ScreenSkills’ prestigious Series Producer Programme returns for fourth year

The ScreenSkills programme that has developed a strong track record in training new series producers opens for applications this month. 

The Series Producer Programme returns for a fourth year after previously training 64 delegates, many of whom have gone on to award-winning success in the television industry.

The Series Producer Programme returns for a fourth year after previously training 64 delegates, many of whom have gone on to award-winning success in the television industry.

The prestigious year-long programme is designed to give delegates the knowledge, skills and network to make the move from producer to series producer with confidence and to develop the next generation of showrunners who will become the cornerstones of UK television.

Twenty new delegates will be recruited for 2019. Applications are encouraged from under-represented groups, particularly those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or with a disability and from across the UK as ScreenSkills is strongly committed to finding and developing talent out of London and to building a more inclusive workforce.

Programme Manager Donna Taberer said: “The series producer is a critical role on any production. But it is also an incredibly tough role. I’m thrilled we have the backing from ScreenSkills’ TV Skills Fund and the broadcasters to run this invaluable programme for a fourth year.

“The Series Producer Programme has a great reputation throughout the industry and gets results. I’m delighted we can continue to support producers as they step up to series producers in 2019.”

Criteria

The programme is open to new or aspiring series producers who are experienced producers with a minimum of three years’ experience at producer/director level in factual, features, specialist factual, factual entertainment or entertainment TV in the UK.

Application dates

The Series Producer Programme 2019 will be open for applications from 20 November until midday 8 January 2019. The application will be via the ScreenSkills website at www.screenskills.com/seriesproducer

No applications will be accepted after this time. Selected candidates will be interviewed in February and all informed of results by March when the first block of training will commence. The programme manager is available for one-to-one conversations about the programme and process. She can be contacted at TVSP@screenskills.com.

Cost

  • London delegates £1,500
  • Out-of-London delegates £1,200
  • Bursaries available on request.

Track record

The programme has run for the past three years. Three-quarters of delegates have already made the move to series producer, four have become executive producers, four heads of development and three have been promoted to commissioner. One delegate is now the Channel Executive for BBC One.

This year’s intake is 40% from outside London with five delegates working in Scotland. From 107 applications, 24 delegates were selected following a rigorous recruitment process. The delegates continue in their day jobs while on the programme.

They work across a broad range of genres including specialist factual, factual, obs docs, docs, fact ent, popular factual, entertainment, reality, children, current affairs, rigs, features and constructed reality.

The programme offers participants:

  • Unrivalled training delivered by industry experts (approximately 14 days)
  • Inspirational masterclasses with broadcasters
  • Mentoring by commissioners
  • Continuous one-to-one support, career advice and coaching
  • Behind-the-scenes insights at broadcasters
  • Bespoke development
  • Discounted entry to selected festivals and industry events
  • Networking and a cohort of supportive colleagues

The training delivered via workshops and masterclasses includes:

  • Developing, pitching and selling innovative new content
  • Storytelling and scripting
  • Leadership essentials – how to recruit and lead diverse teams
  • Budgeting and scheduling
  • Engaging with new audiences, new technologies and new platforms
  • Digital and social media
  • Setting a vision and leading teams with confidence to deliver that vision 
  • Resilience and mindfulness
  • Unconscious bias
  • Presentation and public speaking
  • Crisis management and media handling
  • Negotiating and influencing
  • Legal and editorial compliance

What programme alumni – and their bosses – say about the programme

Charlotte Smith, Channel Executive, BBC One: “The Series Producer programme was just what I needed to springboard me back to work after my second baby. It gave me great insight, fantastic networking opportunities and an invaluable new peer group.”

Victoria Musguin-Rowe, Development Executive and Series Producer, Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation: “Applying for the series producer scheme has been, to date, the single best career decision I have made. In a predominately freelance industry, it has been hugely beneficial to finally receive some formal professional training. Not only do I feel more equipped to series produce, it's also helped instil a new-found confidence in my decision-making.

“The routine sessions with broadcasters have drastically expanded my professional network, helping me move quickly up the career ladder into my desired roles. The one-to-one support from the mentors and the course trainers has been invaluable. They have been a continuous source of professional and emotional guidance since starting the scheme.

“I have also gained an incredibly friendly and supportive new network of fellow SPs, who I have frequently turned to in times of production crisis. I am incredibly grateful for being given the opportunity to be on the scheme.”

Anna Dunkley, Series Producer of Dancing on Ice, ITV, Five Gold Rings, ITV, and My Kitchen Rules, Channel 4: “I’ve met an incredible group of people, expanded my contacts, challenged myself and re-programmed my brain.”

Harjeet Chhokar, Series Producer, Junior Doctors, BBC Three: “Television can be a very insular industry, where you go from job to job and actually you don't get time to take stock of where you want to be. The course has given me confidence that I can develop my career and move up to the role of SP.”

Joseph Campo, Series Producer, Beauty Queen and Single, Stellify Media for BBC One: “The SPP is a good example of a scheme gone right - a programme that addressed the unique needs of the participants. The bespoke training was invaluable. It’s particularly difficult becoming an SP outside of London. So, it’s great that the scheme looks to train up people from the regions.”

Matt Worthy, Managing Director, Stellify Media: “Being a series producer is not a promotion – it’s a fundamental change in job description. You are the boss: managing both your team and – suddenly - the channel. On-the-job training won’t cut it - and is a risk an employer is unlikely to make. Training is vital - but absent in the sector outside of this incredibly professional and practical year-long course. It is essential that the scheme continues.”

With Tom Currie, Sarah Veevers and Stuart Froude, some of the current top team at the BAFTA award-winning Ambulance are, or have been, Series Producer Programme delegates:

Tom Currie, Executive Producer of Ambulance, BBC One: “The Series Producer Programme has been incredibly beneficial and has hugely increased my confidence to take on large scale projects in a senior role. The support offered both by my commissioner mentor and the peer group will last far longer than the 12-month course.” 

Sarah Veevers, Series Producer, Ambulance, BBC One: "With unparalleled access to commissioning editors, award-winning programme makers and peer-to-peer support, the Series Producer Programme has been career-defining.  I now have the confidence and skills to navigate the complex challenges faced by series producers in an ever-evolving production landscape." 

Stuart Froude, Series Director, Ambulance, BBC One and Series Producer, Reported Missing for the BBC with Blast!: Incredibly useful and a game changer for me.”

For further information, please contact Louise Jury, Director of Communications and Marketing, on 020 7713 9883 or by emailing: louise.jury@screenskills.com, or ask for the communications team.

ScreenSkills, formerly known as Creative Skillset, is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success. 


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