Krizzah Policarpio’s long-held interest in TV meant she already had some experience of the industry before she discovered ScreenSkills’ production coordinator training programme. Working in scripted television, Krizzah had been a runner, production assistant and a covid coordinator but wanted to get a taste of unscripted TV and soon came across the production coordinator course.
The programme, funded by the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund and delivered by Media Career Advice, provided participants with guided training that covers key areas like setting up shoots, creating call sheets, managing teams and copyright clearances followed by 12 months’ of placements with a variety of independent production companies and broadcasters.
“I have been completely won over by the unscripted world,” said Krizzah, who found the programme’s blend of intensive training, work placements and – crucially – paired mentoring sessions, hugely beneficial for her journey into unscripted TV. She was matched with mentor, Rachel Thompson who at the time was Head of Production at Three Arrows Media in Manchester.
“Rachel was fantastic and the type of person I needed to chat to about the sorts of things I was struggling with,” says Krizzah, “things I never thought I could voice to another professional who is at the top of their ranks. I felt like I could be vulnerable with her in a safe setting.”
It was a beneficial experience for Rachel too who says that Krizzah’s openness in sessions allowed them to fully explore and challenge beliefs: “At the start there was an intention to be the ‘perfect’ coordinator, but through the process and by challenging this idea of ‘perfect’, Krizzah came to a more realistic view of expectations of her as a coordinator.”
The six mentoring sessions offered by the programme helped instil Krizzah with a confidence that she took into her work placement at independent production company, Rare TV. She said: “I have slight imposter syndrome just from getting frustrated at myself for making silly mistakes despite being in this industry for a while now. I understand that this is a global experience for most freelancers but working in a place like Rare where they genuinely care about the mental wellbeing of their employees is what keeps me afloat in my day to day working life.”
She spoke about how the combination of a nurturing environment at work and a supportive mentor have helped her adopt a new, more open attitude. “I realise that I struggle to ask for help,” says Krizzah and puts it down to a ‘trauma response’ to previous work where “if you’re unable to fulfill a task, you’re booted.” “A lot of the time I struggled to make it known that I was struggling. It was embedded in me that you’re only as good as your last job so if I did badly, then there’s no way I would be able to hop on another job. But that’s a lie and I’m glad to rock this boat inside me and ask people to give me a hand,”
It's an attitude that’s served her well and contributed to her receiving an extended position at Rare TV working as a production secretary. “Krizzah started a short placement with us in July 2023”, says Sally Gamgee, Production Manager at Rare TV, “and she had such a fantastic work ethic and eagerness to learn that nearly a year on, she is still with us.”
Rare TV were so impressed with Krizzah’s performance that they put her forward as a Broadcast magazine Hot Shot 2022, one of only four freelancers in production management to receive this prestigious accolade that year. “Krizzah has grown over the last year, expanding her skillset, taking on new challenges, learning as she goes,” says Sally Gamgee, “and her bright and bubbly personality also means that she's an absolute joy to work with.”
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