Putting it all into practise

Yen Yau, Grierson Outreach Programme Manager, March 2017

With the UK’s leading factual indies and top documentary makers enthusiastically embracing DocLab, the Grierson Trust is able to support young people as they take their first steps into documentary filmmaking. Paid placements and bespoke support are just some of the unique benefits of the scheme – but we should let some of the 2016 trainees speak for themselves!

Robert Hunter had no idea how to break into the industry and a year ago was stuck in a dead end job – at times it seemed impossible to turn his passion for filmmaking into a career.

"Few educational experiences are focused on providing real world skills and insights, even fewer can be said to be truly transformative. The Grierson DocLab program is special in that it is both.

“The amazing team at The Grierson Trust - believed in me, educated me, and supported me. Now I have moved from Glasgow to London and have worked with amazing people on documentary and factual TV shows for BBC, SKY, Channel 4 and Netflix. Being a Grierson trainee, has opened doors and given me the tools to succeed. I am incredibly grateful for all they have done for me. I would encourage anyone with a passion for Documentaries to apply for this unique program."

Rowan Ings gained a work placement at True Vision.

“The responsibility I was offered at True Vision was a far cry from my idea of work experience. On the first day I was already logging and compressing rushes, looking at development work and researching. It was extremely encouraging and validating to be taken seriously by everyone who worked there.

“I feel exceptionally lucky to have had such a positive first experience – a chance to learn on the job and offer my own ideas. I’m hugely pleased to say that I have been invited back as a researcher, which I’m sure will be another great opportunity to learn and develop my skills. By supporting us in our work experience placements financially The Grierson Trust allows trainees to fully embrace the opportunity.”

Amy Sargeant had just finished her university course and after successfully applying for the DocLab scheme got a job as runner/third AD.

“I started working full time in the October at a TV production company who make programmes for Channel 4 and Sky. Through The Grierson Trust I was also given the chance over the summer to do a paid internship at Bertha Dochouse. The Grierson Trust has given me great support and help over the past year, I felt as though I could call on them whenever I needed help or advice.”

Dan Laughton’s DocLab placement was as a researcher at Lightbox working on a Whitney Houston film directed by award-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald.

“I am thrilled to have had an opportunity to be placed at Lightbox, working alongside industry professionals I strive to be. Working alongside the production team, I was given the task of creating an easily readable, yet full, accurate and detailed timeline of Whitney's life, and dates relevant to the story being told in the documentary. This was to be used as a first-hand reference for producers, the editor and director. I also created information documents on Whitney's discography and tour dates/locations.

“With multiple top productions on the go, the workspace was creative, full and interesting. In my current career position as a researcher, this will fit nicely on my CV!”

Holly Lubran spent two weeks at Minnow Films with their development team. She is keen to pursue a career in development.

“I sourced locations, experts, pictures, and contributors' stories for different ideas that are in various stages of development. SAS series 2 was in the edit whilst I was doing my placement, and I sat in on a dubbing meeting and helped out with some time coding.

“Spies was also in production, and I spent two days as a location runner - my first job was to look after the contestants. It was drilled into me not to give anything away, which was easy, as it was my first ever shoot and I didn't know exactly what was going on either! Going on both my first shoot and seeing an edit gave me the complete overview of the whole process from idea to broadcast programme.

“After the placement Minnow asked me back to cover for the office manager for a few days. All in all I have had an amazing time and learnt loads. I feel very privileged to have worked on such interesting projects with such talented and supportive people. Thanks Grierson for giving me such a great opportunity!”

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