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.”