Applications for Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management are now open!
About the scheme
The Grierson Trust, with support from Netflix, is launching a new production management training programme as part of its Grierson DocLab outreach initiative. Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management has eight places available to individuals who want to pursue a career within the production management area of documentary programme-making.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this inaugural year of DocLab In Focus: Production Management will be delivered online over six days. The week will involve an intensive schedule with industry speakers covering topics including budgeting, cashflows and production paperwork; health and safety and risk assessments; music and archive copyright clearances; managing and looking after personnel; understanding deliverables; how to embed diversity and inclusion into the production; as well looking at when to step up to the next level in your career. For those who may be new to the sector, support will be provided to plug any knowledge gaps.
The training will prepare each successful applicant for a paid contract (up to three months in duration) working on a Netflix documentary production. As this is a trainee scheme, each placement will be for a new entrant position, starting in the role of production secretary. Progression can be rapid for individuals who take to the role with the right skillset and enthusiasm. We are planning for the work to be undertaken in person, rather than remotely, subject to COVID-19 guidelines.
Coupled with ongoing support from The Trust, trainees will have access to networking events (held online and in-person), plus professional development opportunities through a programme of webinars over six months. They will be assigned an industry mentor and be invited to the prestigious Grierson Awards, taking place at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, 10 November 2021, to network with industry guests. All trainees will then join the Grierson DocLab Alumni group for continued support through the network.
Who should apply?
People who work in production management are excellent communicators, problem solvers, have strong collaborative skills and are great organisers who can multi-task. We want to hear from highly skilled applicants from different sectors who are interested in the opportunity to retrain. For instance, those who have been in office roles, worked in accounts or been project coordinators from retail, hospitality, event management, manufacturing and local government. The documentary filmmaking industry is facing a skills shortage, and we therefore want to encourage individuals with transferable skills who may not have considered working behind the scenes in television, as well as those who have, for this programme.
There will be a webinar on Wednesday 13 January 2021 starting 6pm with an industry panel, including a representative from Netflix and a production manager and production coordinator. The panel will cover the opportunities available, the skills needed to work in production management, the importance of the sector-wide push to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and demystifying what working in the industry looks like. There will also be the chance for you to ask questions.
Applicants do not need a degree, or experience in the television or film industry to apply, though it goes without saying that you need to have a love for documentaries. This could encompass genres ranging from science, history, factual entertainment, reality TV, current affairs, music and more. Check out the past Grierson Awards, the biggest documentary awards in the UK calendar, to see the breadth of programmes the documentary genre encompasses.
Those who have some experience of working in the screen industries could be applying to change career direction, and we welcome those who would be returning to the sector after a break to have a family, care for a family member or to undertake other responsibilities.
The Trust has an established track record of supporting under-represented groups in the factual TV industry. This new programme continues that focus and we particularly encourage applications from women; people with a disability; those from BAME backgrounds; people from the LGBTQ+ community; and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. We also encourage candidates from geographical areas across the UK that do not have many opportunities in the screen industries to apply. This is in line with the positive action provision of the Equality Act 2010.
Applications to the scheme are expected to be competitive. This scheme is not for individuals who want to follow a creative pathway (i.e., the editorial route from researcher, development executive, assistant producer to director), or views this as a potential shortcut into editorial. To find out more about all the different routes to working in documentary programme-making (also known as unscripted and factual TV), we recommend exploring the ScreenSkills website, and this careers map which compares editorial and production roles, to understand the difference.
- Your CV will need to demonstrate the key transferable skills. These include using initiative, strong verbal and written communication skills, being able to multitask, being able to work calmly when against a tight deadline, great attention to detail and strong IT skills. Find more details about production management skills on the respective BAFTA Guru and BBC Academy websites
- You do not need any experience in the television or film industry to apply. We are looking for applicants with admin skills developed whilst working in an office environment for at least a year
- Applications are welcomed from anyone aged 18+
- You must be a UK resident with the right to live and work in the UK
- You must not be in full-time education
- You must commit to the whole of the Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management scheme (see schedule below)
- You must be available for a video call interview on Thursday, 25 March 2021
- You must commit to the whole of the online training course from Monday, 12 to Saturday, 17 April
- You must be available during a May – end of 2021 window for the paid contract to work on a Netflix documentary production (we anticipate confirming approximate dates by Easter 2021)
The closing date for applications is Friday 12, February, 5pm. Please ensure you have received your confirmation email on submitting your online application.