We’d like to know what our members think about the skills, training and career development opportunities currently offered by Directors UK. Which initiatives do you find useful? What are we not providing?
Directors UK recently launched its new skills and career development strategy, following recommendations set out and agreed by the Board. This strategy prioritises the career progression of members working across all genres, and aims to help directors move up, sidestep or return to work following a career break.
We’ve identified barriers to career progression – including lack of experience in a particular genre or technical skill, lack of confidence and access to contacts and networking opportunities – and we’ve come up with a slate of initiatives and events that we hope will knock down some of these barriers.
Directors UK is also linking this practical response to our ongoing campaign work, especially around gender equality and BAME representation, childcare and access issues, and the challenges of working as a freelancer.
Increasingly, Directors UK has been collaborating with partners to achieve the above aims. Successful partnerships have included a director training scheme on Lime Pictures’ long-running series Hollyoaks, and the BBC New Directors’ Scheme with Creative Skillset, which placed directors on one of the BBC’s five continuing dramas. Both of these schemes offered directors a paid opportunity to observe and actively participate in the production process, with the aim that they would end up taking full responsibility for directing an episode. This ‘watch one-make one’ policy was also adopted for similar initiatives on Remarkable Television’s Pointless and Wall to Wall’s Who Do You Think You Are?
In 2016 we ran a two-week practical course in Multi-Camera Directing Skills for TV for six emerging directors, in conjunction with Pinewood Studios, The London Studios and Cloudbass.
We are currently managing the High End TV Drama Directors Career Development Programme co-funded by Creative Skillset, and in partnership with the BBC, Kudos, Look Out Point and Carnival.
And this spring, we launched our own mentoring programme, Directors UK Inspire, which aims to link members together and promote new professional relationships.
Directors UK has an annual budget to support these initiatives, and works with other strategic partners to offer practical support. We engage with training providers to assist with specific and identifiable skills and training needs such as pitching and presentation, and CV clinics.
We regularly offer networking opportunities and access to talent managers. We also run events throughout the year which offer peer-to-peer learning opportunities – such as our regular director Q&A screenings, and the annual Directors’ Festival.
But we want to know what you think about all of this! We’re interested to hear your thoughts on the way we have enacted this policy so far, and we want to know your views so they can help shape our future activities in this area.
The information you give us will be treated confidentially and used only for the purposes of improving the services we provide.