Published on: 10 December 2018 in Career Development

Directors UK Inspire: Get Inspired in 2019!

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Directors UK is pleased to announce the continuation of Inspire, the year-round mentoring programme for Full and Associate members, which aims to encourage directors across all genres to seek structured support to enhance their career opportunities.

As part of our on-going action to widen opportunities for the broadest range of talent – including those traditionally unable to access networks – Directors UK is keen to accommodate and support this important area.

Often the best mentoring partnerships thrive when the mentee is just one or two steps away from the mentor in terms of their respective career paths. Reaching out to someone who is best placed to advise and support you is important.

This is the second of three deadlines. Applications will be accepted all year to enable as many mentoring opportunities as possible to flourish.

2019 deadlines:

  • 14 January
  • 5 April

Find out how to apply.

We believe this is a great opportunity for directors who are seeking support for further opportunities in their career.

But don’t just take our word for it: Directors UK member Nicola Quilter took part in Directors UK Inspire with director Robert Del Maestro in 2018, and here’s what she had to say about the scheme:

“Last week I joined the TV show SOKO Leipzig for a week, on the block Robbie Del Maestro was directing. It was an invaluable experience working with such a dedicated and talented cast/crew. Robbie holds it all together with invisible arms, charm and makes it all look so easy... He was incredibly supportive and generous, allowing me to direct not just some second unit, but also a two-minute scene with the main crew and lead actors.”

Find out more about how other members have enjoyed their Directors UK Inspire experience, or else scroll down and find out how to apply.

<i>Photo: Nicola Quilter</i>
<i>Photo: Nicola Quilter</i>

How to apply

All applicants need to provide the following:

  1. A named Mentor; either someone you know and may have had initial discussions with; or a proposed name/names who you think are best suited to your objectives (please expand on this in your application). If your application is accepted, you must have consent from your proposed mentor.
  2. Please outline your key objectives and outcomes for this mentoring experience and HOW you will go about achieving these. Please tell us how this experience will help develop your career. We want you to tell us in your application what suits you best. (See below for some mentoring examples) This is a competitive programme and we will rely on your response to this question to make decisions. Please send your full application covering the above criteria in no more than 2 pages.
  3. Your most recent CV.

Please email all of the above to [email protected]. Applicants must be Full or Associate members of Directors UK.

If shortlisted, we will then ask you for a more detailed plan of action and a budget. Directors UK will financially support your mentoring partnership. Eligible costs are travel, accommodation, expenses for food and sustenance, childcare or any other access needs, any costs relating to the mentor (expenses), and access to relevant networking opportunities with your mentor.

Examples of successful mentoring

  • A shadowing opportunity or set visit – maybe a specific production you can gain access to. Please ensure you have permission.
  • Mentoring partnerships that centre on continuous support, whereby you have access to your mentor for general advice, phone calls, emails, and meetings.
  • Mentoring advice for a specific project or career goal – or a safe space for discussion outside of a project or scheme.
  • Meetings and networking at film and/or TV festivals, conferences etc.
  • General support as a freelance director – gathering and maintaining contacts, networking.
  • Advice on changing roles or direction – up-skilling.
  • Virtual mentoring online, via Skype, is valid but please ensure that face-to-face meetings are also planned, where possible.

Training and support from Directors UK

We will be developing guidelines for both mentees and mentors in relation to terms of reference and accepted behaviours. We will also be running advice sessions for both mentees and mentors and these guidelines will be published on our website.

Interested in becoming a mentor?

We know that many directors may already operate as mentors and support those coming through the industry. Being a mentor is extremely rewarding and career enhancing as it offers a chance to pause and consider your own decisions and experiences. If you would like to become a mentor and be added to a pool of directors keen to offer this support please contact us. We can add you to our list and discuss opportunities in relation to this new programme as they arise.

Future opportunities and commitments

Whilst the detail of the conversations between you and your mentor will always remain confidential, we would love to be able to share your experience, where appropriate, with other members and will ask you to commit to some publicity and/or case studies.

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