Applications for Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management are now closed. Candidates invited to interview will be contacted by Friday, 5 August 2022
About the scheme
The Grierson Trust, in partnership with Netflix, is launching the return of its production management training programme as part of its Grierson DocLab outreach initiative. Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management has eight places available to UK-based individuals aged 18+ who want to pursue a career within the production management area of documentary programme-making.
Successful candidates will receive:
- Intensive training (a week online, with two additional days in-person in Birmingham)
- A paid, three-month placement, working on a Netflix documentary production
- Mentoring by an industry mentor
- Continuing support from The Grierson Trust
Taking place online over six days, with an additional two days in-person in Birmingham, the week will involve an intensive schedule. A lead trainer and industry speakers will cover topics including budgeting, cashflows and production paperwork; health and safety and risk assessments; managing and looking after personnel; understanding deliverables; the importance of diversity and inclusion on a 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 placement lasting three months, 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. Each placement will be different, and it is anticipated that they could be a mixture of hybrid working and full time at the production company.
Each trainee will be matched with an industry mentor in order to provide additional support on their journey into the world of production management. Meeting once a month over the course of six months, the trainee and mentor will work together on the trainees’ career goals, with the mentor acting as a critical friend to the trainee, providing advice on how to approach any work-related questions.
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. They will also be invited to the prestigious Grierson Awards, taking place at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, 10 November 2022, 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 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, as well as those who have, for this programme.
A special webinar introducing the production manager scheme was held on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 for those who have no previous experience in the TV sector. Watch the recording.
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 cinematic documentaries, 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 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 to apply.
The Trust has an established track record of supporting under-represented groups in the documentary industry. We therefore particularly encourage applications to all schemes from those from lower socio-economic backgrounds; people with a disability; those from ethnic minority backgrounds and people from the LGBTQ+ community. We also encourage candidates from geographical areas across the UK that do not have many opportunities in the screen industries to apply.
This is not a definitive list and those applying will have the opportunity to make their case as to how they meet these criteria. 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 view 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, plus strong IT and budgeting 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 skills developed whilst working for at least three years.
- 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 22or 23 August 2022, with potential second interviews on 24 August
- You must commit to the whole of the online training course from 17 – 22 October 2022
- You must commit to the whole of the in-person training course from 30 October – 1 November 2022
- You must be available during a mid-November 2022 – end 2023 window for the paid contract to work on a Netflix documentary production
Applications to the scheme are now closed. By 5 August shortlisted candidates will be invited to an online video call interview which will take place on 22 or 23 August. If you have not heard from us by 5 August, you have unfortunately not been successful in your application. Due to the high number of applications to the scheme, we regret that we cannot provide feedback to applicants who are not successful.