Published on: 28 March 2012 in Campaigns

BBC and Directors UK Announce New Partnership on Creative Rights

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The BBC and Directors UK today announce the launch of the Creative Rights Partnership, a landmark deal agreed by the two organisations which provides detailed and comprehensive rights and responsibilities for directors working on BBC in-house productions.

As part of this new Partnership, the BBC and Directors UK will collaborate on a number of initiatives which will set out to support and enhance the career skills and talent development of directors throughout the UK. The Partnership will also mean regular high level interaction between the BBC and Directors UK on major strategic issues including Delivering Quality First, programme strategy, talent development, compliance and diversity in commissioning.

Directors UK Chair, Charles Sturridge, said: “The BBC and Directors UK have redefined the creative relationship between directors and the BBC. Setting out a new and powerful partnership that recognises the central role of the director in every programme and every genre that the BBC produces. This agreement ensures that directors in partnership with other creatives can continue to make remarkable, original and innovative television”.

BBC Director-General, Mark Thompson, said: “I’m delighted that the BBC and Directors UK have committed to this partnership which represents a sustainable and contemporary relationship between BBC production and the directing community. We recognise that directors are pivotal to delivering our output and place importance on growing this relationship in an engaging and meaningful way”.

Details of the new Partnership are outlined in two documents – one for drama and one for factual programmes – that establish the detailed roles and responsibilities for directors. These include:

  • Affirming the directors’ copyright in their programmes.
  • Setting out the requirement for advance disclosure and consultation on key creative elements and key production information – budgets, schedules, key personnel, scripts and casting (for fiction), contributors (for factual) – to ensure the director is sufficiently well-briefed to understand the commission and lead the team in delivering it.
  • Setting out the directors’ rights and responsibilities through all the stages of production and post-production, including the exclusive right to make an uninterrupted first cut.
  • Options for the director to create re-versions and re-edits.
  • Options for the director of pilots/first series to direct further series.
  • Rights to programme credits.

Directors UK CEO, Andrew Chowns, said: “We have been looking for a way of defining the role of the director more clearly for the modern era, and for a way of ensuring that the contribution of directors can be properly plugged into the BBC’s thinking on a range of strategic issues. This is a real breakthrough for us”.

Pat Younge, Chief Creative Officer, Vision Productions, said: “From drama to factual, directors are at the heart of our content. I am confident that this partnership provides real clarity to the role and responsibilities of the director for all involved in our production teams. I look forward to seeing in-house production working with Directors UK on key issues as we strengthen ties with this important section of the freelance community”.

You can download these documents, or email communications@directors.uk.com for a copy.

If you’re a member of Directors UK and would like to know more about the Partnership and what it means for you, please click here.

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