30th July 2019
Chartered accountant Tim Powell was able to enter the television and film industry thanks to a place on the HETV Make a Move scheme for individuals stepping up in the industry
Although film and television had been a lifelong passion, Tim had difficulty seeing how he could make the transition to his preferred industry from a career in practice. “After working for more than a decade in accountancy firms, I finally decided it was time to combine the skills I’d developed with my long-held interests,” he says. “From that moment, I actively looked for ways to move into the screen industry. I should have done so earlier in my life, but it’s never too late!”
He found that accountancy in the world of high-end television and film differs substantially from accountancy in other industries. “You can be the best accountant in the world, but without a working knowledge of the industry and what each member of the crew does, you can’t really do your job properly.”
The Make a Move scheme - supported by the HETV Skills Fund – enabled him to get a foot in the door. Guided by his Make A Move mentor Dan Liddiard, a production accountant with more than 20 years of experience, he had the opportunity to work on the high-end television drama Brexit: The Uncivil War, for House Productions. “Given my years of experience as a chartered accountant in practice, Dan felt confident giving me a fair amount of responsibility from the outset and provided me with invaluable exposure to cashiering, accounts payable and cast payroll,” Tim says.
While the choice to transfer his skills to television and film meant he had to start from the bottom, he was more than happy to do that. “You don’t really appreciate the nature of the production process until you experience it first-hand,” Tim says. He found that the production team almost feels like a family, something he has so far enjoyed most about his new career path. “Once you are on the job you know your role. It’s all about making whatever contribution you can to enable the creative team to make the best production possible.”
Make a Move has enabled Tim to combine his skills and dreams. Since finishing his first placement he has reunited with his mentor Dan to work as assistant production accountant on the eight-part BBC drama Trigonometry and he has just taken on a role as assistant payroll accountant on a sci-fi blockbuster Infinite.
The Make a Move scheme encourages on-the-job training for crew identified by productions as ready to move up into a more senior role with some support. Productions that contribute to the HETV Skills Fund can apply for up to £15,000 per production. Click here to read more about Make a Move.
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