Line producer Fran Mable

The ScreenSkills’ High-end TV Link course gave line producer Fran Mable “food for thought” and some useful experience in interviewing techniques as she plotted the next stage of her career and ended up signing with an American agent.

Designed to help professionals living in the regions by introducing them to agents and boosting their network, HETV Link works throughout the country. Having successfully applied, Fran - whose has worked on shows including EastEnders, Call the Midwife, Hanna and Inside No.9 - first attended one of their South West workshops in Bristol.

She explains: “I went to the Bottle Yard Studios where there were 15 to 20 delegates and three people from the industry: Sue Breen, production executive at New Pictures; director Alice Troughton - she had just finished working on Baghdad Central - and Christine Healy, head of production at New Pictures.”

The panel spent about 15 minutes going through her CV and testing Fran on her interviewing techniques before offering some tips.

“It was great as we all get a bit uptight going for interview, no matter how experienced you are. It was really nice and a good useful tool, because you weren’t under the pressure of having to get the job and you could be quite relaxed about it and ask them questions as well.

“They also gave guidance about where you should be heading in your career and concentrating on and what transferable skills you have if you wanted to go sideways. For me personally, I got some good tips about my CV and sharpened it up.”

She was also asked if she had considered becoming a producer, “so that’s something I’m thinking about,” Fran says. “After we had that they gave feedback and you could ask questions, which everyone felt was really good.”

The next step after the workshop was a dinner where delegates met a number of agents, followed by a networking event in London.

Before the dinner, Fran says: “I was sceptical about wanting an agent, as part of my job is negotiating so I thought, if I can’t negotiate a good deal for myself, I might as well give up. But obviously it’s the doors they can open up for you. It was a very convivial evening and there was no pressure.”

Fran was contacted afterwards by a major agency who were interested in signing her. Fran was also contacted by the United Talent Agency in Los Angeles with whom she had previously had dealings on a show. She signed with the LA agent because “there are more and more American shows coming over here to shoot [and he has] put me in front of some really good people.”

Fran is still thinking about moving into producing and says ScreenSkills has been “really good” throughout. “I’ve been really impressed. I think they are amazing in bringing on new talent and opening up the doors for people. I put a lot of people their way now. I would definitely recommend it. I definitely found it beneficial.”


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