Production coordinator Elliot Booth on the children's TV Dream Big! programme

Production coordinator Elliot Booth on the children's TV Dream Big! programme

Elliot Booth has a career adviser to thank for his entry into the world of children’s TV. After completing his studies at the University of Chester he stayed on to work on the reception when the university’s career adviser, Marina Cunliffe, pointed him in the direction of Dream Big! The initiative, supported by the ScreenSkills Children’s TV Skills Fund, offers paid production placements for new entrants into the industry.

After a successful application, the programme offered Elliot an introduction to children’s TV, one that he’ll always know who to thank for. “Thank you so much Marina for making me aware and sending me the link to the website to apply, this programme has been amazing!

“Hand on heart, I can say my experience of the Dream Big! programme has been a fantastic one. From the initial boot camp with my cohort to working in studio on The World According to Grandpa with Grandpa Productions, it has been invaluable in not only kick starting my career within television, but also allowing me to build a career with valuable skills and experience that I simply didn’t have before.” 

His experience through the programme was the realisation of a long-held ambition. “I’ve always wanted to work in children’s TV,” he said. “Children’s TV I think has a unique impact on all of us when compared to any other television genre. We all have that one show that we absolutely loved as a kid and have really fond memories of. When we’re younger, it can inspire us, help us learn and even be used as a way to bond with other children and form friendships over.”

In addition to the production placements, Dream Big! provides participants with job specific training, industry masterclasses, mentoring and personal development skills. The culmination is a rounded initiative that looks to help the industry build a workforce ready to enter productions fully versed on what to expect and ready to develop further.

These skills quickly came into use when Elliot received his placement as a trainee production coordinator, working on The World According to Grandpa. “I directly supported the production coordinator, production manager and by extension the Series Producer during the course of the shoot. I organised and delivered rushes to the post-production house, provided runner support to cast and crew, transcribed episodes and corrected post production scripts using specialised systems and contacted HODs to feed back on the animation process”. 

Busy work then, but helped by the knowledge and support gained through the programme. “For me, I always felt supported not only by everyone at Dream Big! but also with the production crew I worked with,” Elliot said. “If I did find myself particularly stuck on something, I always knew I could reach out to those people and help was always guaranteed. I think any challenges I may have had, came from a point of self-confidence and confidence in my own ability but honestly that was something that really melted away during my time in this programme.”

It's a programme that Elliot believes fulfils an important role in opening up the industry to everyone. “There’s so much great talent out there but often it feels like the television industry can be inaccessible to those of us who might not have any family or friends already working in the industry. Dream Big! ensures that there’s fresh talent with new perspective that are injected into the industry and that in itself only improves the world of television and TV Production.”

And what about his own future, is this the first steps of a long career in the screen industry? “I hope so and fully intend it to be! I really want to take what I’ve learned through my time in this programme and use it to develop and build my career further within the industry. I’m really excited at my future career prospects and found that I can really carve a path to where I see myself in 5-10 years time!”

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