Production Management trainee Kye on her placement and mentorship

Production Management trainee Kye on her placement and mentorship
2021 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management trainee, Kiriem (Kye) Bello.

‘A giant leap of faith!’ That is how I would describe my decision to apply for the Grierson’s Production Management scheme. Having worked with my husband in our family business for over 16 years it was very daunting to be starting a new career in my 40’s

Prior to my placement, in the world of film and TV, I had made a few short films and I organise and host an annual film festival. In all I do, I love to organise, and I love to see a finished product come together well so when this opportunity came along, I had to give it go.

After our intensive training I was placed at 72 Films. My initial interview was with the incredible Samantha Stewart who is the Head of Production at 72. Her background is awe-inspiring, so I was elated that she took me on. The joy about Samantha is that she hires people that she truly believes in and allows us all to flourish in our own rights. I am going to be honest and say there is no constant hand holding, the company is growing far too rapidly for that, but I have not met a person who isn’t willing to help. We are all on the same side at the end of the day, we want to produce a documentary that we can all be proud of.

I started a little back to front, in that my first role was to work on the postproduction paperwork for Rise of the Nazis series two under the guidance of uber experienced Line Producer, Ross Booker. It seemed odd to be starting at the end initially, but it proved quite valuable when we started pre-production and production of series three. I was better equipped to support the editorial team and was able to plan quite far ahead in terms of finding locations, booking crew, sourcing equipment, and planning travel in London, Berlin and Rome. 

My first location role was a studio shoot in Leeds on Royal Bastards: Rise of the Tudors. I had to get the studio ready for a celebrity. This involved supporting the PM, Fi McLay with sourcing equipment and backdrops, getting everything and everyone to Leeds, booking hotels, trains, taxis, caterers, wardrobe, and making sure all our paperwork was in order. It was all very fast-paced but with great planning and a great team, everything ran like clockwork on the day. 

At the moment we are working on the production phase of my most challenging series to date. I can’t say much about the production itself, but what I can say is that I have a newfound respect for production managers and how much they can juggle. We have four sets of kit and up to four different teams out on a shoot in different parts of the country on any given day. The permutations and challenges that this throws up daily makes the job that little bit more interesting and definitely exciting.

I have worked on two development projects and five productions in my year at 72 Films. Each one has been different and has taught me a different skill. I have learnt a lot about myself and have grown immensely in such a short space of time. I also have a clearer idea about the career path I would like to take and what I need to do to get there.

The people I have met have been from diverse backgrounds and dare I say it, I have grown extremely close to my core team. I feel very blessed and cannot wait to see what the future holds.

Applications for 2022 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management are now open. Find out more and apply by 8 July.

Published: 28 June 2022

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