Ola Kaminska-Omozik on ScreenSkills' Leaders of Tomorrow programme

Ola Kaminska-Omozik on ScreenSkills' Leaders of Tomorrow programme

Ola Kaminska-Omozik is part of the latest cohort selected for the ScreenSkills Leaders of Tomorrow programme, a three-year programme focused on providing comprehensive and tailored support to mid-level professionals working in High-end TV to give them the tools to progress to senior level, decision-making roles in the future.

Ola was born in Poland and qualified as a teacher at the Silesian University in Cieszyn. After teaching in the town for a year she moved to Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland, where she is now based. Her first job in High-end TV was in 2009, working in administration on the Universal Pictures production Your Highness, a Dungeons and Dragons-like spoof series.

She found she had an aptitude for the job, and offers of work on other productions soon followed, and now Ola is UK accountant on an upcoming Disney feature. The work involves overseeing all invoices and accounts payable, petty cash, reconciliations and Ola reports to the production's financial controller, Seamus Devine.

She has built a strong working relationship with Seamus, having collaborated with him on various productions in the past five years, and she values his input.

“I worked with him briefly for the first time 10 years ago on series 2 of Game of Thrones and then again on [SYFY's fantasy drama] Krypton five years ago,” Ola says. “We really like working together and we make a good team, and when we can we try to work with the same team. Obviously people are free to come and go to other jobs but we all feel really good working together when we can.”

Last year Ola worked on Three Families, a drama made by the BBC, when Jennifer McAufield, an executive there, suggested she apply for ScreenSkills’ Leaders of Tomorrow programme, a move supported by Seamus.

Ola’s mentor on the Leaders of Tomorrow programme is Jim Reekie, a production accountant at Universal. “Every few weeks we have a Zoom session lasting about an hour,” says Ola, “and I ask him lots of questions.

“We generally talk about finance on High-end TV productions. For example, in our last session I asked about the first stage of production, how does it work, how does it come together?

“Obviously financial controllers and production accountants usually come on the show during prep and development. So I asked about how productions are put together, who does the research, how long does it take to get to production, and so on. I also asked him about tax incentives, budgeting and the whole process.”

Ola values having someone with more experience in the industry to guide her through the intricacies of her job. “It’s also nice to hear someone else with different experiences as a financial controller because every show is different. Everyone works in slightly different ways, so it’s always good to hear another opinion about how things work. I find hearing different opinions very useful in helping me in my approach to work. I have so many questions!”

Ola started on the Leaders of Tomorrow programme in the summer and, six months in, she is finding it really useful. “It’s a very interesting programme and I hope I will be able to meet even more people in the industry through it.”

She says being on the programme is already paying dividends. “I definitely can see that more people are interested in seeing my CV, and that can only be a good thing.”

A few years ago Ola took part in ScreenSkills’ Stepping Up programme to become a production accountant and speaks highly of the organisation’s training. “That was a one-year programme and led to more work, but Leaders of Tomorrow is over three years and obviously is a much bigger thing for me. I think it is such a good idea and I am grateful for the opportunity.”

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