Over the next year, twelve drama directors will be mentored on one of the BBC’s four flagship continuing dramas (EastEnders, Holby City, Doctors and Casualty), where they will receive a full credit on one episode of their assigned programme.
The shows will all aim to hire directors within nine months for a full directorial commission if the director has shown that they can meet the standards required.
Oliver Kent, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, says: “This scheme will be a vital stepping stone which will bring some exciting new directing talent to our shows. We can’t wait to welcome them on board”.
It is the ambition of BBC Drama, that this scheme will be the first step towards an ongoing partnership with each of these directors and as their careers develop, so will their relationship with the BBC and the wider television drama community.
Beryl Richards, Chair of Directors UK and Chair of Gender Equality Committee adds:
“Directors UK is delighted to be part of the BBC’s Director Development Scheme that moves mentoring support for drama directors into a full directing credit, linked to future employment. It represents a practical response to our ongoing campaign, and is a vital step further in growing proper careers for drama directors who have little opportunity to break through, such as women and black and ethnic minority groups. I would like to see this well planned scheme become the model for the industry to follow, it sets a high bar and we look forward to sharing the learning and good practice that will come out of this work with the rest of the industry”.
This scheme has been developed by BBC Writersroom and is an exciting opportunity for early-career directors to gain practical experience working on continuing drama with the full support of a mentor and production team. It is hoped that, with the continued success of the scheme, a wider, more ethnically and gender-diverse talent pool of directors will start to build and grow for the future – therefore the scheme would particularly welcome applications from women, people with disabilities and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Full details for applicants can be found on the BBC Writersroom website.