “attacking” “valuable opportunities”? Will more high-profile law suits like this one scare other employers into paying their interns?

From: Graduate Fog

Life as a freelancer

Life as a freelance creative

freelanceJonny Elwyn is a freelance film editor, blogger and author of How To Be A Freelance Creative. Here he shares some of the knowledge he’s amassed during his eight years of working in the industry…

Being a freelancer in London for the past eight years I have learned a thing or two about what it takes to build a successful career from scratch. However the journey of a freelancer can be confusing and difficult at times, especially if you’re trying to navigate it on your own.

It’s a life of uncertainties, but there are three things you can be sure of when living the freelance life:
You won’t work all the time

You will have periods where you are not earning and there will most certainly be dry, fallow, stressful periods. This is okay – it is par for the course.

The important thing to remember is that this is part of being a freelancer. The decision to make is: does this instability fit with the season of life that I am currently in?

If not, it might be time to consider permanent employment. If it does fit, then you just need to be patient and ride it out. The more you plan ahead, save for the times when you’re not working, and be proactive, the easier these periods will become.

Think of it this way, you are now time rich. Invest your time wisely – let your contacts know you are available, pursue your personal passion-projects, pitch to new clients and update your online portfolio – and you will reap rewards later on down the line.
If you compare you will despair

The more you measure yourself against other freelance peers, friends in permanent employment or credits you see on television, the more you will compare where you are with where you want to be, and the more you focus on the gap – the more you will despair.

The important thing to remember is that this is a false comparison. You didn’t have the same opportunities, connections or life as them. You are not them. There is in fact, absolutely no basis for comparison.

Get on with your life, your career and push it in the direction you want. Comparison is a waste of time. Focus your time, energy and creativity into positive movements towards where you want to be. As the Baz Luhrman song Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen) says: “sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”
You have no idea what’s going to happen next

One of the constants of being freelance is that work can come out of nowhere; and unfortunately jobs that seem a certainty can fall away at the last minute.

However, the more you can learn to relax, enjoy the ride and hold things lightly when bumps in the road like this occur, the easier it will be. Part of this light-handedness can only come with experience, with a few rides on the freelance roller coaster under your belt.

This openness to a lack of control over your life can be a tremendous advantage if you keep your eyes and mind open to grabbing hold of unexpected blessings in unexpected places. Be too controlling, however, and you’ll dismiss them as things that ‘don’t fit into my plan.’

So if any of these things resonate with how you feel about being a freelancer, then welcome to the club. You’re right on track as to how life is for all of us from time to time.

As freelance creatives we all have to come to terms with the challenging aspects of not having a permanent job, and when you do, and if you can learn to take advantage of them, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time along the way.
Jonny’s three thoughts on what it’s like to be a freelancer are part of the introduction to his new ebook How To Be A Freelance Creative – a 100-page guide to everything you need to know on how to build a successful freelance creative career.

From: The Knowledge

New pay rate for Multi-camera Directors of £600 per day

From Directors’ UK:

Directors UK Pay Campaign

Director pay rates have been frozen for the last 7 years – this means a pay cut in real terms.

For too long too much money has been spent on management and not enough has been invested in the creative people who make great programmes.

Directors are the creative leaders, responsible for steering productions with increasingly pressured schedules and budgets, embracing new working practices and technology, and acquiring increasingly specialist skills. But while the expectations of the director have increased the pay has not. Responsibility and seniority on set is no longer recognised through production pay structures and working conditions.

The impact

Directors’ pay has been static or fallen over time
Directors’ pay has fallen in comparison with other senior grades
Directors’ pay has fallen in comparison with permanent staff
Directors work excessive hours without overtime
Holiday pay is not properly recognised
Expenses have been driven down or not paid at all (particularly for directors living in Nations and Regions)
Directors as freelancers are not able to obtain work for 52 weeks of the year
The aim

To achieve fair pay for UK directors working in television across all specialisms, genre and employer groups.

The approach

Directors UK is launching a concerted and focused campaign for better, fairer pay for our members. Our campaign will be specific and targeted to improve pay levels in all the different areas of UK production, and benefitting our entire membership.

Emmerdale and Coronation Street pay negotiation

Directors UK has formally called on ITV Studios to enter into pay negotiations on behalf of freelance directors of continuing drama series, in a letter signed by 40 directors of Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

Directors UK CEO Andrew Chowns said: “ITV’s freelance directors on Emmerdale and Coronation Street have not benefitted from the levels of pay increases that ITV has agreed with permanent staff or other freelance grades. Directors’ pay has failed to reflect the significant increases in productivity of directors and their continuing professionalism and commitment to creating high quality programmes for these flagship series. We are calling on ITV to begin urgent talks with us to create a fair and sustainable pay agreement for freelance directors”.

Entertainment and multi-camera rate card

Directors UK has published its official rate card for directors of entertainment and multi-camera shows. The new minimum daily rate is £600 for all directors.


The recommended minimum daily rate for entertainment and multi-camera directors shall be £600 per day with effect from 1st October 2014.
This rate is exclusive of holiday, which must be added to this rate if a director is unable to take any leave.
The minimum rate for directors operating via a loan-out company is £665 per day, to compensate for the lack of holiday pay.
A booking may be made for less than one full day e.g. half a day, but the minimum rate is still £600.
This rate applies to productions in the following genres:
Broken comedy and sketch shows
Celebrity panel and quiz shows
Chat shows
Comedy stand up performances
Music performances
Game shows
Major “shiny floor” entertainment
Multi-camera studio factual programmes, e.g. cookery shows
On productions where the current director’s rate is significantly below the new minimum rate and where the transition to the new daily rate may be difficult to achieve immediately, the production companies and directors concerned are advised to contact Directors UK for further advice and assistance.

London Live gets a hammering

Broadcasters slam London Live bid to slash local content

Channel 4, Channel 5, UKTV and rival bidders have lined up to slam London Live’s proposals to radically reduce its commitment to local programming.

The Evening Standard-operated television station wrote to Ofcom in July to request a number of changes to its licence, including slashing its primetime local content by two thirds – from three hours, to one hour a day. Cutting local repeats and diluting its service commitments were also priorities.

Ofcom invited views from interested parties and has published 20 responses on its website this week. All were critical of London Live’s proposals and most called for them to be dismissed outright by the media regulator.

C4 raised concerns that allowing London Live to change its licence so soon after it launched in March would “devalue” public service broadcasting in the UK. The commercial broadcaster argued that London Live’s proposals “fundamentally alters the nature” of what it was established to provide.

“C4 believes that such a move could devalue public service broadcasting by casting it as a burden instead of a privilege that can be diluted and dismissed so quickly after launch,” C4 said.

Channel 5 agreed with its counterpart. “Such a decision would also send the wrong message to other holders of L-DTPS (local TV) licences and those bidding to acquire them: that it does not really matter what is put in applications, because it can always be watered down substantially afterwards,” it said.

Both called on Ofcom to reject London Live’s proposals, as did UKTV, which said the plans were “unjustified, discriminatory, not legitimate and do not reflect the statutory and policy regime intended” for local TV.

A common theme in all of their responses was concern that London Live’s plans are a nakedly commercial attempt to grow audience share and take advantage of the Freeview channel 8 slot it has been granted as part of its 12-year licence.

Indeed, chief operating officer Tim Kirkman told Broadcast in July that licence changes would free-up London Live to air more “commercially sustainable” content, such as general entertainment acquisitions and, potentially, infomercials. He said the channel needed flexibility to prosper.

But UKTV argued: “Removing several of the ‘PSB-like’ burdens applicable to local TV licensees whilst retaining the ‘PSB-like’ benefits can be seen to amount to an unjustified regulatory intervention in the commercial landscape.”

Local TV bidders condemn plans

As well as criticism from some of the UK’s biggest commercial broadcasters, other local TV bidders and licence holders piled in to slam London Live’s proposals.

Jim Manson, group managing director of the Sir Michael Lyons-backed YourTV, claimed that London Live’s proposals risk damaging the reputation of local TV around the country.

YourTV lost out on the London licence, as did London 8, the bid backed by former C4 chairman Luke Johnson. The latter said that if London Live’s requests are granted, it will seek a judicial review of its licence award.

Guy Hornsby, who helped co-ordinate London 8’s bid, said: “It is clear that, if ESTV’s original licence was sought on the basis of the amended commitments they now seek to make, the licence would not have been granted to them.”

Law firm Fieldfisher made a submission on behalf of Richard Horwood’s unsuccessful London bid, Channel 6. It said: “It would appear to be highly unfair to other bidders in the licence application process if Ofcom were to permit ESTV substantially to reduce its voluntarily-offered programming commitments just a few months after the channel had launched.”

TV freelancers feel they are taken advantage of

44% of TV freelancers feel they are taken advantage of

44% of TV freelancers feel they are taken advantage of

Jon Creamer
22 August 2014

Nearly half of all freelancers who work for TV indies feel they are taken advantage of by their production company bosses.

Research by SPA Future Thinking for an Edinburgh TV Festival session called How to be a better indie polled a group of freelancers to get their opinions on working with independents. Wall to Wall was voted the best place to work by freelancers with Betty voted in second.

Commissioning editors were also asked for their opinions on their indie suppliers with Wall to Wall and Twofour voted the best to work with.

The research showed a less than positive picture for TV freelancers. 77% of freelancers said they had not received any training from their production company, one in five say they had not had the terms of their holiday pay communicated to them.

44% of freelancers say they feel taken advantage of and 42% of freelancers say their dates of employment often change during the job. 36% of freelancers don’t feel valued and their expectations of progression are low. 50% feel that HR issues are not dealt with properly.

Betty’s Liz Warner who spoke on the panel, said she often felt her company was “rehabilitating” freelancers when they came to her indie from other companies. Twofour’s Andrew McKenzie said it was time for a standardisation of training within the indie sector.

The session, and the research, also dealt with commissioning editors’ opinions about their indie suppliers. 91% of commissioners polled said they thought that their department worked well with indies but only 44% said that indies were serving the broadcast industry well.

The research showed that only 36% of shows that were put into development get commissioned and only one in five ideas from indies were viewed as being commissionable.

Commissioners also said that superindies are now dominating leading to an increasing lack of voice and tone. 68% of the commissioning editors polled said issues existed around senior indie managers not being engaged with the programme post sale and 61% said they felt there were issues with poor delivery of programmes.

The session also turned to an increased perception of “rudeness” in dealings between broadcasters and indie suppliers. Betty’s Liz Warner revealed that she had recently complained to the boss of a commissioning editor who had arrived 45 minutes late for a meeting, said they only had five minutes spare before their lunch and then screamed at her to turn off the teaser tape as soon as it was put on. The commissioner was asked to offer an apology by their boss.

From: Televisual Magazine

Antoinette: Pure Directing. Davina Antoinette Julien

This one pretty much takes the exploitation biscuit:

FILM/TV – Seeking Individuals for a Manchester Based Production Company
Gorton, Manchester

Contract type

If it is apparent that you have not read this information, we will not proceed with your application. Certain expenses can be covered by the company, but productions are UNPAID.

We are a Production Company in Manchester.
Antoinette: Pure Directing.

The company has 2 divisions – APD:Film and APD:TV.

APD:Film produces documentaries, short films, music videos and so on…

APD:TV – Launched in July, this division is a Manchester based online TV Channel.

We currently have a medium sized crew (20+) who express great teamwork and communication. They are very welcoming and professional.
HOWEVER, we are growing – I am seeking to fulfil new available positions:
*Executive Director (x2)
*Production Manager (x1)
*Director (x3)
*Special Effects Artist (x1)
*Camera Operator (x3)
Other Positions That Are Currently Open:

*Female Actress x 5
*Male Actor x 2
It is essential that ALL applicants:

– Are based in Manchester.
– Must not be involved within other projects/production companies to which leave their spare time restricted/inflexbile.
– Must have experience within the role they are applying for or a keen passion to be coached for it.
– Be applying for a permanent position. No temps.
– Must have own editing equipment (editors only).
– Are 18+ years old.
– Must have a DSLR camera (cameramen/women only)
– Have access to a Skype account (+ Microphone & Webcam).


– CV must be attached to applications.
– When applying, please state which role you are applying for.

Successful applicants will be expected to have a virtual meeting via Skype and become involved within the company and/or the channel immediately. The role will not be restricted to one production – this will be your role within the company. Therefore this is your role for all productions, including current and upcoming ones (until further notice), as it is a permanent position. Recruitment Introductory Meetings are held every Monday (all day) and Thursday (evenings).

So, if you want experience working with a production company, please feel free to email me and enquire for more information.


Unpaid workers at London Live

Standard attacked for offering London Live unpaid internship as prize

The London Evening Standard is under fire for carrying an advert that offers an unpaid internship at its London Live TV channel as a competition prize.

Graduate Fog, the website that offers careers advice to graduates, has complained about the “fashion happy film competition”, which the Standard has been running jointly with the Westfield shopping group.

Readers are asked to enter short films that explain what makes them “#fashion happy”. The winning film-maker will get a £2,000 Westfield gift card plus an unpaid four-week internship “within the production team of London Live in 2015.”

Hay Graduate Fog has campaigned against unpaid internships in the belief that they are unfair to those who take them up. Aside from the fact that they are not compensated for the valuable work they often perform, they rarely, if ever, lead to paid employment.

It is particularly exercised by an internship being offered as a prize. Of the London Live offer, Graduate Fog says:

“What’s really disappointing is that the Evening Standard – and its sister title the Independent – has a long track record of publishing brilliant editorial that is supportive of interns’ fight for a fairer deal on pay, as well as the challenges facing young people who are either unemployed, or earning crummy salaries and wondering how they’ll ever pay off their debt or afford to move out of their parents’ home.”

Fog’s founder, Tanya de Grunwald, has written to the Standard about its competition offer to say:

“Please tell us it was a misprint and the internship is in fact paid for? The national minimum wage is £6.31 an hour for those aged 21 and over. The London living wage is £8.30 an hour.”

Several people have also complained about the contest on Twitter, such as the one featured here by Hayley Gullen.

NB: I write a weekly column for the Standard


The original story is here – another exclusive by the redoubtable Tanya de Grunwald of Graduate Fog:


Channel 5 making its own shows

C5 to free production arm to pitch projects to rivals

Channel 5 is planning to turn its in-house production division into an independent unit capable of pitching its brand of tabloid telly to rival broadcasters.

The move has been identified as a key part of the producer’s next stage of growth, following its launch two and a half years ago.

5Production has had a stellar year, producing hits for its parent channel including Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole, which has consolidated to average 2.5 million (10%) for its first six episodes.

Other major shows include CCTV series Caught On Camera and the …& Proud franchise.

C5 is now working towards spinning off the division into a standalone company that it would continue to own, but which could pitch and produce for other broadcasters both in the UK and internationally.

It is understood that this process will be pursued once the Viacom acquisition has been completed. 5Production is overseen by Channel 5 chief operating officer Paul Dunthorne and run by head of production Stephanie Wrate, who previously produced series including BBC1’s Absolutely Fabulous and worked for Disney.

She told Broadcast that producing series for broadcasters such as ITV and Channel 4 is part of the unit’s “long-term ambition” to become a self-sufficient production business.

5Production was launched under previous director of programmes Jeff Ford and has so far produced 60 hours, including Jedward’s Weird Wild World, Tesco Mum Of The Year and Wonga-backed Go Hard Or Go Home, as well as Marco Pierre White’s Kitchen Wars, its most popular show internationally.

It will continue to produce long- running access docs for C5 and is developing Dole Town, a spin-off of Benefits Britain, which itself was spun out of On Benefits & Proud.

Dole Town will focus on a specific town rather than take Benefits Britain’s country-wide approach.

5Production has also made more traditional documentaries such as The McCanns And The Conman and The Limbless Mountaineer. Wrate is keen to produce more high-end docs and to work with individual film-makers on new projects.

5Production is also moving into formats and drama-documentaries, and is close to announcing a major new project.

Its push into other genres is being led by in-house development duo Beren Money, who previously worked at Endemol and Tiger Aspect, and former Nine Lives and ITN exec David Arrowsmith.


From: Broadcast