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

Sumners in trouble?

Concern over the future of Manchester post house Sumners

Concern over the future of Manchester post house Sumners

Jake Bickerton
30 July 2014
It has been reported (by Prolific North) that Manchester’s Sumners might be in trouble. Once the doyen light of the Manchester post scene, Sumners has had a forgettable couple of years, downsizing to a point where there are reportedly only 11 personnel left at the company.

Prolific North raised the alert about Sumners after a number of freelancers approached it to say they hadn’t been paid by Sumners, a situation which co-founder Janet Sumner confirmed was true. According to Prolific North, she then refused to comment about the reasons why payments had been withheld or talk at all about the future of the company.

Sumners has recently worked on Young Dracula, Restaurant Wars: The Battle for Manchester, The Mill and Psychobitches.

From: Televisual

Careers in TV for women

Be flexible to retain talent

TV can do more to stop talented women leaving the industry just when they reach their creative peak, says Kate Beal

I grew up with the assumption that being a successful woman with a sustain- able career in television was an achievable normality. My mother Jan Beal started out as a news copytaker in the 1960s and went on to achieve great things in a very male-dominated environment.

I’m not sure my daughter will feel the same. My contemporaries and I are largely freelance and have no long-term career expectations.

After a recent panel discussion on women in TV at a top media university, I was surrounded by young girls telling me of their experiences.They were excited to see a number of female speakers on the panel, but they surprised me in their assumption of a basic division that boys do the technical jobs and girls take on the production roles.

When these girls enter the workplace, thankfully they won’t face the old-school sexism that others have grown up with. Incidents ignored, or seen as part of the job, only 10 years ago are no longer acceptable. The line is clear and women are more respected by their male colleagues than ever.

Young women make great strides in TV and are encouraged to do so. Over the years, formal and informal mentoring of young women has made a real difference.

But it’s not just sexism, everyday or otherwise, that we have to overcome now in 2014 – it’s practicalities. This is where I think the major difference lies between my generation and my mum’s.

It’s a challenge for a woman in her midthirties to have a family and keep working, especially if she is a producer/director.

Our predecessors had staff jobs, maternity leave and pensions. It’s tough to bring up a child amid the instability of a casual workforce with demanding filming schedules – but the peer-led organisation Media Parents can be a great help.

We need more flexible working hours, clearer, thought-out production schedules and job shares. None of this is groundbreaking – we just need to do more. When a woman hits her mid-thirties, she’s in her creative stride. That’s when we need to retain talent – not lose it.

Ageism combined with sexism is still at play. Women tend to leave the industry by the age of 50 and I wonder how much of this is by choice. Over the past 10 years, I’ve watched my mum’s contemporaries have to fight for jobs they are more than qualified for.

Yet despite some of the setbacks, I believe we can make this current television landscape work, and some are already leading the way in suggesting improvements. My mum’s generation led the way too and we can continue to break that glass ceiling to achieve all they dreamed of.

Kate Beal is managing director of Talent TV South

(From: Broadcast)

Media Volunteer


Set up by ex-TV Producer, Lucy Buck, Child’s i Foundation is a charity based in Kampala, Uganda, that was established in 2008 to tackle the problem of child abandonment. We now work to re-settle abandoned children with families rather than them spending a lifetime languishing in institutions.

We are currently looking for a media volunteer to base themselves in Uganda and produce films about our on-going mission.

Start date: Beginning of August 2014 for a minimum of 3 months (please state your availability and intended length of stay in your application)

Applicants should be:

  • Experienced in the field of producing with a focus on directing/producing (PD/AP/or experienced Researcher)
  • Confident shooting with and ingesting footage from a Sony Z1
  • Have knowledge of basic sound equipment
  • Be highly proficient in using Final Cut Pro 7

No driving licence necessary

Current valid CRB check is desirable

Applicants should be up-to-date with all appropriate vaccinations, especially Yellow Fever. More information about recommended vaccinations can be found here:

Housing and per diems are provided.

You will need to fund your own flights and airport transfers, vaccinations and anti-malarials, personal travel insurance, sim card and airtime, personal internet and local travel/excursions.

Please email CVs and covering letter to:

You can read more about the organisation here:

“He Who Dares 2” and other Health and Safety nightmares…

Hollywood’s health and safety nightmare

Helicopter crashes, out-of-control explosions, runaway trains… As accidents on the sets of Star Wars and Midnight Rider show, film-making can be a very dangerous business

Vic Morrow...Investigators look over wreckage of helicopter which crashed during filming of a movie in a private park near Castaic, California on Friday, July 23, 1982. The crash killed veteran actor Vic Morrow and two child actors during filming of scene in a movie revival

The helicopter crash on the set of The Twilight Zone, which killed Vic Morrow and two child actors Photo: AP Photo/Scott Harms

It was the middle of the afternoon when the emergency call came from Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. A 71-year-old man had injured his ankle “in an incident involving a garage door”. Paramedics on the air ambulance sent to ferry him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford were amazed to discover their patient was no ordinary pensioner, but Hollywood actor Harrison Ford. His ankle had been smashed by a door falling from the Millennium Falcon, the spaceship his character Han Solo flies in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Weeks later, any initial suspicions that producers were being overcautious about their star have been dispelled; Ford had broken his left leg. No 71-year-old, however fit, rich and famous, is going to recover quickly from such an injury. Ford is expected to miss at least eight weeks of filming on Stars Wars: Episode VII.

Ford’s accident – involving, as it did, one of the leading men in the most high-profile film currently in production – was bound to make headlines. But many more have gone largely unreported. In fact, it’s the film industry’s dirty secret that accidents – even fatal ones – on film sets are ­shockingly common.

Statistics are hard to collate because most health and safety executives don’t file incidents under “film industry”, but it appears that between 20 and 40 people worldwide are killed or seriously injured during a film production each year — more, proportionately, than in US law enforcement, road construction or mining. (A particularly shocking statistic when you bear in mind that the majority of film employees have “safe” office jobs.)

“Certainly on lower-budget films, we suspect there is a lot of under-reporting of accidents and near misses,” says Martin Spence, assistant general secretary of BECTU, the media and entertainment union.

“Film sets are inherently dangerous,” says a producer of several blockbusters who doesn’t want to be named. “Even when it’s just a scene of two people walking across a set, there will be tremendous amounts of electricity, hot lights, ladders, heavy suspended equipment, power tools and trip hazards like cabling and carpentry everywhere.

“If you’re talking horror or thriller genres where the public always demands more thrills than ever before, you can add in weapons, explosives, chemicals, loud noises, cranes, helicopters. Factor in the constant time and money pressures, the fact that nearly everyone is freelance and working on a temporary structure, and it’s actually surprising more disasters don’t happen.”

A photo posted on Harrison Ford’s Twitter account after his ‘Star Wars’ accident (INF/ Twitter)


The majority of accidents involve falls, fight sequences and trips and slips. The most dangerous work, unsurprisingly, involves helicopter crashes, which have killed 33 US film and television workers (no British figures are available) – nearly one a year – since 1980.

“Film-making is a weird world – a physical and psychological bubble,” says one crew member, who claims he was nearly killed last year when he fell from four-storey scaffolding which had no ladders or handrails and an insufficient number of walking boards, during a shoot for a big studio. He managed to save himself by grabbing a rail. In 2004 a similar accident killed a crew member of 2004’s The Phantom of the Opera.

“For eight or 10 weeks the director’s in charge of cast and crew, sometimes in a remote location, and his or her word is law,” he says. “If he wants people to do something crazy, it’s very hard for someone lower down the ladder to speak up.”


In the early days of film-making, death and injuries were almost an occupational hazard.Between 1925 and 1930, nearly 11,000 people were injured during Californian film productions; 55 died.

During the filming of 1920’s Haunted Spooks, the star Harold Lloyd lost his thumb and the first finger of his right hand when he picked up a bomb with a lit fuse which he assumed was a prop but which turned out to be real. For the rest of his career, Lloyd hid his missing fingers with a prosthetic glove. The same year, actress Lillian Gish lost the tips of her fingers to frostbite while being filmed floating on an ice floe towards Niagara Falls.

In 1928’s Noah’s Ark, 15,000 gallons of water were dumped too quickly on a crowd of extras in a studio tank. Three men drowned, another lost a leg and dozens were injured, including Marion Morrison – better known by his stage name, John Wayne.

Following this, the first film safety laws were passed, but accidents still happened with alarming regularity. During filming of 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Hamilton, was badly burnt during the scene when she “vanished” in a burst of flame and smoke, when the trap door that should have removed her from the explosion was late opening. Her stunt double was injured in a scene involving a smoking broomstick, while Buddy Ebsen, originally cast as the Tin Man, had to leave the production after an allergic reaction to his make-up, resulting in a collapsed lung and lifelong breathing problems.

READ: Worst film ever: the legend of Eldorado

But the public became truly aware of the dangers of movie making only in 1982 when, during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, a helicopter flying just eight metres off the ground got caught in the pyrotechnics and span out of control, killing actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, aged six and seven, who were being paid in cash to circumvent laws banning children from working at night. Morrow’s line, which he never got to deliver, was, “I’ll keep you safe, kids. I promise. Nothing will hurt you, I swear to God.”

Investigators concluded there had been 36 safety violations and the tragedy resulted in a near-decade-long lawsuit. In the aftermath, numerous new safety codes were implemented. Over the next four years, accidents on set fell by almost 70 per cent, although there were still six deaths. While filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984, Michael Jackson’s hair was set on fire by a faulty pyrotechnic, resulting in second and third-degree burns to his scalp and body. After this he became addicted to painkillers, a condition which contributed to his death in 2009.

Since then, the litany of disasters has continued. Several stars, including Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 and Bruce Willis in Die Hard, have suffered permanent hearing damage after firing guns without using earplugs. During recent filming of the third Hunger Games film, Jennifer Lawrence nearly choked to death when a fog machine suffered a “horrific” malfunction.

Jennifer Lawrence, who nearly choked during filming the latest Hunger Games film (REX)

Unsurprisingly, far more at risk than the stars are professional stuntmen and women, with Hollywood recording 37 deaths related to stunts between 1980 and 1990. Since then, increased use of computer-generated imagery in films has meant the riskiest feats can be simulated. But stunt people remain in the front line, with many unwilling to turn down jobs for fear of being blacklisted. In 1995, respected stuntwoman Sonja Davis was killed when she hit her head making a 47ft backwards jump from a building for a scene in Vampire in Brooklyn. Friends said she’d refused the job initially, but then accepted after being offered more money, worried a refusal would render her unemployable.

In 2009, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter stunt double David Holmes was left paralysed after crashing backwards into a wall while filming the reaction to an explosion. Just last month, a stuntwoman began legal proceedings after receiving “severe” burns during the making of Face Off, an American reality show in which prosthetic make-up artists compete against each other to create the sort of prostheses found in science fiction and horror films.

But even more vulnerable are the often underpaid and overworked men and women behind the scenes. Investigations into safety standards on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings franchise and King Kong, filmed in New Zealand, revealed that one model-maker was forced off work with permanent lung damage, allegedly after inhaling toxic chemicals.

Another contractor, who collapsed after ventilation fans failed, claimed he was “harassed about unfinished work” when he came in the following day.

Most at risk are cameramen and women, who are usually closest to the action but with little of the protective gear afforded actors and stunt people. In February this year, 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed while filming for Midnight Rider, a biopic of singer Gregg Allman, starring William Hurt. The accident happened during a dream sequence filmed on a railway bridge; with no warning, a freight train approached. Cast and crew ran for their lives but Jones, known for her indefatigability, was mown down, apparently as she tried to rescue equipment.

Hurt, who quit the movie, recalled in an email leaked to the Los Angeles Times how he’d previously asked the producers “how long the crew had to get off if by some impossible chance another train came”, and was told 60 seconds. “I said, ‘Sixty seconds is not enough time to get us off this bridge.’ There was a communal pause. No one backed me up. Then, we… just went ahead.” Then the train came. “We didn’t have 60 seconds; we had less than 30.”

Jones’s parents, who lobbied successfully on social media for her death to be acknowledged at the Oscars, where many attendees wore black ribbons on their lapels in her memory, said she had confided she was worried about her superiors’ inexperience. In a letter to the American Society of Cinematographers, Jones’s father wrote: “The industry apparently needs safer film sets, which… needs to start with a rediscovery of its spirituality… If the people in charge of Midnight Rider had properly regarded the lives they controlled on February 20, would they have placed them on that railroad trestle without proper safety measures?”

The producers are now facing multiple lawsuits from Jones’s parents, as well as other cast and crew members, alleging, among other charges, that they had not secured permission to film on the track, but concealed this fact from the rest of the cast and crew. Also being sued is Gregg Allman, who insists he had nothing to do with choosing the train-track location and who had begged producers (eventually successfully) to abandon the film after Jones’s death. Midnight Rider’s director, producer and production manager have now been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and could face up to 10 years in jail.

Naturally, all big studios insist that safety is paramount. “It’s our first priority; we have a safety meeting every single day and insurance people are always on set saying: ‘You can’t do this’, or ‘Try this another way’,” says one producer.

“It’s far cheaper to carry out advance checks than to risk a multimillion-dollar lawsuit or insurance premiums tripling. Everyone on set is always telling each other: ‘This is a hot spot’; ‘Watch your back.’ Assistant directors, who are mainly in charge of safety, get very angry with anyone who, for example, is fooling around during a stunt, and ban them from set.”

Despite this, many crew members tell of safety concerns being overlooked, with all but the most powerful afraid to speak out. “I complained about safety standards with my manager and he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the shoot, probably because he was covering his own back,” says the crew member who fell from scaffolding. “This was last year and since then I haven’t worked. In an industry where nearly everyone is self-employed you daren’t stick your neck out.”

“It’s absolutely true that the nature of freelance employment means no one wants to be a troublemaker,” says Martin Spence. “But, in my experience, those who do stand up and say ‘No’ gain a lot of credibility. There are idiots out there, but there are also decent producers, who will respect that.”


Recently, a video went viral from the British set of a low-budget film He Who Dares 2. It appeared to show a flying door narrowly missing an actress after an explosion. Message boards were filled with anonymous posts from film workers describing similarly dangerous incidents they’d experienced or witnessed, not to mention numerous complaints about low or no pay, and appalling working conditions.

“I can’t stress enough how quickly things can go wrong on a set,” wrote one. “People constantly get hurt, when everyone is doing their best to create a safe environment. When someone, especially higher-ups, decide to be reckless it becomes like playing Hacky Sack with a bag of unstable chemicals.” The film’s producer promptly had his lawyers take the clip down, and reportedly threatened crew members tempted to talk with legal action.

In the UK, BECTU is concerned by a proposed parliamentary bill that would leave most self-employed people, including those in the film industry, completely uncovered by any health and safety regulations.

“Right now [the Health and Safety Executive] virtually never makes proactive spot checks on set,” says Spence. “I’m sure they’d like to but they don’t have as many inspectors as they’d need. The only time they visit is when there’s been a near miss or some other incident.”

While some crew members demand statutory shorter hours, others rely on overtime earned during long days. Others worry that lobbying for tighter regulations will ­simply result in even more filming being outsourced abroad. “Already no one wants to shoot in the US, because it’s so unionised and overtime rates are so high,” says one director.

On some occasions, budget restraints have forced actors to perform stunts themselves. In 1988, British actor Roy Kinnear died after falling from a horse in The Return of the Musketeers. Kinnear, 54, expected a double to be used for the riding sequences but, at the last minute, he wrote to his wife, Carmel: “Oh, gosh, darling. I’ve been called on to do a stunt.”

Brandon Lee, who was killed while filming The Crow (REX)

“Actors are inclined to take undue risks with their lives,” Carmel said later. “They are frightened. Time is money. They don’t want to hold production up. They don’t want to look silly in front of other people.” The film’s director, Richard Lester, whose credits included Superman II and A Hard Day’s Night, was so distressed he retired from film. The movie, however, was still released.

Indeed, no matter how tragic the fallout, the show nearly always goes on. Actor Brandon Lee died aged 28 while filming The Crow in 1993, when he shot himself with a gun meant to fire blanks. The film’s firearms expert had earlier been sent home. Filming continued, with Lee’s fiancée’s and mother’s blessing, using a stunt double, and it became a cult hit – in part because of the ghoulish associations.

The Twilight Zone movie was released to mixed reviews and only modest financial success. Its director, John Landis, who was eventually cleared of involuntary manslaughter, went on to direct hits such as Trading Places and Coming to America. (The courtroom was especially charged – at one point the prosecutor hissed “murderer” at Landis as he walked past.) But the film’s co-producer Steven Spielberg ended a long friendship with him, saying the accident “made me grow up a little more” and left everyone who worked on the movie “sick to the centre of our souls… No movie is worth dying for.”

At Pinewood, concern about Ford’s health coexisted with worry about the millions of dollars potentially at stake if the shoot was delayed for lack of its biggest star. Some speculated Ford would be filmed from the waist up, and, in the meantime, producers frantically altered schedules to keep filming on time.

“The phrase you hear all the time is, ‘Just get the job done’,” says the man who survived the scaffolding fall. He has had only one safety briefing in five years of working on big shoots. “I nearly died on a huge-budget movie but there was no, ‘How are you?’ just, ‘How soon can you be back at work?’ It’s showbusiness; the cameras don’t stop turning for anything.”

Executive Producer, Director and Producer face criminal charges over Health and Safety

Gregg Allman film: Director charged over crew death

Randall Miller Director Randall Miller was present at the accident in February, and was pulled to safety by fellow crew members

The director of a biopic about singer Gregg Allman, and two of the film’s producers, are facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

It follows a fatal train crash on the film’s set in south east Georgia in February, which led to the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.

A grand jury charged Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish on Thursday.

Jones, 27, was hit by a train on the first day of filming Midnight Rider.

Seven other crew members were injured in the incident, which saw the camera assistant fatally struck after the crew placed a bed on the railway tracks in Doctortown while filming a dream sequence.

It is understood the crew were expecting two local trains to pass through, but a third had arrived unexpectedly. A warning whistle was blown, but they had less than a minute to remove the bed from the track.

Musician Gregg Allman The biopic was based on musician Gregg Allman’s autobiography My Cross to Bear

Miller, Savin and Sedrish are each charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass, according to a statement from local district attorney Jackie Johnson.

The prosecution alleges film-makers had “unlawfully and without authority” entered onto the railway tracks “after receiving, prior to that entry, notice from the owner thereof that such entry was denied”.

It remains unclear whether the crew had permission to be on the tracks. Local police investigators say they did have permission to be on property nearby.

The manslaughter charges against the film team could bring a possible sentence of 10 years in prison under Georgia law.

William Hurt William Hurt, who was to star as Allman in the film, pulled out after the train accident

In a statement, Jones’s father, Richard, said: “[My wife] and I are comfortable that the authorities were both careful and meticulous in investigating and bringing charges related to the incident that took our daughter’s life.

“We must allow the criminal justice process to proceed unhindered. Our mission remains the same: to ensure safety on all film sets. Safety for Sarah.”

In May, Jones’s parents sued the director, producers and other entities affiliated with the film including musician Allman.

The civil case claims film-makers “selected an unreasonably dangerous site for the filming location” and failed to take actions to adequately protect the crew.

Filming on Midnight Rider was suspended in the aftermath of the train tragedy, and actor William Hurt – who was due to play Allman – pulled out of the production


(From: the BBC)

Televisual: 63.9% of jobs in film and TV are held by men, 36.1% by women

Creative industry jobs on the rise, says DCMS

Creative industry jobs on the rise, says DCMS

Tim Dams
30 June 2014
Employment within the UK creative industries has increased five times faster than the national average, according to new figures published by the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

The DCMS’ Creative Industries: Focus on Employment report says that there were 1.71m jobs in the creative industries in 2013, an increase of 10.1% since 2011.

The creative industries now account for around 1 in 18 jobs, or 5.6% of all jobs in the UK in 2013.

Almost a third of creative industry jobs are based in London, according to the report.

One in every ten job held by graduates in the UK is in the creative industries. The film and TV sector has the highest proportion of graduates in the creative industries, with 56.5% holding a degree or equivalent.

63.9% of jobs in film and TV are held by men, 36.1% by women.

The report found that a lower proportion of jobs in film and TV were filled by people in the BAME group (8.6%) than in the rest of the UK economy (10.1%).

(From: Televisual mag)

Broadcast: Young women leaving television

Hunt ‘devastated’ by young women leaving television

Jay Hunt has made a plea for young women to persevere in the television industry, adding that she was “devastated” by the number leaving the sector.

The Channel 4 chief creative officer was the guest speaker at High Flyers, the ROAR Global and Cole Kitchen networking event for under-30s.

She told the room: “One of the things I find devastating is the number of women your age leaving the industry, and how many people think: ‘I can’t make it work’. I would encourage all women in the room particularly: please don’t give up.

“It’s massively important to us as a sector that you stay and you keep regarding this as something you can do and can square with a family life.”

Hunt added that it was a “tough industry” for young people in general, but encouraged the room to “stay committed” as persistence would open the doors to a “very big prize”.

That prize, she said, was the opportunity to break into a sector that was becoming “less complicated”.

“I feel you’re in a great place. You only have to look at how the whole sector is blowing up. I think what will happen, and what is happening now, is what you’re watching content on is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It’s all about the quality of content.”

The C4 exec, who joined from the BBC in 2011, stressed the importance of “taking risks”, adding that opportunities to “move sideways” gave her a chance to broaden her experiences and carve out a “luxurious career”.

Hunt said: “The greatest joy you will have from this industry is from taking punts on things you believe in. You’re just as likely to succeed by doing something crazy as you are doing something familiar.”

During the Q&A sector of the event, Hunt was questioned about the ethics of programme titles, specifically Love Productions’ controversial series Benefits Street.

She said that she “subscribed to a greater good argument” and believed the series shone a light on an important topic in modern Britain.

“The show consolidated to 6 million, which for C4 was extremely extraordinary and profound, and got people talking about the underbelly of society. It got people to think about the inequality gap and got us talking about benefits in an important year in the run up to the general election.

“Do you think if we called it Community Street or What It’s Like To Be Poor, anyone would want to watch it? No. Great public service television has got to be sold to an audience.”

(From Broadcast Mag)

GEITF: How to be a Better Indie Survey


19th June 2014

Calling all Freelancers!

Do you want your voice heard?

This freelancer survey aims to highlight the best and worst practices in the independent sector and will form part of a major session at this year’s Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival.

Your views will be discussed in a session entitled How To Be A Better Indie, taking place in Edinburgh on August 22nd and I would encourage you to take this opportunity to have your say and be part of this very important debate.

The deadline for submissions is FRIDAY 27th JUNE, so please return your surveys to us ASAP!

Take the anonymous survey here

We want to know where you enjoy working, which company has the best working conditions and where you feel most valued. Responses will be fielded directly to independent research company SPA Future Thinking, with replies remaining strictly anonymous.

We want to continue to make change within the industry, by exploring how to improve the way independent production companies work with freelancers, but we can only do this with your help!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours sincerely,

Lisa Campbell

Festival Director, Edinburgh International Television Festival



CV Writing Tips

If you are finding it difficult to write your CV for the TV/Film production industry – here are some starting tips of what to include pasted below. Downloadable pdf for your reference attached – TV CV writing tips


This list is designed as some pointers to get you started and is in no way exhaustive.

Before you start – it is worth considering if it more useful to have a number of CVs for different job roles. Each one must be consistent in style but make easy reading for an employer in whichever industry you are working. E.g. have one as a TV Runner and another as a web designer (although in that specific instance it would be useful to list your html skills in your TV CV).

* Call your CV filename ‘ YOUR NAME – YOUR JOB TITLE – YEAR‘ so that employers can easily find you if they save it in a folder.

* Put your full name, no nicknames. Then your location (rather than your full address, it’s better for posting in social media), email and your mobile at the top (ensure your email address is appropriate and NOT or similar),

* Put your job title at the top near your name. Employers want to know what you do very quickly and will spot it straight away.

* A personal statement should be a short paragraph. 2 or 3 lines on who you are, what you do and your current skills. Genre experience is also helpful. (Learn the difference between what is a genre and what is a technical format…)

* Next do some bullet points of your key skills e.g.
• Fluent French and German language skills
• Confident shooter using [name types of camera]
• Basic FCP / digitizing
• Live Studio & O.B experience
• Archive clearance

* Now list your credits (a ‘credit’ is just something you’ve worked on, and nothing to do with an on-screen credit). Each one should have the same format and should detail the following in bold to be easily scanned by an employer:

List your credits like this, starting with the most recent:
Production Name | Prod. Co. for Broadcaster | 
Your Role
One line is sufficient to describe the programme and include the broadcaster. 2 lines description max.

* If you are relatively junior, you could briefly mention tasks that were delegated to you by a more senior person.

* Keep all your TV work together and list anything else you think could be useful in an ‘other employment’ section after your TV work if you feel this is supportive.

* If you have credits on adverts or promos – list the brands or bands

* Briefly list your education. Bullet points are best.

* Any relevant training should go last right at the bottom and you should list exactly which course you completed and the date. So find out the name and governing body of the course. First Aid, Health & Safety, Hostile Environment courses are as important as technical equipment training.

* You can list your references if you want to. Be sure to ask the person whose details you will be including BEFORE you do this. Also, if you provide them as a reference in an interview, be sure to tell them before the potential employer actually calls them!

*IMPORTANT: In consideration of new GDPR data protection regulations, Talent Managers across the industry are requesting that CVs should include a statement of consent permitting them to continue handling them in the traditional way. Without explicit permission they will not be able to pass on your CV without coming back to you for further consent. Add this or similar text to your footer:

GDPR Statement: This CV may be kept on file and distributed for employment purposes

* Your CV should be around 2 pages long. One page if you are a Runner and no more!

*Check your spelling and grammar. Do not write “drivers license”, it is incorrect. Use these words: “driving licence”.

*Do not combine your student film making experience with your professional work.

*Name your CV . Give it your name and your job title. Do not say you are a Producer or Director or Editor if you are a Runner. If you are a runner, the PM wants to see your running experience, they are not interested in your producing or directing experience.

*Always write something in the email when you send your CV in application for a job. If you can’t be bothered writing to say what job you are applying for and why, they may well not bother opening the attachment!

*Be straight. Be honest. Do not big yourself up; it will not get you the job and you will be found out!


Creating a cover email